Mirah Marhaendra: Marketing is not just a profession

Ms. Mirah Marhaendra, Director of Marketing Communications at Raffles Jakarta Hotel, an art-filled oasis in the heart of the metropolis with exceptional facilities and classy services, is going to share a deep insight into specialized marketing for luxury hotels with readers of Wanderlust Tips USA. 

This is a great opportunity for those who are passionate about working in the marketing field in particular and the tourism industry as a whole to update useful knowledge from the wonderful career journey of Ms. Mirah Marhaendra and the luxury Raffles Jakarta Hotel.

Have a nice day, Ms. Mirah Marhaendra. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello everyone! My name is Mirah Marhaendra. I’m the Director of Marketing Communications at Raffles Jakarta Hotel.

Why do you pursue your career in the marketing field?

Marketing is a highly competitive and rewarding field. Businesses across every industry rely on marketing professionals to generate awareness of their brand and increase sales of their products and services. I am passionate about hotel marketing because marketing is dynamic; it allows me to communicate about different campaigns and services while also presenting new challenges and opportunities. This keeps my work exciting and prevents monotony.

Can you share the destiny that brought you to work at Raffles Jakarta Hotel as a Director of Marketing Communications?

Due to my recent move to Jakarta, I was thinking of taking some time off and wanted to pursue a career outside of the country.

Raffles Hotels & Resort is one of the most legendary luxury hotel brands in the world. Raffles can be found in key international locations, including Singapore, Paris, Istanbul, Dubai, Doha, the Maldives, Udaipur, Phnom Penh, and Bali, with flagship openings in London, Boston, Macau, and Bahrain in 2024. Raffles is part of Accor, a world-leading hospitality group counting over 5,500 properties throughout more than 110 countries and a participating brand in ALL—Accor Live Limitless—a lifestyle loyalty program providing access to a wide variety of rewards, services, and experiences. So when the opportunity arises, of course I have to seize the moment and pursue it.

With more than 10 years of experience, how do you promote your business’s brand in the market, especially in a luxury hotel like Raffles Jakarta?

Luxury hotel marketing strategies involve all channels, from website optimizations and reputable media partnerships to social media and digital presence, where we also establish relationships with industry influencers, curated email marketing, and video storytelling.

We must carefully choose our messaging and images to appeal to the luxury brand audience, showing them what makes the brand unique.

What is Raffles Jakarta’s target audience? How do you reach potential customers?

Raffles Jakarta is renowned for its magnificent ballroom, superb cuisine, a range of resplendent settings and the renowned Raffles hospitality. Our business demography is a mix of business and lifestyle with some portions residing in weddings. Raffles Jakarta is also making appearances at ILTM Cannes, Virtuoso, and key wedding showcases as part of our branding initiatives.

What are the outstanding points of Raffles Jakarta compared to other competitors in the market?

Authentic to its heritage and culture, each Raffles property is meticulously curated and timeless in essence, capturing the spirit of the present while honoring the past. Part of the social fabric of each community, Raffles fosters deep connections and enduring bonds that contribute to its lasting allure. Raffles has strong brand images and a global reputation in the industry.

Raffles Jakarta is a true celebration of artistry, a homage to the iconic Indonesian artist Hendra Gunawan. Combining the colorful spirit of beloved painter Hendra Gunawan with the richness and nostalgic elegance of classic design, Raffles Jakarta nestles within the vibrant business district of Kuningan in Jakarta’s golden triangle.

What is the working environment at Raffles Jakarta, and how do you retain talent?

We are individuals working together who collaborate on related tasks to achieve common goals. It is essential to create an environment where teamwork can thrive. We need to forge valuable relationships with our colleagues within the team to establish a harmonious workplace where we are helpful, motivating, and supportive of each other.

Establishing excellent relationships with colleagues can also transition the team from one that is transactional to one that is an outstanding, high-performing entity. When the team is invited to fully show up, use their strengths, and partner together in a collaborative manner, they develop loyalty to one another, their department, and the organization while achieving peak performance. I am grateful to be able to experience such teamwork with my colleague at Raffles Jakarta.

Which marketing campaign do you remember most during your journey to pursue your passion?

One of my most profound accomplishments is the opening and launch of The Dining Room (TDR), because we planned the venue opening within 3 months of my journey with Raffles Jakarta. It’s an entirely new concept and the first in the city. The versatile space is equipped with an intimate dining area, a state-of-the-art show kitchen, and an adjoining bar with views of Jakarta’s skyline. Home to the city’s most intriguing restaurant takeovers and star-studded culinary collaborations, expect memorable feasts at The Dining Room.

Until today, TDR has showcased 10 Michelin-starred chefs and 1 residency from a former Asia Best 50 restaurant during the pandemic.

My second campaign that I am also very proud of is “Upcycling Fashion ” in collaboration with JKTCreative and Veuve Clicquot in conjunction with International Women’s Day. We launched the pilot project, an upcycling fashion product made from the hotel’s linen. By collaborating with JKT Creative through the Sustainable Staycation program, Raffles Jakarta reinforces its commitments to involve our customers, innovate with our partners, and work with local communities. Together with JKT Creative, the current objective is to tackle Jakarta’s hotel textile waste problem while raising the public’s awareness and appreciation toward upcycling fashion through a collaboration project with Ibu Rusun. The initiative was submitted to Accor and won the Global Bernaches Awards 2022.

What factors will you use to evaluate the effectiveness of each business campaign?

The process of measuring marketing effectiveness needs to be evaluated in many different aspects, and it is necessary to collect data sets on the number of media using different methods.

Regarding branding reputation, we will rely on the interest of audiences by highlighting brand values and products (Unique Selling Points). 

Regarding media channels, we will use a number of statistics, such as traffic and ROI, that have been specifically identified to reach online communication campaigns to target customers by choosing appropriate communication channels.

What projects does Raffles Jakarta hope to implement in the future?

Raffles Jakarta will enter its 9th year in the industry; hence, we want to actively continue our sustainability projects and initiatives. Raffles Jakarta is deeply committed to sustainable value creation and actively gives back to the planet and the community. In line with our sustainability program, Raffles Jakarta aims to provide “positive hospitality” that creates links and positive outcomes for all our guests while striving relentlessly to reduce the impacts associated with our operations.

What is the message you want to convey to young people who are passionate about marketing?

When you have the passion, you need to embrace the ever-evolving nature of marketing with open arms and an open mind. Marketing is not just a profession; it is an art and a practice that constantly challenges your creativity and strategic thinking. Especially in today’s digital age, data-driven insights are invaluable, but keep in mind that the power of storytelling and human connection is equally important. You are bound to build relationships, seek mentors, and, most importantly, stay true to your brand’s authenticity. Marketing is all about making a genuine impact, despite the ups and downs that you will encounter throughout your work. Thus, market with heart and inspire positive change because your passion can truly make a difference.

Keep a watch out for the upcoming editions of our interview series, which will inform you of a variety of informative news.

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