Name: Huibert Evekink
Company: Wyndham Hotel Group International
Job title: Director of marketing for EMEA
What made you want to get into brands/advertising/media/marketing?
I love combining business & creative skills to define and sell products. I am at heart a generalist with a keen interest in all business disciplines. Working for a small – but growing – part of a big international company exposes me to all the parts of the corporate machine, both internally and externally. My day may consist of anything from media buying in Italy, to the design of the new hotel door hangers.
How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?
I originally trained as a lawyer in Holland, but quickly moved into sales for a Dutch electronics multinational. From there I moved into marketing and have been lucky enough to work for some great global brands. I truly believe my sales background has been invaluable in helping me to understand the customer. I actively subscribe to the view that all marketers should spend some time actually selling the product. Too many times I have seen marketers push solutions that are not in touch with reality!
What was good and bad about your first job?
My first job was being a mystery traveller for Transavia Airlines, a KLM company. My job was flying with the competition and reporting on their product and the total experience. The travelling was great, but then all my plants died!
List your jobs to date: KLM Airlines, Market researcher.Philips Electronics, Account manager – Sales. Philips Electronics Marketing & sales manager. Amadeus Technology Group (travel), Head of global brand management.
Wyndham Hotel Group International, Director of marketing EMEA.
What were the best and worst, and why?
No best or worst…within any job you have both good days and bad, but fortunately I do not regret any career moves.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My first boss at Philips was a fantastic manager of people and I still try to follow his example.
Who in the industry do you most admire?
I admire companies, not so much individuals. Apple, Google and Virgin are high on my list.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
A one-year rebranding project with 12 “sub” projects ranging from changing the company name to new product names and architecture, all coordinated like a military operation.
On what do you base your success so far?
People, creativity and stamina.
What are your ambitions?
To encounter new challenges and experiences.
Change one thing about your job:
Too much travel makes it difficult to maintain a healthy family life.
Change one thing about your industry:
I feel the hospitality industry can be conservative, though this is changing. The airline industry serves as a good example for where we need to go in terms of loyalty and revenue maximisation.
Change one thing about the world:
I am extremely concerned about climate change. I have a website (www.travelclimate.com) where I gather information about environmental issues and how they relate to the travel industry.
What is the next big brand in your view?
I am fascinated by the internet and its possibilities so I pick Google for a brand which will grow even bigger than it is today – much bigger. Other brands to watch are in the fields of renewable/sustainable energy like G-Sky (vertical greenery market).
List your “media diet”:
Anything from typical hospitality titles (mainly online) to national and international newspapers and marketing weeklies. Some of my favourites include Harvard Business Review and Business 2.0. If my eyes still work after a heavy day I love reading and I am currently working my way through the essentials of Buddhism!