Culture, e-commerce and keeping students ahead of the curve: Interview with Tiziana Tini – MSc lecturer in Digital Marketing

Diversifying brands, shifting customer demographics, record growth and rapidly evolving technology – the luxury industry is expanding and changing like never before. But as fashion houses open hotels and Generation Z redefines what luxury looks like, one thing has remained a constant – the principles of hospitality excellence are shaping service – and success – across all luxury sectors.

Glion lecturer, Tiziana Tini, combines these principles of excellence with her expertise in Digital Marketing on the Glion MSc in Luxury Management and Guest Experience. She found time between teaching and working as a luxury industry consultant to share her career journey and insight.

Why did you decide to teach the new MSc in Luxury Management and Guest Experience?

I joined this program because of Nicoletta Giusti. I was one of her students in Bologna and, according to her I was “among her best students”, so she always invited me to take part in classes in Bologna, then in Paris, and now here in Glion.

I teach 60% of my time and 40% of my time I am a consultant. I came to teach the MSc in Luxury Management and Guest Experience at Glion because I appreciate the educational approach of teaching hospitality with luxury. Glion is focused on hospitality management, but hospitality management is what the luxury brands are also about.

Yes, there are some differences in specificities, but in the end when you look into the culture and mindset of hospitality, luxury fashion and other related fields, you can see that they naturally fit together.

It is also about customer success in the end. This is something that I tell my students: I do not want to talk about customer service anymore, I want to talk about customer success. Because it is not just a service that you are providing to your customer, but you are providing them with a way to join the success.

How do you teach digital marketing in luxury to students?

I prepare my classes with relevant topics and using examples. Right before this interview, I had a class where I showed my students what Hermes has been doing for the past few weeks on Facebook. The students were very surprised because they do not always think about this kind of opportunities that the digital marketing is providing them.

Before becoming a consultant and a teacher, where did you work?

I started in Paris working for Cacharel. After Cacharel, I jumped onto another opportunity at I started working for them as E-commerce Project Manager and I was in charge of sales there.

‘I was in love with these old ladies who were making the knitwear just one floor below my office. It was pure poetry!’

Then I went back to luxury and started working in MaxMara in 2008, where I was the first Web Brand Manager for the company. They gave me the brand Marina Rinaldi. They wanted me to take this brand, set everything up online, test the market and get the temperature, before following with the other brands.

From MaxMara, I joined Malo, which was a leading manufacturer of high-end cashmere knitwear at that time. I was in love with these old ladies who were making the knitwear with cashmere just one floor below my office. It was pure poetry!

Then I jumped to as Web Marketing & Digital Communication Coordinator for Greater China, Russian Federation, ASEAN, SK and CIS. I needed to breathe a bit, so I left the company and joined Salvatore Ferragamo. After this experience, I decided to become a consultant and a bit more independent.

‘One of the students gave me the most interesting compliment I ever got…’

How did you start teaching?

I always wanted to teach, but I never had the time because I was always working full-time. The opportunity to pass the information to the new generation always sounded fantastic. One of the students gave me the most interesting compliment I ever got: “You are better than a Netflix series!”, and when I asked what that means she explained that my classes are very interesting and engaging.

What is one thing you want your students to take to their professional lives after graduating?

The number one thing I want them to learn is how to treat and respect others. The fantastic thing about Glion is that you have students from everywhereI am used to teaching in schools that have international students, but here it is even more international!

For example, in digital marketing, what is normal for you might not be normal for somebody else. When you are delivering a worldwide campaign online, pay attention: it is better to geo-localize your campaign because the way you advertise a product in Switzerland, might not be the right way for Italy or China.

Dolce & Gabbana teaches us about this with last-year’s terribly failed campaign in China. They are now seeing the very bad consequences.

Any final insights to share?

We are living in this era of sharing, but it seems like sharing the knowledge is not something that happens often. People tend to keep their knowledge for themselves, but they should think bigger and realize that they are replaceable, and that the least they can do is equip the future generation with knowledge.

Thank you to Tiziana for taking the time to share her career journey, insight and approach to teaching Digital Marketing on the MSc in Luxury Management and Guest Experience.

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