Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Naeger

Matt Naeger

Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, Merkle

Matt Naeger is the Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy at Merkle. Merkle, a global data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency, is the largest independent agency in the US for CRM, digital, and search. Mr. Naeger joined the Merkle team nearly four years ago through the acquisition of IMPAQT, a leading online marketing agency that he helped found and build. He brings nearly 20 years of experience in direct marketing and advertising industries, both online and offline, to his role at Merkle. As Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, Mr. Naeger is responsible for developing a team of digital experts that help clients identify new ways to utilize data to drive the decision making processes behind their online marketing programs and build better user experiences on the web. Merkle’s digital strategists are visionaries. They look down the road to an integrated program that pushes personalized, addressable media to your customers on a massive scale, then determine what media, creative, and CRM initiatives will get you there. Mr. Naeger has been instrumental in establishing Merkle as a recognized leader in the digital space by industry analysts such as Forrester research as well as the largest ad platforms on the internet. Having spoken on panels at virtually every major industry tradeshow, Matt is seen amongst his peers as a thought leader in Digital Strategy and a go-to resource. Prior to joining Merkle, Mr. Naeger was a founding member of the management team for IMPAQT where he held several roles including: Executive VP of Strategy, VP of Operations, and General Counsel. He has a BS in Business and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a JD from Duquesne University School of Law. Please visit http://www.merkleinc.com/ for more information.

Mr. Naeger can be contacted at 443-542-4000 or mnaeger@merkleinc.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.