CMO

APT Travel Group brings on first group product and marketing manager

Shoring up brand position and keeping the travel dream alive during the COVID-19 crisis is the top priority for the group's new marketing and product chief

Helping consumers dream about or celebrate past travel experiences at a time when they’re not permitted to travel is hot on the hit list for APT’s first general manager of both product and marketing, Justine Lally.

Lally took up the newly created senior marketing role in March, with responsibility for all aspects of brand strategy, campaign planning and communications delivery across APT’s marketing function. She’s also overseeing product strategy and business unit management of APT’s classic touring and cruising product lines, and reports directly to APT Travel Group managing director, Chris Hall.

It’s a return to the business for Lally, who spent 13 years with the travel management group in various marketing roles before becoming marketing and sales director at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival for 18 months. Prior to this, Lally spent several years with P&O Australian Resorts in sales, marketing and incentive management positions.

With accountability to deliver on customer acquisition and retention, brand health, sales and revenue generation, financial performance, guest satisfaction, product planning and management, team leadership and development, this role will work collaboratively with APT Travel Group’s executive and shared services teams on execution, Lally told CMO.

“Being the first time the company has combined both the product and brand strategy for APT means we’ll be truly developing travel products that our customers and the market needs,” she said. “As a business that has now been around for more than 90 years, ensuring we are continuing to pioneer cruising and touring styles that drive customer acquisition and retention through a customer first approach is super exciting.”  

Easier said than done, however, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated the travel category and in particular, the cruise industry, Lally agreed. 

“As a travel brand when people are not permitted to travel, we can look to ways to help our audience still dream about or celebrate reminiscing over past experiences,” she said in response.

“Travel is an enriching part of so many people’s lives, and through focusing on inspirational storytelling and our brand values at this time, while also leveraging our exciting APT history, our objective is to keep the brand consistently engaging with travellers, and nurturing to renormalise and move back up the confidence ladder to planning and booking a holiday.”

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