Say hello to the people of the industry who’ve chosen to work in ‘travel for life’. These are the ultra passionate, much-loved folk that continue to inspire others by going above and beyond in their everyday roles.
For this week’s travel for life, we caught up with the Head of Advertising & Promotions at Helloworld Travel, Dominique Dalton, who shared with us how she climbed her way up the ladder, the importance of ongoing study and why she’s excited for her next trip to Japan.
Read on for our chat:
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED IN TRAVEL?
I’ve worked in the industry for 20+ years. I started at AOT doing FIT reservations then I moved into Group Reservations, from there I became involved in the Incentives Division before moving across into Contracting. I eventually moved into Media Buying and looking at more B-to-C marketing, which is what I did for a few years until I moved across to Wholesale, Wholesale Marketing and eventually Retail Marketing.
YOU MOVED AROUND A BIT, WAS MUCH OF WHAT YOU LEARNED ON THE JOB OR DID IT REQUIRE STUDYING?
I always think it’s important to be going out there, learning and picking up new skills. Even last year, I was at Melbourne Business School doing a Brand Strategy course.
I also think that the marketing world moves so quickly that if you’re not keeping on top of external trends, then you can fall behind.
There have been some big changes with the way we do marketing at Helloworld Travel, as well as changes with the brand and business. I love all that because things are moving and changing, and I love going off, studying and sharing that knowledge with my team.
Learning doesn’t always require taking courses, I’ve learned a lot about other divisions from colleagues within the business. I spend a lot of time talking about what’s going on in marketing and trying to make sure we’re all on the same page and everyone is engaged in the momentum moving forward.
HOW MUCH HAS MARKETING CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?
Targeting has drastically changed. Certain tools allow us to make targeting much more succinct than in the past when you’d fire a campaign and hope you hit the right audience.
We now have the tools and knowledge to work with a variety of destination partners as well as supplier partners. We can work collaboratively on the messaging, locate customers by their location, and engage them so that they’re encouraged to book with us.
WHICH MARKETING CAMPAIGN ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
That’s a hard question because in the last financial year we ran over 250 individual campaigns, that’s in addition to brand work. Not to mention, every campaign is completely different as what we do with an air partner differs from one done with a destination partner.
I think I’m most proud of my team, especially how nimble and positive they are, as well as the momentum that we’re managed to garner together and the way the team has grown and how much more engaged they are with the team.
WHAT CAN AGENTS DO TO SUPPORT THE WORK YOUR TEAM DOES?
Our Agents are already really great at working with us. They are engaged with Head Office, they get behind our campaigns and they work well with our partners to support any activity.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WANTING TO MOVE INTO MARKETING?
It’s important that within any travel marketing team there are people with strong marketing backgrounds but also strong product and distribution backgrounds.
Which is why I’d say that if you have travel experience but not so much the marketing experience, don’t let that hold you back from engaging and looking at marketing opportunities because it’s really important to have a mix of skills within any team.
DO YOU TRAVEL MUCH FOR WORK?
All the time. I last went to Vietnam for OMC, which was amazing. I hadn’t been to Vietnam before, I thought the food was amazing, the rooftop bars were fantastic, the functions were incredible, the conference centre was amazing, and the hotels were beautiful.
It really exceeded my expectations.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR LAST PERSONAL TRIP?
I just returned from a holiday to Port Douglas with the kids. We went out there to escape the Melbourne winter for a bit. My youngest hadn’t been there before so it was nice to show off the reef.
The kids swam with turtles in the Great Barrier Reef, and on the way back we saw whales breaching. It was one of those days that you think ‘we’ll always remember this day’.
WHERE TO NEXT?
I’m going to Japan. I’m really looking forward it because it’ll be my first time and Japanese food is my favourite so I can’t wait.
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