Fergal Taquin is a B2B Marketing & Communications Executive for Belmond, a leader in luxury travel. He and his colleagues support the sales teams globally and cater for travel professionals (travel agents, event planners, etc). He has a good understanding of the luxury hospitality industry after working in various hotels in Europe and Canada. He is now working for Belmond at their headquarters in London.
Why did you choose a career in marketing, how did you start?
It was a bit of a hit and miss for myself before I started in marketing. Having done studies in hospitality, I knew I wanted to work in the industry but didn’t know in what domain. Thanks to internships I was able to try out being a waiter, coordinating events, being in human resources and sales before trying out marketing. My last internship lasted one year at Belmond (the company in which I am working for currently). I enjoyed my work, the company, my colleagues and got lucky enough to be offered a full time position after it.
Now I’ve been in my role in B2B Marketing & Communications for over two years.
Tell us a bit about your professional path until now.
I did hotel management studies in Glion, Switzerland, where I was lucky to have amazing internship opportunities. My first internship was at Il Pelicano, a luxury hotel in Tuscany, Italy. It was a beautiful experience where I experienced luxury first-hand, working in the restaurant, the bar and coordinating events at the sister property La Posta Vecchia. My second internship a year later was in human resources at the Intercontinental Montreal. Then I accepted an internship at Belmond’s headquarters and the rest is history!
What advice do you wish you got when you started your career in marketing?
Invest in yourself. I believe that to be a good well-rounded marketer, it starts with yourself first. Take good care of yourself, be curious, work hard and meet people, success in marketing will follow.
Top 3 learnings in your marketing career that brought the most value?
- Keep a positive attitude. Being positive does so much difference and fair enough it’s not easy every day but this has a huge effect on your colleagues, on your work, and on your mental health. I find it also to be a trait of professionalism, even when things go bad, you are nice and kind to others.
- Be curious about everything. Not only about marketing or technology but also about world politics, sustainability, culture, and so on. I think as a marketer it’s important to keep an eye on everything as you could get ideas from anywhere! The essence of marketing is present in every aspect of our life.
- Less is more. Always try and communicate (especially internally) as concisely as possible. I generally always start writing my emails with bullet points before expanding on them. It helps me keep focus on the bigger picture and organize my ideas clearly, especially in my head!
One result you are really proud of as a marketeer
I can’t really pinpoint a particular event, especially since my career is still young, but I can say there have been a few moments that have made me feel very proud. Myself working mainly on website content and email creation and distribution, I’ve had a few instances where I was extremely happy with the work I did and the feeling is incomparable!
There are bigger projects in the works for this year for which I’m very excited about, and if they all go according to plan, this year will be the best one so far. Who knows, I might be able to share more about it in our next interview.
What’s one important B2B marketing trend that will gain popularity in 2021, in your opinion?
Automation. Especially in times where we want to do more with less time, there is so much a human can do. Automation increases efficiency but also, very importantly, it reduces human error. And it can be used in nearly every marketing process.
Which is the strongest social media channel in 2021, and why?
In the B2B world we generally only have eyes for LinkedIn but I will argue the case of Instagram. Instagram has impressed me on how much it’s changed in recent years. The new features of the reels, the marketplace and the Instagram Guides are proof of this change.
And I see this continues, with people using more and more the platform as a one-stop-shop. You can go on it and check out news, talk to friends, post pictures, and buy items. A bit like Facebook you’ll say, but Instagram has got that little something extra.
What would you recommend to businesses that want to grow in 2021? What about the tactics they should avoid?
If you are going to use systems and platforms for your marketing, I would recommend choosing the ones that have already many integrations (communication bridges between systems) or that can integrate easily thanks to how they are built. When you grow, you really don’t want technology to stop you in your tracks, but more to be an enabler to your growth.
Can you name one digital marketing tactic that you find overrated?
Traditional paid advertising. This includes full-page ads in magazines, outdoor, tv and radio. It is still very expensive and the return on investment is mediocre. There are exceptions of course, like having an add during the SuperBowl, that’s just so cool! But yes I believe that targeted selling like online advertising is a much more cost-effective alternative.