by Peter J. Bates

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

'Five Key Principles' for ROI

While traveling in Asia this week, I visited the Hong Kong office of Zenith Optimedia ( and learned of the very effective way they are interpreting ‘return on investment’ for their clients. I believe that fellow luxury marketers will be as impressed as I was with Zenith’s clearly voiced ‘Five Key Principles’ to direct their communications activities for the success of their clients – Invest, Outcomes, Connect, Productivity and Evaluate.

1. Invest – We invest, not spend, clients’ budgets.
2. Outcomes – We are interested in outcomes, not simply outputs.
3. Connect – We believe in creating powerful connections with consumers to make investment work harder.
4. Productivity – We aim to increase the productivity of the marketing budget.
5. Evaluate – We strive to measure and improve returns on all activity.

Return on investment has always been important for luxury marketers regardless of their specific business segment (travel, retail, etc.), and it is probably even more paramount in the present climate. What Zenith Optimedia has done in articulating these principles is create something simple, understandable and focused that adds tremendous value to their relationship with their clients. We should never lose sight of the fact that, first and foremost, marketing agencies and clients must engage in constant dialogue to ensure an understanding of a client’s objectives with any communications plan that is executed. I encourage other companies to follow Zenith Optimedia’s example.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Top Two Hotels of 2009

Realistically, I probably spend half the year in hotel rooms around the world. Last year, I must’ve stayed in more than 60 different hotels – many of which were spectacular – but two in particular stood out for me. As my choice for the top hotels in 2009, I would select The Upper House in Hong Kong and the Crosby Street Hotel in New York City.

Both properties are owned by companies that have heavily invested in service. Yes, the hotels are contemporary, graciously appointed and uber-stylish but what impressed me most is the obvious investment in staff training to ensure that the customer comes first. If there aren’t satisfied customers, then a hotel doesn’t survive because empty beds don’t translate into profits. The importance of customer service – whether someone is traveling for business or pleasure – should never be underestimated, especially in today’s economy where travelers will scrutinize the value of their luxury travel experience like never before.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome to the LuxuryBeat Blog!

Welcome to the LuxuryBeat blog! I've spent my entire career in the luxury marketplace encompassing marketing, sales, strategic planning, public relations, event planning and consulting. It is what I know, and it is what inspires me.

Luxury marketers have faced unprecedented challenges in the past 18 months, and while the economy is slowly starting to recover, analysts suggest the luxury travel segment will have a harder time rebounding than other travel segments. Therefore, we must tap into our masterful marketing minds and create a road map to success that embraces where we want to be in the future. In 2010 and beyond, I suggest you keep the following in mind: