Episode 83: Evolving your tourism business to a new target audience – talking with Club Med
Welcome to Tourism Upgrade. The podcast unpacking marketing trends from travel, tourism, and marketing leaders. I’m your host, Holly G. and today we welcome Madeleine Clow-Suares (Maddie), General Manager for Australia and New Zealand for Club Med, and Marine Blanchetier, Australia and New Zealand Marketing Manager at Club Med. Today we’ll be chatting about pivoting your business to a new target audience. So, welcome both to the podcast. It’s good to have you here in person in the studio.
Brief history of Club Med
Maddie Clow: Yes, of course. Club Med started in 1950. We’re in the resort business, so we have holiday resorts across the globe. We’ve got ski resorts, we’ve got sun resorts, and I can go into lots of detail of what they are, but basically, we were post war. Everybody was looking for some sort of distraction after the depression and its really where Club Med was founded. It was people going to tents, spending time together, just reliving, and I think from that, our values were really built, which are kindness, multicultural, pioneering. Since then we’ve really evolved year on year. We’ve opened 70 resorts now across the globe. We’re on all continents of the world. We have 25 of those which are just pure ski resorts. We invented the kids clubs that exist today. We opened the first one back in 1967. We invented the first ski resort back in 1956. We’re kind of well known … I studied at Club Med at University when I was doing tourism management.
Maddie Clow: They were the first company to put aeroplanes with the stay. What we take for granted today when you book your package tour or you go on holiday, they were actually the inventors of that and actually took people away on a plane to discover somewhere different in the world. Accompanied with a lot of history and a lot of heritage, and basically now today … and we’ll talk a bit more about it, but they’ve had to go through a revamping and a restyle. Today we’re the specialists of premium all inclusive holidays.
HollyG: Yeah, great, wow. I had no idea about that history. So, you mentioned about a bit of a revamp or a bit of a change. Can you give us a bit of an insight about when and why Club Med realised that change was needed within the brand and the organisation?
When and why Club Med realised that change was needed
Maddie Clow: Well, change is always needed. If we stay still, then it’s not necessarily a good thing. Obviously being the inventors of things, you get copied on lots of levels. For us, really, the big change came after the 11th of September, 2001, the American market took a big hit. People stopped travelling as much, and we pride ourselves on giving a very good level of service, a very warm welcome. To do that, you also have to be very profitable as a company in terms of what you can reinvest into your resorts or staff. It was really back in 2004 with new direction for the company where we sat back and looked at our business model, and from looking back at our business model, we made the choice to move upscale.
So, really focus on high end resorts. It’s often the same cost in terms of fixed assets and costs as it is to have another resort with a lower price, but you’re offering a better service at the end of the day. It often has better return, people come back. So we focused on upscale. We focused on international resorts, and really placed our resorts worldwide in places that could be served from different business units. Either it’s Europe and the States or it’s Asia, China, Pacific, Europe. Basically to keep our resorts open all year long rather than having seasonal resorts, which means you have fixed staff, better service, and it’s complimentary in terms of seasons between different countries.
Smart moves, simple moves, but really making sure the bottom line was there, and then since 2004, we’ve really invested everything back into our resorts to bring up the level and the standards.
HollyG: Yeah, and what have been some of those investments or steps that’s been undertaken?
Maddie Clow: It could be on lots of levels. The first thing is on what we call the heart. Obviously, in the quality of the rooms, in terms of the infrastructure, the resorts, developments or opening up lots of new resorts. We’ve also invested in terms of IT tools, marketing tools. We could talk more about that. It’s on all different levels, but first of all obviously in the quality of the product that we provide to our clients.
HollyG: Yeah, great. And so you went from how many resorts to sort of 70, in –
Maddie Clow: We actually had more resorts when we saw more mass market. We decided to cut back and really do less but have them very well placed and really offer fantastic experiences.
Moving on to delve into the marketing a little bit more
HollyG: Moving on to delve into the marketing a little bit more, who are you targeting in Australia for Club Med from that decision to really change the direction of Club Med or just take it to a new level? What are some of the things from a marketing perspective that you’ve been implementing.
