One of the insightful things that has been said to me recently came from an independent consultant working at a major FMCG client. He said: “The problem here is that we have some people who are world-class at marketing to the masses, but they haven’t got a clue about how to speak to a customer.”
ASX-listed Jetset Travelworld Group (ASX:JET) has recruited Kim Portrate as chief marketing officer (CMO) to help manage the group’s brand and customer transformation.
Portrate has spent the last five years with Tourism Australia leading the consumer marketing team in global strategy, program development and implementing activities across 17 countries. Prior to Tourism Australia, Portrate was director of insight and innovation at Carat Media Services Australia and has also worked for other agencies in Australia and the US including BBDO Worldwide and D’Arcy Worldwide.
Portrate will report directly to JTG’s CEO, Rob Gurney, and is tasked with building consumer insights to help drive transformation across the business.
“Kim comes to us with an extensive strategic planning background, stakeholder management and travel industry experience,” Gurney said in a statement. “This will be leveraged to direct and manage JTG’s marketing presence, which will make a real impact in the industry.
“A key component of our business transformation is to build consumer insights and add capabilities in terms of the development and execution of our marketing strategy. Kim has a wealth of experience in both these areas.”
JTG’s two-year business transformation commenced in September last year with a strategic review of the whole business, and is aimed at ensuring long-term success in the rapidly changing travel sector. According to the company’s half-yearly financial report, the need for transformation was prompted by the digital revolution, evolving consumer expectations across multiple communication channels, and the emergence of online travel agents.
Initiatives include benchmarking, trends assessment, consumer research and in-depth studies, along with input from franchises and suppliers. Another key focus is on better leveraging the group’s scale in both marketing and purchasing, along with building multi-channel and digital offerings to improve customer experiences.
JTG has also flagged a brand refresh supported by consolidated marketing spend, along with store renewals and developing new and exclusive products for select and niche destinations.
The group’s retail brand portfolio includes Jetset Travel, Harvey World Travel, Travelscene, BestFlights, United Travel and travelworld. It also manages a host of wholesale brands include Qantas Holidays, Travel Indochina, JTG Cruise Holidays, GO Holidays and ReadyRooms.