Nadja Dahlmann

Director of Marketing & PR || AMANO Group

“Hi, my name is Nadja Dahlmann and I’m currently the Director of Marketing & PR at the AMANO Group and this is my SMACK story.

I’m originally from Hamburg, where I have lived since I was six months old. Previously I was leading the marketing management of two hotels, the Empire Riverside Hamburg and the Hotel Hafen Hamburg. I`ve now moved to Berlin for a new challenge and a new concept. I really enjoyed my previous job, I was there for a total of 12 years, with 7 of them in marketing.  I was fortunate to be given a lot of responsibility in my previous role, but I was super interested in this new opportunity and challenge. I’ve always said to myself that I’ll only change if I see a vision in a new employer and the potential to grow with the brand. I’d change if it brings me joy and if I can take on at least as much responsibility as before. With AMANO I can definitely do that! Lots of people with passion, who have lots of ideas, a desire for change, and who are always on fire!

The AMANO Group is a Berlin hotel group with 11 hotels, 10 of which are in Germany, in Berlin, Munich and Düsseldorf. One has just opened in London and more are being built in e.g. Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich. AMANO’s concept is particularly focused on gastronomy, which means that these hotels have a lot of bars and restaurants. The hotels, bars and restaurants differ from each other to remain multifaceted.  You can clearly recognize an AMANO property, but all of their houses have their very own charm and recognition value. So from a marketing focus point of view, it’s also a very different world for me than my previous houses. The hotel group has a strong Israeli influence stylistically, which is also reflected in the gastronomy concepts and that makes it super interesting and unique!

I started my hospitality career doing the breakfast service at the Empire Riverside Hotel Hamburg. After that, I wanted to study molecular biology, but then changed to a bachelor degree in business management with a focus on tourism, hotel and event management, as I liked the contact with people too much. (Nevertheless, I am still very interested in molecular biology!) My mother later assisted me in getting a position in reservations at the Empire Riverside Hotel, as she also worked and still works there.  Soon after I switched to marketing and was fortunate to be allowed to grow and learn. Up to the stage to finally be able to build and develop my own teams. Currently, I’m in the final stage of pursuing a Master’s degree in marketing & communications alongside my current job. Joining this degree program was really educational and has broadened my horizon!

Based on my personal marketing experience, I believe it is particularly important for the hospitality industry to have a holistic view as other sectors are far ahead of the hotel industry in terms of marketing techniques. Brands such as Coca Cola, Apple, Amazon or Tesla but also smaller national ones have a strong focus on marketing and are therefore extraordinarily successful. To observe these companies inspires and allows  you to adopt it in your own industry and to imagine how it could benefit your product in particular. Additionally, I realized how important it is to clearly distinguish between marketing, sales and e-commerce in a job description for my field. Job advertisements for marketing managers are usually looking for a jack of all trades, so to speak, which means that someone is expected to be incredibly creative, but then also fantastically well-versed in numbers and statistics. Of course there are such people, but it makes much more sense to diversify the individual areas of responsibility, because a sales manager does completely different things nowadays than a marketing or an e-commerce manager and must also focus on completely different areas.

If you consider that you want to create jobs where people feel comfortable, where they can have fun and use their talents in the best possible way, you may want to think about diversification. After all, maintaining customer relationships is also a big part of marketing now, which has to be staffed accordingly.

Another important point in marketing, from my experience, is the exchange of knowledge with other colleagues from other houses. I find it incredibly helpful to give and receive input, especially when it comes to changes or challenging times that affect the entire industry. We had a strong exchange with the Hamburg houses and I would like to keep it that way moving forward.

I recently have been elected as the HSMA EXPERT Chairwoman and would like to use this position to exchange ideas with colleagues about current challenges, opportunities and developments in the industry further. I’ve been a member of the HSMA for quite some time now, and it’s a fantastic meeting place to collaborate!

In Corona times, I started participating in the  so-called “remote barcamps”, back when everyone was still completely in lockdown. It was a fantastic way to share information on all acute and new topics, which was incredibly helpful in these uncertain times! At some point, the HSMA then asked me, whether I would like to give a talk at the HSMA e-day and to become a member of the marketing, ecommerce and customer relationship expert circle, and I was super thrilled. HSMA has become like a little family to me and to have so many people from so many different brands all in a discussion together, is really super helpful! Currently, for example, the topic of shortage of skilled workers is a pressing issue and it’s therefore all the better to be able to gather various impulses for change.

To sum it up, I believe for every person who works in the marketing sector, it’s incredibly important to constantly keep up to date and get different opinions and views on the industry and marketing in particular. Whether it’s through studies, expert groups or other media formats such as videos, papers or podcasts. The market is changing rapidly and drastically at the moment that it is essential to constantly think out of the box.”