"In Gran Canaria it is very easy to feel at ease and extremely welcome.", Tanja Brandt.
Tanja Brandt was born in Berlin (Germany), but has been living in Gran Canaria for 17 years. She is the Marketing Manager of Dunas Hotels & Resorts and we were looking forward to having a chat with her and find out more about hotel marketing and what are her feelings about our island.
How long have you been living in Spain?
I arrived in Spain in 1996 after graduating in North American Studies, Spanish Philology and Business Administration (Marketing) from the Freie Universität of Berlin. I then came to the Canary Islands to work as a Tourist Guide in Fuerteventura for half a year before going back to my studies in the University of Bournemouth, Great Britain, where I obtained a Master of European Tourism Management. I came back to Spain to write the final thesis of the Master, and ever since, I have been working in Spain. I have been living and working in Gran Canaria since 2000.
What do you like most about the island of Gran Canaria?
I like the diversity of the island in terms of landscapes and climatology. It is a place where you can almost practice any outdoor sports. I love the sea as well as windsurfing. Gran Canaria is among the best spots in the world for practicing this sport. It is a multicultural and cosmopolitan place and the Canaries are friendly and open people. It is very easy to feel at ease and extremely welcome.
What are the places you would recommend visiting around Gran Canaria?
One of my favourite places is Pozo Izquierdo; it is lovely to take a walk along the coast to the salt flats. Having a nice cold beverage right on the beach in El Viento restaurant while watching windsurfers jumping in the sea. The inland part of the Island is another wonderful place to go to. From the town of San Mateo there are many trails. One of my favourite places close by is the ravine of the Mine -El Barranco de la Mina- where water runs through all winter.
How long have you been working in the tourism industry and in Dunas Hotels & Resorts particularly?
I have been working in the tourism industry for more than 18 years, my appointments have always been in the marketing area and mainly working for hotel chains. I have been part of the Dunas Hotels & Resorts team since 2008.
What do you like most about your position as Marketing Manager?
Marketing has changed a lot in recent years. Since 2006 my activity is mostly focused on digital marketing and boosting direct sales through the website. Nowadays, we are experiencing many changes in the business-client relationship, trying new ways and obviously new challenges arise when handling the enormous amount of information that is generated around every guest, in order to be able to provide more and more personalized experiences.
What I most enjoy about my job is the great innovation opportunities, creativity, design and managing teams and projects. Dealing with the Company’s innovation and digital transformation, I very much enjoy contributing with my expertise in quality management and customer satisfaction in order to build up enthusiasm and loyalty among our guests.
What are the most complicated challenges in your position?
Marketing starts from the strategic vision of a company, it’s transversal and requires a professional profile with technical knowledge in the areas of Marketing and Operations, as well as leadership skills that foster the focus of the organization towards project’ innovation and good coordination between departments.
A tricky part is the strategic marketing management since it must sustain the corporate mission and reputation. Ongoing updating is a must, and being totally aware of market and habits of consumption changes and the threats of the sector.
We can’t forget that marketing strategy affects the entire buying cycle: from the moment a person feels a need to be covered (spend holidays with us) until that need is met (the holidays thereof). Due to the multiple communication channels there are these days, things become more complex because every single interaction through any one of the channels is a customer experience which must go from satisfaction to loyalty, from the website to the hotel experience.
My professional challenge is to help Dunas Hotels & Resorts align their purpose, strategy and culture in order to ensure that company members’ well-being bounces positively in better care of our guests by offering them memorable experiences and therefore reach an even greater loyalty with the brand.