Marine B: Sure. So, Australia isn’t a huge market in terms of volume, obviously, compared to others. But, what’s great in Australia is that there’s a real affinity between the mindsets here and what people are looking for and the brand in which we are able to offer now with this new positioning. What I mean is that Australians obviously look for quality. They have high standards and they’re not looking for the cheapest deal. They want value for money, but quality, and we’ve got an absolutely great clientele for more luxurious products. I think this move upscale has been very beneficial in growing the business here in Australia.
What’s great, also, is I think Australians are looking for this quality and even luxury, but they want to keep it down to earth and relaxed and friendly, and I think that’s one of the things that Club Med is pretty unique for. We’ve got a really relaxed atmosphere in our resorts. Those are very social places, which is also a very Australian feature. I would say the other points are that our resorts are very family friendly. Which is also something … clearly a big part of our clients in Australia are family, and worldwide.
We were the first offering kids clubs, and I think our kids’ facilities are really top class on the market at the moment. It’s offering Australian clientele looking for both having family time, family moments together, but also having the kids have fun and learn something new and the parents having their own time, which is this kind of mix in our family time and “we” time, which is really important for some parents, that we are offering.
The last point is that there’s a lot of activities in our resorts. Obviously, you can do a lot of different sports, which for a big part are included in the package. Australians are obviously very active people on holidays and I think that’s also a very big success there.
HollyG: So I guess that it’s a real family target out of the Australian market? That’s changed a lot from 20 years ago or 30 years ago, when you think of Club Med and you think of more sort of party vibe, I guess. You must hear that all the time.
Marine B: I think at the time there were also quite a lot of families, but it’s true that it’s changed. What’s great I think is that we’ve maintained a little bit of the fun and relaxed culture into the experience but it’s obviously changed a lot and it’s not a party resort for sure. Marketing has changed accordingly, to be able to get our brand out there and say what we are actually offering today, which are those very premium, all inclusive holidays.
Maddie Clow: But let’s be sure that Club Med … yes, there was a time … and I think it wasn’t just Club Med, it was the 70’s, and once again, another change in the world. What we pride ourselves in is our level of standards and our security and all of those type of things and quality, but also people say they arrive as a client and they leave as a member of the family. It is that fun side as well. It is the place to be happy. It is the place to let go, so it’s just finding that balance between the 70’s, what it used to be, and obviously today it’s a much more well rounded, wholesome time.
Maddie Clow: What’s interesting is Australia is our third or fourth in the world in terms of, if we look at Club Med sales, seller of luxury. So that means Australia is higher in terms of actual business volume, so money made, so compared to bigger countries, than Switzerland or Belgium or these countries where you’d expect very high level, it’s Australia. So, what you’re seeing is people really … it’s a country where you’re really looking for that high standing level of quality, but you want to make sandcastles on the beach with your kids. You want it to be down to earth. You want to have a few drinks and meet some people from around the world. So, it’s nice to go somewhere where it’s upscale but it’s not uptight, it’s that balance between the two.
HollyG: So, can you tell us a little bit about some of the specific marketing activities that you’ve worked on?
Marine B: Yeah, sure. If I look at the change and the way we’ve changed in terms of marketing strategy, I think there are really three big things, three main changes we’ve made. The first one is of course in our communication strategy. We’ve gone from having a communication strategy that was quite focused on promotions and very below the line, to really talking much more about the experience, about the emotional value, also, of the Club Med holiday, which is all about carefreeness and reconnection and feeling good. That was one of the big switches.
The other one that’s been made is on the pricing strategy, where we used to, like a lot of tourism operators, we used to do big promotions and we’ve gone to a very early booking focused pricing strategy. So today, we decided we’re going to do early bird deals and they’re going to be the best offer of the season, and that’s guaranteed. We’ve actually worked really hard on sticking to this promise for a few years, and that’s been a big success for us.
HollyG: Yeah, great.
Storytelling in marketing
Marine B: And another thing, I think, is in terms on means, we’ve really gone from investing into [inaudible 00:11:23] and switched to investing in storytelling. That means sending photographers and influencers to our resorts to get their view of the Club Med experience, to get them creating the content. We’ve also been looking at all of the third party content that we can get. It can be the client point of view.
