Perspectives is a series uncovering routines, inspiration, and insights by marketing leaders shaping the future of marketing around the globe.

Simon Kopec directs social media and content strategy within the hospitality industry. He has worked with global brands, including Loews Hotels, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and W Hotels. In his own words – Simon shares his perspective on the following:

  • Current struggles and opportunities marketers face
  • Listening to the “client” and delivering your message
  • The Gig Economy and the new agency model

And more…

Describe your routine. What do you do for a living? What does your typical day look like?

I start most days with NPR and BBC news podcasts, a yogurt, and an iced latte. As I get ready, I’ll play another podcast or two with a “Storytelling” like approach (99% Invisible, My Favorite Murder, etc.)…

Then, I’m off to the office in my electric scooter – I live a couple of avenues away. This is great since I will take any extra minute of sleep I can get.

My typical day as a hotel marketing executive involves a handful of creative meetings, brainstorms, and strategy sessions. I then have a call with my team and get to some emails.

When I get home, I hang out with my Maltese dog, take him for a walk, and cook dinner.

Who or what do you look to for inspiration?

Around me. Inspiration is everywhere, either another human or nature already figured out a solution to whatever you are pondering, you just need to borrow and adapt it to your specific use case.

What do you feel most marketers struggle with?

Feeding the content needs of ever-evolving and emerging channels.

This is especially true for more established organizations that struggle to adapt in a meaningful and speedy way.

What does the future of marketing look like to you?

Bright but uncertain.

In a way, we’re moving away from the current notion of a global marketplace to one that focuses more on national manufacturing. This is driven by politics, perceptions of quality, patriotism, environmental consciousness, and socioeconomic solidarity. 

This will create a new opportunity on how marketers will attract and retain customers – especially in the luxury sector. 

A weak economic outlook for the U.S. also means less marketing budgets and spend; this will, in turn, create new creative platforms, channels, and media types for markets.

What is a book, podcast, person, or event that helped shape your career – and why?

George Fleck (VP, Marriott Int.). 

He has been a mentor and friend since the first day of my career and has continued to be a key person in my professional life. He is one of the most creative and passionate hoteliers and brand marketers in the world.

What is something interesting or surprising you learned in the last few months?

How amazing human ingenuity is in the face of adversity. Seeing how my industry and the restaurant industry is getting creative and crafty during the pandemic has been uplifting and interesting.

What advice do you have for marketers and creatives who look up to you?

Listen to “the client.” 

As marketing leaders, even if from inside the organization, we need to view other stakeholders as “the client.” They need to be persuaded, managed, and included.

If the organization does not believe the marketing message wholeheartedly, the delivery will only disappoint the customer/guest. This is not good for repeat business.

What are you excited about or looking forward to?

The gig economy has upended the agency model. It is becoming a lot easier for marketing leaders to cherry-pick creatives from vast pools of talent to work on specific projects vs. bringing on a large and oftentimes more expensive agency with tons of overhead and added fees.