[pullquote]Content marketing is a marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. (www.contentmarketinginstitute.com).[/pullquote] Recently, there have been drastic changes in the marketing approach, boosting social media and online content as new channels on which to advertise. Moreover, smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less effective, and that there has to be a better way – the content marketing way.
Storytelling is an example of content marketing. It is the most efficient communication mechanism for establishing long term relationships with clients and the best way to attract and connect with them. According to Slovenian specialists in B2B content marketing in the field of meetings industry – Kongres Magazine – real and credible stories are the pillar for the sale. “They trigger a positive reaction, which in the end turns into an active base of buyers. The starting point for direct marketing and sales is the conversion of content into a database of potential buyers. Therefore, the golden rule of sales states that building a strong buyers’ following is key,” as Gorazd Cad, the chief editor, constantly emphasises.
And to put the theory into practice within Sava Hotels Bled, we launched the story of the new Guinness World record set by Slovenian Olympic athletes, who joined hand-in-hand with over 5000 people and formed a Circle of Friendship around Lake Bled on the 30th of December 2015.
The messages to be conveyed are clear: first, every single Slovenian can be an ambassador and promoter of our country to make it more appealing, if only by taking part in the circle- building action. Second, positivism connects people, and working in synergy always leads to the greatest outcome. Third, Bled as a destination is small and compact, with tight cooperation within the local community boasting all the necessities to host various events. Due to the timing of the action at the end of last year, with a symbolic welcoming of the new one, the news spread with tremendous speed. Posts on social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn got shared, liked and commented on, reaching a large number of new potential visitors, buyers and friends of Bled.
Every time we engage in an activity, we can create a buzz for our destination and act responsibly towards placing it on the world MICE map. #SavaMeetings #SloMeetings #BledSlovenia
One-on-One with Saša Zor
Q: What time do you like to be at your desk?
I am quite an extravert who enjoys socializing, networking, meeting new people, exploring the market… so my favourite time is definitely away from my office J. But despite being so passionate about what is going on in the outside world, I find productive time at the desk crucial in order to meet with my colleagues, sharpen the saws, plan more strategic moves and to do the needed paperwork. I can also call myself very privileged working within a group of 14 hotels, so my office can be in the alpine gem of Bled one day, ancient Ptuj another or the charming Prekmurje on a third.
Q: What’s your management style?
The basic principle I follow is that we are all firstly human beings and secondly employees struggling for the same company goal. That leads to believing and treating my team as professionals, delegating the responsibility and giving them the chance to stand out. When anybody makes a mistake, own up, learn something from it and move on. Real-time feedback seems crucial to me as it leads to continuous improvement. I am very results driven but they are only achievable when working together as a team so adopting a management style that suits the needs and characteristics of employees is the only way to do it in my opinion
Q: What would your key management advice be?
Beside the generally known management practices, especially delegating wisely to develop the employees’ confidence, encouraging fluid two-way communication and recognizing the team’s achievements, my advice would be not to forget to play. We are working in such an amazing industry with numerous possibilities to grow personally and professionally, so sometimes encouraging a team to reflect that feeling, smile and have fun is the best tactic.
Q: What’s on your reading list?
Depending on how I feel at the particular moment, I like to have several different books on my night shelf ready to read – from relaxed romance boosting the imagination to more educational books about personal or professional development.
Recently I just finished a very powerful book entitled “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek, exploring what separates great companies and great leaders from the rest. The author suggests using a “Why” concept to be more innovative, successful, influential and profitable. “Why Slovenia and why Bled” are also the top priority issues to focus on when we are confronting potential clients. The book “Start with why” is actually very applicable to the hospitality industry itself, pointing out that only seeing what most others can’t see and providing things clients would never think of asking for makes the difference between the best and the average.