Walpole International Marketing Seminar with Premier Tax Free

Walpole’s International Marketing Seminar with Premier Tax Free was held on Tuesday 1st May at The Financial Times and featured expert speakers from the worlds of luxury and business, including Harrods, American Express, the BBC, Rosewood London, Bicester Village, The Future Laboratory, CBRE, Roja Parfums, Dorchester Collection and Notable London.

The Seminar explored the latest developments, consumer trends and best practice in international marketing, providing insightful data and actionable insights for marketing and communications directors to take back to their businesses.

Introduction and key themes

It is estimated that just under half of the luxury purchases globally are made by consumers who are traveling – either in overseas markets (31%) or while in transit at the airport (16%). The World Trade Organisation even coined the term “shopping tourism” recognising the economic significance of this trend and the role that the shopping experience plays as a motivator in travel planning.

On average, Walpole members say that £1 in every £4 is attributable to tourists, but for some this is as much as 80% of their revenues; therefore international marketing and ensuring we are attracting international visitors to the UK is critical for business success. Premier Tax Free’s most recent data shows positive growth in international visitors to the UK in 2017, but forecasts less positive figures for 2018, with the exception of a rise in visitors to the UK from Brazil, India and Australia.

With this in mind, and with our partner Premier Tax Free, Walpole set out to create a morning seminar that would provide a thorough view on international marketing and how to attract international customers, with a particular focus on the key data and trends around international visitors – particularly from Asia – and the shifting patterns of behaviour around the millennial customers.

Millennial travellers are expected to be the largest demographic by 2028 with an estimated spending power of hundreds of billions and a desire for travel and experiences; for today’s customers, the mobile phone is the hub for inspiration, planning, experiencing and sharing every trip, and it is therefore key to build a digital and mobile strategy for attracting international visitors. There is also a shift from ‘marketing to mattering’, with brands needing to instill greater awareness and trust in younger consumers around sustainability.

The Chinese customer continues to be of huge importance; Chinese customers already make up 32% of the global luxury market, and that number is predicted to rise to 44% by 2025. However, the market is evolving and isn’t as certain as it once was. But to quote from Bloomberg and Bain data: as China’s travel market takes off, all eyes should be on the country’s roughly 400 million millennials (aged between 20 and 34) – who will take 70% more trips overseas by 2020 (compared to 2015) and account for over half of the outbound travellers.

High-res images from the event can be downloaded by clicking here. Images courtesy of Adam Duke.

More information and slides from the speakers can be found in the below agenda:

Keynote Presentation with Rory O’Neill, Chief Marketing Officer, Premier Tax Free
The Changing Landscape of the International Shopper and How To React
Click to read: Premier Tax Free key note presentation

Presentation with Ruth Marshall-Johnson, Client Director, The Future Laboratory
Future Luxury Mindsets 

Panel 1: Trends, Customer and Cultural Insights – The Traveling Millennials
Rory O’Neill, Chief Marketing Officer, Premier Tax Free
Ruth Marshall-Johnson, Client Director, The Future Laboratory
Martin Summerscales, Head of Research, CBRE
Dr Hamish McPharlin, Head of Insight, BBC Global News
Moderator: Trevor Hardy, Outgoing CEO, The Future Laboratory

Panel 2: Strategy, Objectives, Tactics – Creating Effective International Marketing Campaigns
Anne-Marie Verdin, Digital Marketing and Communications Director, Bicester Village
Michael Bonsor, Managing Director, Rosewood London
Tammy Smudlers, President, Fashion & Luxury Group, Vice Media
Daniel Edelman, Vice President, Global Merchant Services Marketing Europe, American Express
Moderator: Charlotte Keesing, Director of International and Public Affairs, Walpole

Panel 2: Asia Insight and the Travelling Chinese Consumer
Chloé Reuter, Founder and CEO, Reuter Communications & The Luxury Conversation
Aline Moulin-Conus, Founder, E-notam
Michael Ward, Managing Director, Harrods and Chairman, Walpole
Rory O’Neill, Chief Marketing Officer, Premier Tax Free
Katie Thomas, Associate Director, Bond Street & Mayfair Group
Moderator: Charlotte Keesing, Director of International and Public Affairs, Walpole
Click to read: The Walpole International Marketing Seminar, London: Affluent Chinese Consumers & Millennial Mindsets, as published by The Luxury Conversation.

Keynote Presentation with Laura Tan, Founding Partners, Notable
Felt not Spoken: Identifying the Unique Qualities of British Luxury
Click to download: Notable keynote presentation

Panel 3: Soft Power and Communicating Britishness Effectively
Laura Tan, Founding Partner, Notable
Roja Dove, Perfumer, Roja Parfums
Julia Record, Global Director of Communications, Dorchester Collection
Moderator: Allyson Stewart Allen, Founder and CEO – International Marketing Partners

If ever there is a time for British luxury, it is now. The appeal of our brands chime with so many of the customer attitudes and behaviours – this desire for niche to be discovered brands, those that are authentic and grounded both in value and in values, those able to share their stories and create memory making experiences and all it takes is imagination. We hope attendees to the seminar gained some useful tools, solid data on which to base your decisions, insights based on experience and an inspiration. For more information, please contact charlotte.keesing@thewalpole.co.uk.

A huge thank you to Charlotte Keesing, Director of Public Affairs and International at Walpole, our sponsor Premier Tax Free, our speakers and panellists, the Financial Times and Chapel Down.