Campaign’s Faces to Watch, Brand Edition 2021 – Ahmad Kheir, Director of Digital & E-Commerce, FIVE Hotels and Resorts (FIVE Palm Jumeirah and FIVE Jumeirah Village)
Nominated by Aloki Batra, CEO Five Hospitality
Ahmed is a dynamic leader in a Marketing Team of over 20 in-house marketeers at FIVE.
He has built a digital marketing ecosystem that is agile, distributed, and scalable with automated functionality that allows FIVE to concentrate on and boost its best-performing channels, campaigns, ads, and source markets.
Under his headship, direct from brand bookings grew from AED 29 million in 2018 to AED 101 million in 2020, while total revenue grew from AED 150 million to AED 204 million in the same time period; and our burgeoning highly engaged Social Media community stands at a staggering half a million followers – and growing by the minute!
He is an energetic, forward-thinking individual with a keen sense of imminent digital trends; and his data-driven strategies have enabled FIVE to effectively gain maximum digital impact with a reasonably low-cost investment.
He is at least ten steps ahead of our competition at all times and continues to lead by example.
Ahmed’s digital footprint can also clearly be seen with the launch of LUVYA, a ground-breaking and pioneering Music Festival at FIVE Palm Jumeirah for which he built an eponymous platform to attract worldwide visitors with the purpose of creating impactful responsiveness for ticket and room bookings for this first-of-its-kind event in Dubai.
I can unequivocally say that he is a shining example for any young digital marketer looking to duplicate his run-away success.
I look forward to him creating a new digital legacy in Switzerland with the launch of FIVE Zurich in Q1 of 2022.
Kheir has been active since 2012. His roles include E-commerce and Digital Marketing.
Ahmad joined the Tribe at FIVE in 2017 as an E-commerce Manager, he was promoted to Assistant Director of Ecommerce in 2018 and to his current role as Director of Digital Marketing and E-commerce in 2019.
Ahmad is the head of the Digital Marketing and E-commerce portfolio at FIVE Hotels and Resorts. His role encompasses digital transformation in guest experiences i.e., moving offline guest activity online such as implementing the FIVE What’s App butler and digital strategy i.e., translating an agile long-term tactile vision for online marketing into a comprehensive multi-pronged digital marketing strategy.
With the different and active digital channels (Google Trends, Facebook ads, Google ads, Social Media ads, Yandex ads and Programmatic media buying platforms) his goal is to build brand awareness, attract quality traffic and convert visitors to guests through these digital touchpoints on a global scale.
These targets are achieved by cloud-based platforms that he uses to analyze website data and user behaviours help him to re-capture the user even after departing the website by having his re-marketing campaigns triggered when a user leaves without completing the booking.
Furthermore, he deeply scrutinizes online audiences and assembles look-a-like audiences who share the same patterns and behaviours of clients who have booked rooms, tables, experiences or offers at any of FIVE venues, which helps to decrease the cost-per-acquisition and accomplish higher Return Over Ad Spend (ROAS).
How has Covid-19 changed your job?
FIVE’s brand website traffic has sky-rocketed in the last 18 months, during Covid. This put the FIVE brand channels (Website + Social Media) as the No. 1 Booking Channel, thus leading tour operators and all other Online Travel Agents (Booking.Com and Expedia) – and is now the highest revenue stream for FIVE!
Ahmad goes with the idea of creating out-of-the-box strategies such as ‘Phygital’ – which fuses the digital and offline worlds with the intention to disrupt marketing norms. This rapidly resulted in an increase from a 4-figure monthly revenue on FIVE’s website to 7-figures and still growing.
Direct bookings have grown to over 60% and FIVE’s brand revenue has increased by an impressive 142 per cent year on year, compared to December 2020’s percentage growth.
Significantly, FIVE Hotels and Resorts scored 3.7/4 in 2020 of Google’s Digital Maturity Score, which measures Multi-Moment Digital Maturity that drives superior financial performance while the Industry average remained at just 1.7 – indicating that FIVE has achieved dynamic execution across multiple channels, optimised toward individual customer business outcomes and transactions.
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