Thursday, October 18, 2012

AirAsia’s Group Head of Commercial, Kathleen Tan,Web in Travel’s (WIT) ‘Marketer of the Year’

Siva Ganeshanandan, APAC Director, Online Marketing Suite, Adobe presenting the ‘Marketer of the Year’ award to Kathleen Tan, AirAsia Group Head of Commercial.

Source : Air Asia Communications

SINGAPORE, 17 October 2012 – AirAsia’s Group Head of Commercial, Kathleen Tan, was named as Web in Travel’s (WIT) ‘Marketer of the Year’ award winner at the annual WITovation awards ceremony today, held in conjunction with the WIT 'Unplugged' Conference 2012 at the Sands Expo and Exhibition Centre in Singapore.

The ‘Marketer of the Year’ award--an editorial choice prize--was presented to Kathleen in recognition for her remarkable achievements in building the AirAsia brand and for possessing great vision and leadership.

WIT, a renowned Singapore-based content and community platform for the travel distribution, marketing and technology space, also acknowledged Kathleen for being innovative and courageous in marketing strategies. She is also regarded for her passion and commitment and in particular, her breakthrough in cutting through the social media clutter of China with Sina Weibo.

AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes said, “I am very proud to know that an AirAsia Allstar has been recognized for her great work in driving marketing and innovation. It is an ideal recognition, as Kathleen is undeniably an excellent marketer. When she first came to AirAsia, I immediately put her on a plane and sent her to China to generate a market there. It was the best decision I have made, as she pulled it off outstandingly and we are now one of the biggest players in the Chinese market.

“She has her own style, doing things with panache. She took risks to expand our business but I trust her instinct and judgement definitely. Our rapid expansion is largely due to her marketing prowess and immaculate leadership, and we are very proud of her. Congratulations Kathleen.”

Founder and Editor of Web In Travel, Yeoh Siew Hoon said “While other airlines were wondering what to do with social media, Kathleen blazed the trail. With 1.6 million Facebook fans and close to 500,000 million followers on Twitter, as well as presence on Instagram and the AirAsia blog, the brand has created its own media assets which it uses to communicate and engage with customers. She maintains an active personal presence herself, engaging with fans, sharing her own travel stories and experiences.

“But it is in China where she’s been a standout. In a market that’s different and complex, she’s become one of the most followed travel personalities on Weibo under the name of Chen Kai Ling. She personally posts and replies to messages, holds fan events in cities in China and has built up a fan base of 149,000. She uses the channel to advertise seat sales with high conversions. She was also one of the first to stick her neck out on mobile, believing this is the channel of the future.”

Kathleen said, “It such a pleasant surprise for me to win the ‘Marketer of the Year’ award from WIT. I would like to thank them for the kind recognition and I will continue to do my best to position AirAsia as the leader in the digital travel space. We are an innovative airline, and one of our ground-breaking approaches is adopting the use of social networking platforms in our business.

“For us, a conventional method like direct push marketing, which utilizes one way communication, presents many limitations. By using social networking platforms, we are able to reach out to millions of people and acquire their feedback, which is essential to improve our services and products, plus establishing our brand further.”

AirAsia is always on the move in adopting innovative methods to boost its marketing capabilities via social media and enhance guests’ experience by presenting smart solutions platform. The airline is always ready to invest more in technology in order to adapt to the needs of their guests and for the benefit of efficient cost management.

Described as one of Asia’s top 10 most influential women leaders and brand advocate in travel industry, Kathleen started her illustrious career with AirAsia as Senior Vice President for Greater China. Barely a year, Kathleen was roped in to assume position as Regional Head of Commercial for AirAsia Group.

Under her dynamic and creative leadership, Kathleen has been pivotal in building AirAsia, an Asian brand to one that has become a global and powerful brand in the aviation industry, winning many global brand and digital marketing accolades.

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