NAME: Eva Maria Schmack
GRADUATION YEAR: 2013
PROGRAM: BBA in Hospitality Management
CURRENT POSITION: Brand Marketing Executive, Chalhoub Group Fashion Ventures
With a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management alongside a Master’s in Luxury Retail, Eva Schmack has a unique perspective on the symbiotic relationship between the two fields.
“The luxury retail business is very similar to the hospitality industry,” she explains. “We are constantly delivering customer service; therefore we have to work on continuous improvements, so consumers stay loyal to our brands.”
Today, Eva is Brand Marketing Executive for Chalhoub Group, the biggest luxury retailer in the Middle East with around 240 luxury brands located in 14 countries. She had already tasted the Middle East’s burgeoning luxury sector through a six-month internship in Dubai, which formed part of her Master’s program. Between this and taking her role at Chalhoub, Eva also spent a year as fashion editor for an online magazine.
“Working in the marketing department, my task is to attract consumers and make them live the dream of luxury through our products and experiences. Last year the group developed a CRM loyalty program that was improved through ideas taught in Glion during my time there,” she adds.
As a marketer in a highly competitive segment, Eva must stay ahead of industry trends. Chief among these is the increasing digitization of retail. “Consumers get influenced, inform themselves and do their shopping online,” she adds. “This completely changes the marketing approach: just five years ago a typical media budget was 70% print and 30% online; now this has shifted to 20% print and 80% online investments.
“Depending on each brand’s strategy, this can even go up to 95% online investments, which are mostly focused on influencer endorsements and sponsored posts/campaigns.”
For those looking to get into the world of luxury, Eva has this advice. “You have to understand that the meaning of luxury is purely emotional and is not linked to any rational decision making. It also means that working in this industry is a passion and you are relying on selling dreams that you yourself have to believe in.
“My most important tip is to keep yourself informed about the different roles within the industry. There are many to choose from, including: design, commercial, finance, marketing, customer service, distribution, PR, media, and so on. It is important that you familiarize yourself with what each role does, so you can make the right decision for your career path. There are many industry websites you can follow to keep yourself up to date, but I would personally recommend The Business of Fashion as one of my favorites.”
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