We created the Faces of Kigo series to showcase our talented employees, tell their stories, and share why they love being a part of the Kigo team.
Meet Sonia Chennoufi, Kigo Product Marketing Manager based in Barcelona, Spain. A globetrotter who has lived and worked in several countries, Sonia's love for travel makes her a natural fit for Kigo. Sonia is a true visionary: part creative genius and part strategy driver, she leads marketing initiatives from start to finish and brings ideas to life. Sonia loves people and inspires those around her to be their best.
Learn more about Sonia:
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Sonia, I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Paris, France. I moved to Barcelona six years ago and before that I also lived in San Francisco, Buenos Aires and my beloved city, Paris. Somehow I think that I chose Barcelona because it is a good mix of these three cities, and living an hour and a half away from my family makes it the perfect place to be — except for missing the French “pain au chocolat". I love to travel and discover new cultures, and I spent my twenties travelling in Latin America and Asia. I’m passionate about food. I love good food especially good pastries (you might have noticed)…but I don’t like to cook!
What is your role? What’s your duties and responsibilities at Kigo?
I’m Kigo’s Product Marketing Manager. What does this mean concretely? When you hear a brand’s name, what thoughts come to mind? If they are positive, inspiring and make you want to run out to try the product, then a Product Marketing Manager somewhere is doing his or her job.
Basically, I’m responsible for ensuring that the products and services that fall under Kigo’s name resonate with our current and potential customers. To do so, I set the direction of the marketing strategy and I work closely with the other teams, including Product, Sales, Support and Client Success, to better understand our customer personas and keep a close eye on competitive products in the U.S. and European marketplace.
Why do you do your job? What do you love about it?
There are three main things that I love about my job.
First, I love Kigo software, the problems that it solves, and the path of opportunities it opens for property managers. When I started working for Kigo, the company was a start-up and I held the position of Sales Consultant for the French Market. It was amazing to help people who invested all of their savings in their small-medium business become successful vacation rental companies. I remember my first client, four years ago, who was the owner of three properties in the region of Avignon in the South of France. He didn’t know much about how to run a vacation rental business at that time. Now, his agency counts around one hundred properties and he is an expert at delivering outstanding guest experiences.
Second, I love that no two days ever feel the same, and during the course of those days I'm able to exercise every muscle I have. Marketing awakens my creativity, but I also have a direct line to see the big picture through real-time analytics.
Last but not least, I love the collaborative environment at Kigo. I really enjoy working with my coworkers and the other teams toward our common mission: providing our customers with a great experience and the strongest product suite to help them run their businesses.
What makes Kigo stand out from the competition?
In my mind, there are two things that make Kigo stand out from the competition. First, the constant innovation. Kigo is always one step ahead of the competition and that’s because of the second thing: the great minds behind Kigo. The Kigo team is made up of dedicated and talented individuals who love their jobs and love helping our customers be successful.
What is your favorite feature of Kigo? How is Kigo changing the vacation rental industry?
Kigo Operations Manager is my favorite feature so far. In the vacation rental industry, the customer experience is key and the way you take care of your customers is what makes the difference between a best-in-class property management company and an average company. Maya Angelou’s motto applies very well to the guest experience — 'At the end of the day, people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel’, and that’s all that matters when it comes to the guest experience.
How does your hobby/passion translate into your role at Kigo, or how does it help you understand our Kigo customers?
Well, I am passionate about travel and I love being on vacations (who doesn’t?) so I guess it’s pretty easy to find the direct correlation to Kigo and the vacation rental industry.
How do you approach finding places to stay when you travel?
I like when property managers go the extra mile and make you feel that they sincerely care about providing you the best experience possible. I appreciate when they provide extra information about the local area, like activities, historical sites, local restaurants, and fun things to do. I also like to feel like a local, so anything that makes me feel like I belong for a few days is a big win for me.
Apart from this, I’d say the standard things: a clean place, good bedding, a central location, and all basic amenities. This may seem obvious, but if you don’t supply the basic amenities, then even if your rental is a nice place to stay, the guests will always remember how they felt when they realized that they had to go out to buy a bar of soap.
How can property owners make their vacation rentals more appealing to travelers like yourself?
Nice pictures of the place are very important. Information and reviews are also very important when securing a place. But the most important thing is to remain realistic, as setting the wrong expectations is the best way to receive bad reviews. I also highly recommend that they make the whole booking process as seamless as possible for the guest. As for me, if it is not, I would just leave the property page and keep looking for something else.
As we continue to explore the Faces of Kigo, you will meet more members of our global team working every day to create the best products in travel. Stay tuned!