Marine B: Client reviews and everything. We’ve also switched our means to one, online a lot, so investing a lot on online media and social media, and PR, just to tell the story and get it out there, so those have been the major changes.
HollyG: Out of some of the things that you have done, is there any that have been the most successful, or favourite things that you’ve worked on?
Marine Blanchet: Yeah, for me definitely in this sort of third party content strategy, the influence of programme, if I can call it that, which is a big success for me because first we got amazing people, really talented people, travelling to our resort, which is always something we are very proud of. They are actually all telling their own view of the Club Med experience. We’re lucky enough to have Benji Marshall, the Rugby player has travelled with us and is maybe showing a bit of the active side of the holidays and then we had Samantha Wills, which we are big fans of, and she looks more at the design and she’ll have this amazing point of view on our resorts as well.
It’s a real success I think, we can see that we are in demand quite a lot at the moment and that’s something we’re quite proud of.
HollyG: And that’s quite interesting, because often when brands look to work with influencers, they might just look at influencers within the travel space. It is really interesting to look outside of that. You might have, from a design perspective, or a sport active or food or whatever –
Maddie Clow: And recently we had Emanuel Fidel from My Kitchen Rules, so he’s just come back from our resort and once again, it’s the same thing, on our best resort, Finaloo, which is one of our villas, with that whole food angle. But, at the end of the day, a holiday is about a lifestyle, so you want people who tell the story of the lifestyle and the experience and not as a travel agent professional. I mean, obviously we have professionals, travel agents who travel, would be great to share their stories too, but it’s so nice to have those different angles, and not from people who are … we kind of avoid TV reality show people. We’re really looking for people who are already in the profession, who have a story to tell, who are respected, and for them to experience it and to give us their angle and their point of view.
HollyG: Yeah, I think they’re really good tips for brands that are looking to work with influencers and look at such a hot topic at the moment. There is a lot of value and when you’re really doing the research on who to work with and finding those people that are great fit for you, for your brand.
Maddie Clow: Yeah, it’s very cost effective as well.
HollyG: Yeah, exactly.
Marketing and communicating internally at Club Med
When an organisation is making change, there’s changes that you will communicate externally to your potential customers, but there’s also … obviously, there has to be a fair bit of internal changes I guess, as well. Internally, how is Club Med success in communicating and executing those changes?
Maddie Clow: Yeah, it’s not a small job. It’s a big job. Like I said before, 15,000 people, 96 nationalities, spread across the globe and time zones, which obviously we know a lot about here in Australia. We focus a lot of time on it. We’re a very people orientated company. We spend a lot of time on having a very clear vision of where we’re going, why we’re going there, a clear direction so it’s quite tangible for the teams, and then we actually have company projects. What they’ll have over the period of a year … our recent one now is two years … a company project and a mission with very concrete things and actions that we’re going to work on. We’ll spend a lot of time with lots of different people involved on the projects, so it’s almost them who are building it, it’s from the bottom up.
Another big chunk of the time, which is driven by HR, but another big chunk of time is spent on the communication, even to the people who clean the rooms in the resort. Everyone on board, everyone knows where we’re going, why we’re doing it, and there’s part of the tourism.
HollyG: Is there specific tools that Club Med uses to communicate internally?
Maddie Clow: Well, there’s a big one, which I’ll let Marine tell you about.
Marine B: Yeah, there’s actually … it’s my favourite. We’ve got this amazing tool which is called Workplace by Facebook. It’s basically a company version of Facebook. It works exactly the same, it’s as easy to use and as fun to use. But, it connects people within the company. We actually now really want to take away from anyone from any resort or any office and I think it’s totally changed the way we communicate and the fact that we now are aware of everything that’s going on in the other offices so you can share best practises, what’s been working well, and share it easily through photos that you can upload very quickly, like on Facebook.
You can also know what’s going on in the resorts, so as a marketer it’s really great to know exactly what’s going on in each of the resorts, get videos, get content directly from the resort to use. It’s been really exceptional, I would say.
HollyG: So, does that use people’s personal profiles?
Marine B: Actually, that’s a professional version, so everyone can create its own version. You’ve got a different app, so it’s not on your Facebook app, it’s a different Facebook app, so you can’t get them mixed.
