Next up in our HMA Spotlight series is Katie Scott, Sales & Marketing Manager at Rockliffe Hall, North East’s regional HMA ambassador.
Rockliffe Hall is an independently owned five red star hotel, golf and spa resort based in County Durham. Katie joined the pre-opening team at the resort in 2009 and has been involved in developing the luxury brand of Rockliffe Hall since its conception, using a variety of marketing methods to promote the multi-award winning resort on a regional, national and international level.
Summarise your qualifications and experience:
I completed my Marketing degree at Northumbria University and joined the pre-opening team at Rockliffe Hall as a bright-eyed graduate in 2009. I have been part of the senior management team since 2014, and I have recently completed my CIM Level 6 Diploma in Marketing with nesma.
What are your visions for the Regional Ambassadorship?
I have always been a big supporter of the HMA, but being based in the north east I sometimes find it difficult to attend events that are based in and around London. My vision is to help support the HMA team promote the HMA in the north east region so that hotel marketers based in the north can access a network of professionals who face similar challenges and opportunities to them, to share best practice and discuss emerging themes.
What are your objectives? What would you like to achieve?
The HMA have recognised that there is a need for more regional events, and a key objective for me will be to build a network of marketers and host key events which are accessible for marketers within the region and cover topics that are relevant. Secondly, promoting membership of the HMA and the benefits that membership can offer to hotel marketers will be another objective.
What do you think the key marketing trends will be for 2018?
With a lot of uncertainty ahead around the UK economy and impact of Brexit, marketers need to prepare for volatility in the market and ensuring they are able to adapt quickly to changing market conditions whilst keeping long-term strategy in mind.This May will see the new GDPR 2018 law come in to play, so marketers will need to ensure guest communications and data usage are fully compliant. I will be focussing on keeping the customers at the heart of our marketing communications strategy and keeping an eye on emerging trends and potential disruption in the digital space. For example voice search is a growing trend which may impact how people research trip experiences.
Who has/does inspire you?
Not really related to marketing specifically, but as an amateur runner and occasional triathlete. I am inspired by athletes who push themselves and their bodies to the limit.
What area do you enjoy most about your role?
The hospitality industry is a wonderful industry to work in, and working in marketing specifically offers a varied challenge. The thing I love most about my role is the people who work at Rockliffe Hall, and being part of telling their stories to create unique experiences. The hospitality world is full of creative, from chefs to interior design and everything in-between, and there is so much going on in terms of our product offering, no day is ever the same.
Who would you say is your marketing guru?
I have always been a fan of Seth Godin and his ‘purple cow’ and storytelling marketing concepts. I recently completed my level 6 marketing diploma with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and found the work of Dave Chaffey particularly useful from a digital marketing perspective; the smart insights website is also a really useful resource.
What are your travel must haves?
A camera is my absolute travel must have. I am an avid fan of the Lonely Planet travel guides so will always carry one of those with me when visiting somewhere new.
What do you look for when booking a hotel?
As an independent hotel marketer, I do always try to book independent hotels where possible. I look for authenticity, something a little bit different and always consider location based on my needs.
What’s your favourite UK destination?
I know it’s a cliché but the North East has to be my favourite UK destination. There is just so much on offer here. Vibrant towns and cities, the stunning coast and the Yorkshire moors on our doorstep, what more could you want?
What is your favourite international destination?
I love travelling and experiencing new places and different cultures but my favourite place of all is southern Italy. I love settling into the laidback Italian lifestyle which, coupled with the almost continuous summer sunshine, amazing food and of course the wine, offers me the perfect escape. From the breath-taking Amalfi Coast dotted with stunning beaches and sun-drenched islands to the ancient sassi of Matera and Trulli of Alberobello, I just can’t get enough.