The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the world’s leading professional marketing body, with over 30,000 members worldwide, of which there are over 3,000 Chartered Marketers. CIM’s mission is to create marketing advantage for the benefit of professionals, business and society with a focus on export, data and skills. It believes marketing is the critical factor in driving long term organisational performance and growth. We know what great marketing looks like, and we recognise excellence, and tonight is one of those nights.

2019 is certainly set to bring about a year of change – with the Brexit deadline fast approaching, potentially having a long-term effect on how we travel – the only thing for certain is that nothing is certain. Illegal drone activity affecting thousands of customers at Gatwick and Heathrow, investigations over misleading hotel booking site sales, fake online reviews, GDPR, AI and changes to how consumers interact with brands has all thrust marketing into the limelight. This has shown us that the marketing profession is now more important than ever to maintain and restore trust and transparency amongst our consumers as they look to book a holiday or hotel.

With that in mind, it’s clear we live in a customer-centric world and, as such, there is an added impetus for marketers to be recognised as the people who really understand the customer and to navigate the business to success. This requirement puts marketing front and centre in the drive for customer engagement and growth. As a result, the role of the marketer in the travel sector is becoming more demanding, competitive and varied as it expands to encompass data analysis, commercial awareness, business development and customer experience.

Speaking to our judge at this year’s awards, James Delves, CIM’s Head of PR and External Affairs, suggested that one thing is for certain, and that is that marketing has stepped up to the challenge. The competition for this year’s awards was so strong that to be considered as a finalist for one of the 37 awards meant showcasing astonishing talent, innovation, bravery and an ability to make a genuine difference and achieve tangible results. It’s truly a unique opportunity to celebrate the finest that travel marketing has to offer.

Chris Daly | Chief Executive, CIM