Marine B: It’s just the same user friendly experience, which is easy. You don’t need to have any training to use it, it’s just super easy.
Maddie Clow: It’s linked to your professional email, so everyone who has a professional email has an account. It works a bit more by groups, so there’s a lot of groups. You can have a bright ideas group. My favourite is spray and pray, so when you need an answer to a question, you just put it out there and the world replies. Obviously then, you’ve got digital marketing, sales, all of those other groups. So, it works a lot more like that. We’ve got one page, which is called Club Med life, which seems to be a bit like the news feed. That’s where everyone tells you, you know … Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in this resort, or these turtles have just been released in Malaysia, and you kind of feel what’s going on around the world, day and night.
Marine Blanchet: One of the great ones actually is the bright ideas one, because you can basically post any idea that you have to improve either the way that we work or the experience in the resort. What’s absolutely great is you actually get access to the CEO of the company. We’ve got an example, a few ideas have been liked, liked like on Facebook, by the CEO of the company, and that just makes the idea happen really quickly.
Maddie Clow: Within an hour, you post an idea, the CEO’s liked it, written a comment, he’s shared other peoples’ names on it to tell them to put it into place. There’s no more barriers.
HollyG: The thing that I hear from a lot of other resorts or hotel chains is the challenge of what’s happening on property. How do I know if I’m sitting in head office, what’s happening on property? Staff aren’t necessarily sending me photos or telling me what’s going on, and that is honestly one of the biggest challenges that hotels and resorts have from a marketing and content point of view, especially trying to communicate that back to the consumer across social media. That must really help.
Marine B: Definitely, but actually we had the same question on that, and so we actually did something really interesting, which is creating a new position within Club Med, which is … we call our staffing within the resort GO, which means – Guest Organiser.
Marine B: Guest organiser, yes. We’ve created a new position, which is called E-GO, which basically is a content creator. So, we’ve got someone that’s really part of the resort team but who’s actually creating content around what’s going on in the resort, sharing the information with every marketing team and communication team worldwide. It’s changed everything, as well, in terms of knowing what’s going on in the resort, getting live feedback, and also this amazing content, real content, because today it comes down to this; We need real content, real stories to tell. That’s been really, really great –
HollyG: That sounds like a really fun job, by the way.
Marine B: Yes, exactly.
Maddie Clow: It does.
HollyG: So, you’d want them to be able to take a pretty good photo, I guess?
Marine B: Yes, for sure. That’s one of the –
Maddie Clow: It’s very important for brand perspective as well. So, obviously, when every resort was a bit freestyle and could do what they want, obviously sometimes what you’d get in a resort maybe would be what we would say fits into our brand charter. So, these people are then trained, so the look, the feel, the style, and obviously yes it’s to bring it to life, real people, but then to keep that within our look and our feel so it’s very easy for consumers to identify with us.
HollyG: Yeah, for sure. It’s having that … and that training takes time. Do you have an issue with staff turnover in that sense?
Maddie Clow: I think we have the opposite problem. Not many people – I’ve been in the company 17 years on a lot of different jobs. Obviously there are countries where there’s a high turnover, like China, where it’s difficult, but as long as we keep people moving and keep people learning, and we’re also respectful … especially people who work offsite or in countries with their family lives, couples, and we try to organise ourselves around them. We tend to keep people for quite a while.
Marine B: That’s true. On this specific position, it’s only been in place for one or two years. What we feel is they are actually great candidates to then become, if they wish, part of the marketing and communications teams in the offices.
Marine B: There’s already been these kind of moves and I think there are going to be more in the future, for sure.
HollyG: Yeah, great. What are some of the proudest achievements or activities since you’ve pivoted … I don’t know if pivot’s the right word, really, would you say? Pivot?
Marine B: Evolve.
HollyG: Yeah, evolving to the next level for Club Med, I guess.
Maddie Clow: Specifically for the Australian market, for me I’m going to talk like a general manager now, not a marketer, but obviously for me it’s the growth and we’ve achieved our targets. Since we’ve obviously had a resort here (in Australia), four years ago, and with our rethinking, and Australia’s quite removed from the rest of the world, so you really have to fill it just from Australia. If something happens and there’s a recession in Australia, who else can fill this resort?
