Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ratner

Dave Ratner

Motivational Speaker/CEO, Dave's Soda & Pet City

Dave Ratner has represented the voice of small business owners before both houses of Congress and continues to work to elevate the retail industry. Despite a myriad of top competitors, Mr. Ratner built a business with fanatical customer loyalty and employees who have been with him forever. He is known for creative and cost-effective marketing strategies that have allowed him to compete with large national chain stores and win. Mr. Ratner is also the author of Creating Customer Love: Make Your Customers Love You So Much Theyll Never Go Anyplace Else! The book is a primer for entrepreneurs and executives, as well as hoteliers and other business leaders, with an interest in the positive emotional connection people have with certain brands. That relationship is at the center of the loyalty consumers have for select companies, and the gratitude those businesses have for these men and women. A frequent speaker before a variety of groups, and an active business traveler throughout the United States, Mr. Ratner addresses issues involving leadership, marketing and branding, innovation, as well as exceptional service and respect for consumers of diverse interests and backgrounds. For more than four decades, Mr. Ratner has been building an independent, critically and commercially acclaimed pet supply business. With seven Daves Soda and Pet City stores, and a nationally marketed line of high-quality pet food for dogs and cats, Dave has earned a seat at the table on the National Retail Federation Board of Directors. A writer, speaker, entrepreneur and storyteller, Mr. Ratner resides with his family in Western Massachusetts. Please visit www.daveratner.com/retail-marketing-speaker/ for more information.

Mr. Ratner can be contacted at 1-888-763-2738 or dave@davespetcity.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.