AMY MARTIN ZIEGENFUSS
Chief Marketing Officer
Carnival Cruise Line
Amy Martin Ziegenfuss is Carnival Cruise Line's Chief Marketing Officer. She joined the Carnival team in May 2023. Prior to joining Carnival, Martin Ziegenfuss was most recently Senior Vice President, Global Enterprise & Brand Marketing for Hilton Hotels & Resorts. During her seven years there, Martin Ziegenfuss and her team were focused on launching several new hotel brands, as well as repositioning powerful legacy brands like Hampton; introducing modern marketing tools; and developing Hilton's first-ever umbrella brand platform: "Hilton. For the Stay." Amy also spent 11 years at Choice Hotels in a variety of marketing roles both in the U. and in the UK, after holding roles at several organizations in the financial, healthcare and non-profit sectors.
CMO COUNCIL: How do you describe your leadership style?
MARTIN ZIEGENFUSS: Collaborative and very open to diversity of thought. I try to lead in the areas where I can bring value, and where I know I have something to add. I prefer to coach and guide by being a thought partner, versus being directive or too specific as everyone brings a valuable perspective and set of experiences to the table: How can I enable their critical thinking? How can I potentially help them to see all the possibilities and the considerations they should take into account when they’re solving a problem or looking at an opportunity? I try to bring the right people into the conversation and the right expertise to the table and then leverage those voices to make sure we’re getting a diversity of perspective. I want people on my team to bring their thinking and expertise to the fore – expertise that maybe I don’t have – to round the team out and make us stronger. I plan to continue searching for and uplifting diverse voices and will continue to mentor and coach.
CMO COUNCIL: What marketing skills will be most needed by your organization in the future and why?
MARTIN ZIEGENFUSS: At the end of the day, emotional resonance and connection are at the foundation of any strong relationship. If you can connect authentically with your customers as a brand, that suddenly takes your relationship with them even deeper. When you tell them stories that connect with them emotionally, especially if it’s something that brings them joy, then that’s going to be much more relevant to them and will leave a long-lasting impression. To do this effectively, marketers need to leverage modern marketing tools in order to access the customer data and insights that will fuel this approach.
CMO COUNCIL: How much is customer experience, brand protection, purpose and corporate social responsibility part of your remit?
MARTIN ZIEGENFUSS: Customer experience, brand growth and protection, purpose and corporate social responsibility are all among my top priorities. Connecting with our guests wherever they are, whether that’s on social or through other channels, is important to us. We want to keep the fun going for our valued guests even between their cruises with us. For brand, it’s important that we protect the amazing brand equity that’s been built, but it’s also about growth. With an extremely well-known brand like Carnival, how do we showcase choosing fun in new ways that meet our customers’ needs? How do we tell new stories and build on the familiarity of our brand promise? We’re a global brand with employees representing over 120 different nationalities which sails millions of guests across a fleet of 25 ships worldwide, so corporate and social responsibility are critical to us. We were recently named to the inaugural list of America’s Best Brands for Social Impact by Forbes and recognized for our overall trustworthiness and values, social stances, sustainability and community support – all of which underscores our commitment to our mission of providing safe, fun and memorable vacations at a great value while showing trust, care and respect for each other, our ships and the environment.
CMO COUNCIL: What has been your biggest accomplishment in the last 12 months?
MARTIN ZIEGENFUSS: During my time at Hilton, we introduced the first-ever global brand platform that showcases what’s been missing from hotel marketing – and that’s the hotel stay. Our goal was to differentiate Hilton by highlighting both what the brand stands for and what customers care about, and we realized that to do that, we needed to change our approach. I’m proud to say that Hilton’s brand platform and marketing campaign are resonating extremely well with customers, and are making a big splash in the market. Now, I’m looking forward to bringing more fresh thinking to the way we tell the story of Carnival Cruise Line going forward. Guests have a very special connection to the cruise experience, and that’s especially true at Carnival, where guests have a strong connection with the special and friendly crew they sail with across our fleet of ‘fun ships’ they know and love. This brand has incredible DNA and a very loyal fan base, and I look forward to working with the entire Carnival team to unlock new ways to continue to build on those strengths.
CMO COUNCIL: What career advice would you give to emerging marketing leaders?
MARTIN ZIEGENFUSS: Be intellectually curious. Learn from everyone and everything: your team, those who are ahead of you, and those who are coming up behind you. I used to think leaders had to know everything, and that not knowing something was a weakness. I now know that it’s a strength to ask questions, to interrogate assumptions and to surround yourself with people who are experts in things you are not. Life is a two-way street, and I sometimes think we focus myopically on those ahead of us, and I think you can miss a lot of good learning opportunities that way. I’d encourage everyone to be open-minded, self-aware and continue to grow by being open to different voices and by supporting others. The more people who rise, the better … because we all rise together. Supporting my peers and my team makes me stronger. It’s not a competition – when one of us wins, we all win.