For me, from closing a domestic resort, we’re back up the level now that we were with having a resort on our doorstep. So, we’ve had that growth and what we’ve got planned in the next three years is another 50% growth and we’re just really seeing that, like Marine explained, the affinity with the brand plus this moving towards this premium direction, people are busy today. They want holidays where they can go, they can relax, they can experience the local, they can have the lovely family time, and it’s working.
For me to see that, and to see that people are enjoying our product is probably for me the biggest achievement.
Marine B: In terms of activities, one of the latest big successes we’ve had is also the launch of our new ski resort in Japan, which looks like an amazing resort. The doors will open in December of this year. We’ve launches sales a few months back and it’s been such an amazing success, so I think this was a very successful campaign. It was almost too much for us, more than we were ready for.
Maddie Clow: Yeah, we experienced … we could have sold the resort four times over in 48 hours for the January school holiday, so obviously if any travel agents or people are listening, there was … we didn’t expect … we were ready for 30% growth. We didn’t expect 60% growth. Also, with success comes learning. So, then we sit down and say, “Okay, how do we prepare for this?” because it’s actually going faster than what we expected. We’ve had to review and revise and get ready and make sure that we’ve got the service levels behind it.
People say that’s a good problem to have, but you still have to work on it.
HollyG: Manage it, yeah. Do you find that people that stay at a Club Med are quite loyal then, to Club Med? Is that what you find, they’re staying at different ones?
Marine Blanchet: Yeah, I mean we –
HollyG: I guess the point, sorry, being there, when you launch a new property, which is what you’ve talked about, I guess there’s a lot of that knowledge and trust already.
Maddie Clow: Comeback.
HollyG: Yeah, comeback.
Maddie Clow: To be totally honest, we’ve got retentions which are higher in other countries. If you look at France … but you’ve got 40-50 resorts, so it’s not the same scale. So you have to look at it here, you’re looking at 10 resorts across Asia/Pacific. There’s going to be 30 within the next five years, so that’s where we’re going. So, with that it will grow. It’s a good level today, we have very loyal clients, so we have good levels of retention. I think probably working on our loyalty strategy is the next step for us. There’s been a big catch up on a lot of other things. We’ve had to catch up on our structure, way of working, the right resorts are coming, so now it’s, “Okay, how do we balance perspection with loyalty?” We have a very strong loyalty plan, but we want to increase it with partnerships and all the things that can come with it, to really take care of our most loyal customers.
HollyG: Yeah, no, that makes sense. When you talk about the Japan launch, what was some of the activities that were implemented during that launch?
Marine Blanchet: There’s been quite a lot of teasing, which I think is always something really important, for sure. Of course, in PR, in pitching some of the titles, even one by one, and we’ve done some trade, teasing in communication to our base agencies. We’ve got instal boutiques, as well, which are little stores where we’re got Club Med caller in the agencies, so we’re informing them. Then, of course, a lot of social media activity. All of this combined has really proved successful.
HollyG: What social channels are you really active on?
Marine B: Mostly Facebook, which is working really well, and the level of targeting you get with Facebook is just amazing, so that’s definitely something that we use and have fun with, but it’s getting better and better I think every year, so that’s definitely with any budget that you get. Go on Facebook, it’s really worth it. A little bit of Instagram, but this would be a bit more … at the moment, I think we still have to really crack it.
HollyG: Yeah. I think that’s definitely the case with Instagram. It’s sort of that really inspirational, aspirational, but it’s sort of like, where does that fit into … from a marketing perspective, into the final –
Marine B: That’s exactly. It’s the question we’re still figuring out, but it’s obviously a very powerful tool and an amazing discovery tool. At the moment, Facebook has been working really well.
Maddie Clow: I think what the team did really well in January is they really built a campaign with a funnel. There was the whole upper funnel and there was cinema as well, so there were a whole lot of things done to really gain awareness and then it was really targeted, so the next level, what people see. It kind of tells a story on three levels. People are followed and then they see the next bannering, and then it’s much more call to action. That’s something that they did really well that helped us [inaudible 00:27:29].
The second thing is we create events out of nothing. An opening of a season, which could just be, “Okay, we’re opened.” The marketing team do a teasing four or five weeks in advance. “You can preregister, you can book now, this is going to be the opening season”, for all of our resorts. We find ourselves … we had something in the region of 5000 people who wanted to preregister before we even opened sale. Two or three years ago, it was 100. You can really make an event also out of just the fact that you’re a new resort, and the buzz that you can do before you actually open the doors.
Are there any tools that you can’t live without?
HollyG: I like to ask the question around tools. Are there any tools that you can’t live without?
Maddie Clow: For me, it’s not very sexy, but it’s reporting. We’re very lucky to have … we use Clickview. We have Salesforce as well. For me, you’re blind unless you have figures and numbers that tell you what’s happening. You can have a guess and I always love it when people tell me what they feel, but I’m like, “Yeah, but what do the numbers say?” “Oh, we’re really busy.” What does that mean in numbers?
I really think the more … you don’t have to have too much, because obviously too much reporting can be … but enough to be able to tell you what’s happening, where, who, how, because it always tells a story. It’s a little like looking at a matrix, and then you can really see okay, this is what’s working, this isn’t what’s working, how do we address it? What do we need to do? For me, reporting is a –
HollyG: And, Marine?
Marine B: From a work perspective, I would say Workplace Facebook is my go to place now and I love to check it in the morning and in the evening because with the time difference there is always something going on. I would say that would be it, and from a more personal point of view, I’ve got my Ted app, which is where I got for inspiration when I need to take a little break and take a little bit of perspective and just watch or listen to a talk, which is always inspiring.
HollyG: Ah, yes. The Ted Talks, for sure, that’s good.
On this topic of change, we know, and there’s lots of interesting quotes out there that change is happening faster than ever before and it will continue. Really businesses need to be able to move and change and pivot a lot more than what they’ve had to in the past. I guess if you were giving some tips or advice for destinations or tourism businesses, how can they set up their business to stay agile or to adapt to change? To move with the pace that we need to move now?
Maddie Clow: It has changed, the pace, we can feel it. There’s two different levels, for me, on this. There’s a product level and a way of working level, and there’s a people level. The people level, I think we need to let go of the standards, this nine to five, this … everything we can do to give people greater flexibility, the easier it’s going to be. Laptops, mobiles, like you said, new work apps. I think there’s a flexibility side where we need to be more agile in the way we work in the modern world.
HollyG: We need to come a long way.
Maddie Clow: And tourism has a lot of women in it as well today, so they’re allowed to have a job that’s interesting and they’re allowed to have a family, and I want interesting, intelligent women to work for me as well as I do men. I’m very happy to make it as flexible in the workforce so you can balance and fit in with peoples’ lives, which is also a priority. Afterwards, on the product side of things, we’ve recently, as well, in the last three years, we’ve looked at Club Med and we’ve prided ourselves on having resorts that have standards. Every resort you could find the same thing and you could have the same level.
That’s actually something … we’re looking at trends, so once again taking time out to sit down and listen to trends or listen to talks, that people want local, people want authenticity. We’ve actually gone back and realised, we’ve got a lot of strong personalities in all our resorts. What can we do more to take those personalities further? For example, in Thailand, we’ve brought in Thai boxing, and then Thai cooking lessons, and Thai massage, all included in the price. We’ve stopped maybe some of the golf that we were including and just readapted it to keeping it local, keeping it with what people want.
We’ve really revamped and looked at what could make each resort different and unique and like Marine said, can tell this story. What’s difficult is you’ve got to have a company that believes in change, because you can have all of these ideas, but the money’s got to come from somewhere, the teams who put it into place have to come from somewhere. I think in Club Med, we’re quite open to change. What’s interesting in our zone is in the board of directors, the sales teams, marketing sit alongside the people in charge of the resorts. We’re all one team, so
HollyG: So, breaking down those silos.
Breaking down internal silos
Maddie Clow: Yes. So, we all work together and sometimes they look at me like I’m mad, when I suggest things. Sometimes they are a bit mad, the suggestions. Sometimes they’re good suggestions. Little by little, you can see that they start to think about it, and obviously they think about, “I want paddle boat by night in the [inaudible 00:32:49]. I want this, and I want safety,” but little by little they understand it and they get there. What’s great, afterwards, is they’re the experts in terms of the actual … so what you ask them to put into place is even better than what you could have possibly imagined.
