Claire Bishop is in charge of strategy, planning and implementation of all digital marketing at MMGY Global. Her experience in online retail and branding programs includes tactical components such as display, affiliate, OTA merchandising, social, mobile and search. Claire believes in the importance of digital branding as well as transactional engagement and has contributed to award-winning and successful campaigns for clients such as Barbados Tourism, Trump Hotel Collection, Starwood Hotels and One&Only Resorts. I recently had a chat with Claire.
Tim Nichols: Can you tell us about your role as the VP of Digital Strategy & Online media at MMGY Global? Where does it begin and end?
CB: I work with a great team of digital experts to plan and execute all aspects of digital strategy for our travel clients, so I am very much involved with our campaigns at a tactical level. I am also responsible for culling through the phenomenal amount of noise our industry generates to determine what areas we should be focused on innovating within. So many changes on a weekly, monthly basis in digital marketing, that it is a full time challenge to ensure we are staying abreast of the best technology and tactics that get results for our clients.
Tim Nichols: MMG Worldwide and Ypartnership have recently joined forces to become the largest and most integrated travel marketing firm in the world. How’s that going so far?
CB: Great. The two companies separately possessed such tremendous synergistic potential – Ypartnership has an outstanding reputation for their proprietary research in the travel space, while MMG brings a spectrum of digital and web expertise to the table after 15 years of making that a core component of their business– and it is incredibly rewarding to see both groups coming together to make this marketing firm that is truly more than the sum of its parts. I continue to be impressed with the talented group we have put together, and I believe the level of experience and deep knowledge of the travel industry our staff possess are something our travel advertisers would have a tough time finding at another agency.
Tim Nichols: On your website you say that your mission is simple: “Help travel companies grow revenue by motivating their customers”. With that in mind, what offering does MMGY Global provide, or provide better, than the competition?
CB: Unlike a lot of agencies who do travel marketing, we are fully integrated across every marketing channel—research and branding, traditional and digital media, web development including mobile, public relations, promotions, social engagement. We have the resources to strategically plan across every touch-point, execute against stated objectives, and (perhaps most importantly) we have developed a comprehensive dashboard that enables us to measure the impact of our marketing efforts. I would say we are most obsessed with the measurement piece, because we are adamant that what we do needs to generate real, impactful results for our clients. That focus on the result of all of our efforts is something you are not going to see coming from most of our competitors.
Tim Nichols: What are you most excited about when it comes to mixing digital marketing and the travel industry?
CB: I love that the Internet has become such a powerful medium for not only closing sales, but it has now claimed such a large role in inspiring and researching travel as well. What this means for us as marketers is that we have an opportunity to bring some very powerful and engaging content to life in a medium that can truly showcase it, and we can leverage everything we know about digital targeting and online behaviors to ensure we are getting that content in front of the right people at the right time. We can effectively use digital to extend what we are doing in broadcast, print, and outdoor. This type of rich engagement, coupled with what we are doing lower in the funnel to capture conversions, is really powerful in driving results.
Tim Nichols: The 15th year of your Vail, Colorado signature event is being held on September 7th & 8th of this year. Can you tell us a little more about the objective and goals of the event?
CB: The Vail Summit is hosted annually as an invitation-only think tank for senior executives in the travel business to get together on provocative topics that confront marketers in our industry. It is held in an intimate setting that enables frank conversations about key issues with a group of industry peers that have a great deal to contribute to the continued advancement and innovation we are seeing the in the travel marketing landscape.
Tim Nichols: Thanks Claire!