You can't score points by staying on defense

by os_admin

With so many stories about cutting back, laying off, hunkering down, riding out the storm and in general working to defend and preserve what they have vs. taking new ground, it was great to read an article about going on offense for a change.

The article was a Q&A session with John Wallis, Global Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy at Hyatt, who has refused to cut marketing spending in the face of the current challenging times. He is instead (according to the article) launching one of the biggest marketing efforts in company history. Going on offense! I love it! You can read the full article here.

The thing I really love is that they are not just wading into the market with guns blazing to make a statement. They are moving aggressively, but they are also taking the time to make sure they are investing in marketing that is backed up by a better understanding of their customer. They know their customer’s world has changed dramatically since September 16 - the day Lehman went under and the day they feel was the break point in the mind of their customer.

Mr. Wallis states... "The company that better understands its analytics can gain market share. We are spending a lot of time really focusing on what our customers are telling us both by stay pattern and by stay behavior. From Sept. 16 onward, you could throw away all of your old travel databases and algorithms because so many people who used to travel lost their jobs."

He goes on to say that “...our goal is to become a database driven company that's in the hotel business.”


This is a company that understands a few things:

  • Effective marketing starts with Customer Insights
  • The customer has changed, in many cases dramatically, over the last six months and you need to understand how == be ready to throw out your old models if they don’t work anymore
  • You can't score points by staying on defense - you have to get out there and play aggressively if you want to win; you have to go on offense

It was good to see this, and I look forward to hearing many stories like it as other marketers follow Hyatt’s lead and get back on offense.