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An Interview with the Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts – Executive Interview Series

Meet Mario Franciamore

Franciamore is the newly appointed Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

Wyndham is one of the largest hotel groups globally with over 9000 hotels in 80 countries spread over 20 hotel brands.

Mario is also the former  Digital Marketing Manager at the Fairmont, Savoy in London: a specialist in hospitality marketing, he has an advanced understanding of the service industry and the marketing strategies that help to fuel it.

Franciamore has also worked for some of the biggest names in the hotel industry including the Cavendish London, and Starwood Hotels. 

And David Gabriele, CEO of Swayy

Swayy is the industry’s leading influencer booking, campaign and relationship management tool, and winner of the 2018 TTE Disrupt Awards. Swayy helps properties streamline the collaboration process, helping properties proactively find relevant “on brand” influencers, save time and hassle evaluating them, and also manage constant inbound requests from bloggers or influencers asking for free collaboration stays.  

The Savoy

Today’s interview covers his experience to date focusing largely on The Savoy in London. To build upon this we shall also be speaking with other executives at The Savoy in subsequent interviews.

The Savoy, a Fairmont managed hotel, is an iconic hotel boasting 267 luxury rooms and suites on the banks of the Thames. As a world class hospitality brand, the team at the Savoy know the importance of keeping up to date with the development of social media impact on brands. They have orchestrated paid influencer campaigns in the past, and regularly plan for their social channels, whilst maintaining a level of flexibility and adaptability.

                                                                                  Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay

Interview Highlights

How important are influencers for marketing in the hotel industry?

“They are very important to keep generating content”

In Franciamore’s experience, they provide a great platform for building brand awareness and reaching new audiences that might be harder to reach through traditional forms of digital marketing.

Did you see many collaboration requests in your time at the Savoy?

Franciamore tells us that the Savoy was constantly bombarded by requests from influencers, both big and small, who were looking to stay at the hotel.

Mostly, the decision to work with influencers was made on an ad hoc basis, dependent on what the hotel needed at the time. As well as varying according to the season, the need for influencers to promote the brand was dependent, in part, on room availability and marketing budgets.

How did you vet which of these influencers you would work with?

In order to have a clear understanding of what value an influencer can actually bring to your brand, you need to carefully assess the content they are already producing. Marketing teams need to ask themselves whether an influencer’s pre-existing content aligns with your brand, and what their engagement rate is. By doing this, hotels can decide whether an influencer is targeting their desired demographic before they take the collaboration process to the next stage.

                                                                                  Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay

What are your frustrations with influencer marketing?

It is often difficult to align your expectations as a brand with the content that is delivered because a hotel is not in control of the content that an influencer generates following a collaboration.

The collaboration process can also lack refinement, becoming clumsy and hard to keep track of. Franciamore tells us that communication between PR and Digital Marketing is crucial at all stages of a potential partnership, as well as between the property and the influencer.

Furthermore, a marketing team doesn’t want an influencer to endorse their brand and then move onto one of your competitors, as this undermines the work that has gone into the collaboration. It is important, therefore, that hotel brands build relationships with influencers to create long term and productive collaborative partnerships. This, in turn, will ensure that the content your influencers end up creating is authentic and truly showcases what they love about your brand.

Franciamore also tells us that it can be frustrating to track what you get back from a collaboration.

What tracking techniques have you used in the past?

Digital metrics are important for keeping tabs on what an influencer is delivering for your brand, particularly when it comes to new website traffic, click-through rate and time spent on the website. Currently, the Savoy uses Google Analytics to keep track of these elements of engagement.

How do hotels adopt new tech?

In the industry we can see a significant lag in the time it takes the big chains to take up new technology because the process of introducing it at brand level is complicated, expensive and time-consuming. Independents are much easier to approach with new innovations, provided the marketing manager has a budget for tech, and the scope to include it in their marketing strategy.

What are your thoughts on Swayy’s solution?

Sounds really good… I really like the vetting process! Anything that saves times for marketing teams is going to be a great tool, as ideally, everybody would like to save time“. 

                                                                                  Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay

To learn more from experts in the luxury hospitality industry, check out the rest of our Executive Interview Series!

Interested in working with full time, pre-vetted hotel influencers? Click here to find out how Swayy can help you. If you are an influencer interested in a collaboration, read up on what we can do for you.

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