It’s a real teamwork, and it’s breaking down those barriers. I think one of the biggest innovations that we made in marketing was to actually mix marketing and IT together at our head office in Paris, which … IT almost had a heart attack I think, when it happened. I think the director was telling me that the first meeting she had for the board of directors and IT sat down which was all guys on one side and marketing, which is mostly women, on the other side, and they were like, “What are we doing in the same room?” And now, a year and a half later, they don’t know how they did it without being together. That was probably the biggest … and it’s really helped the company in turn. And there’s still more to be done. What you have in terms of means in Asia compared to France are sometimes totally different, but it’s definitely moving in the right direction.
Marine B: I think to add to what Maddie was saying, of course keeping your finger on the pulse of what people want, what they’re looking for, how they want to travel, as well, is super important. One of the good things with the digital world we are now in is that you can actually do that for a much lower cost than you could before. You don’t have to do a big brand survey, which costs tens of thousands of dollars. You can go through social media tools, which are pretty affordable and that anyone can afford and that gives you a really good vision of what people are saying about your product or your destination, for instance, what they want, what’s missing, and just to get this live feedback of what’s going on at the moment, and that’s really interesting and precious, I think, in marketing strategies today.
HollyG: Yeah, it’s a really good point, because you think back in the day you’d be doing these huge polls to get a sense of what people thought of your brand, but now there’s just that feedback all the time, so if you tap into that, and then convert that into something that’s usable, there’s a lot of value there for sure.
It’s been so great to talk to you both. There’s a lot of things, and a lot of paths to go down. So how can people find out a bit more about you both personally and also Club Med?
Marine B: About Club Med, you can definitely go to our website, clubmed.com.au or you can go on Facebook and find us. We’ve got a Club Med regular page and we’re got a Club Med for travel agents if someone was to listen. Of course on LinkedIn as well.
Maddie Clow: Yep, so both of us are on LinkedIn. If you’re interested in the workplace by Facebook, I did a talk about a year ago, because we were one of the first companies to launch in tourism. I spent an hour explaining about how it all works, what the advantages are, so if ever you’re interested in having that link?
HollyG: Yeah, I’ll link through to that through the show notes. Are you up for the bonus question?
Now it’s time for our thousand dollar bonus question. I ask all my guests the same question.
Maddie Clow: We have two different answers.
HollyG: Yeah, so the question is, if you only had a $1000 marketing budget, what would you spend it on?
So Maddie, do you want to begin?
Maddie Clow: For me, [inaudible 00:36:21] if you’re a small business and then there’s if you’re a big business, because in maybe even a big business we should be thinking like a small business. You look at $1000 sometimes and go, “It doesn’t get you much,” but it can get you a lot today. Marine had a much more of a target of how she would spend it and ever dollar is important.
Marine Blanchet: So can I start?
HollyG: Yeah, yeah.
Marine B: So, I would definitely do a Facebook campaign because I would then be able to target exactly who I want to see my ad and do a great video, so I can ask my EGO to create a great video in the resort and then sponsor it on Facebook to the people that I want to see the ad.
Marine B: You think that’s boring?
Maddie Clow: I think that’s very responsible. I would probably take the $1000 and take my team out to celebrate good results, which isn’t marketing, that’s just what I would do. I think the biggest lesson, which made me think on this question, is it’s always good to think small. A lot of things we do in house, in marketing, we build our own tools, because if you do it cost effectively, you can do more. As I said, I think it’s a good question to ask, even if I didn’t spend the money responsibly. It’s a good question to ask.
HollyG: I think as a general manager, your answer is pretty good.
Cool, thank you so much. I think we’ll wrap it up now.
Maddie Clow: Thank you.
Maddie LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/madeleine-clow-92149614/
Marine LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marine-blanchetier-a458a58/
Workplace by Facebook presentation by Maddie: http://www.hrmonline.com.au/section/hrm-tv/united-workforce-social-media-helps/
Club Med website: https://www.clubmed.com.au
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