Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Spurr

Jay Spurr

Market Director of Sales & Marketing, JW Marriott Austin

JW Marriott Austin welcomed Jay Spurr back to Austin as the Market Director of Sales and Marketing in spring 2017. Mr. Spurr has nearly 30 years of hospitality experience and is responsible for leading the JW Marriott Austin sales and marketing team with expanded responsibilities supporting the new Austin Marriott Downtown, set to begin construction later this year. The return to Austin is a homecoming for Mr. Spurr, who previously served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for JW Marriott Austin from 2011-2015. The very first associate hired at the JW Marriott Austin in 2011, Mr. Spurr quickly made an impact as he built and led his preopening sales team to secure over a half million group rooms prior to the hotel’s opening in February of 2015. Under his leadership, the hotel was named one of the world’s top 9 new business hotels by Forbes magazine and received the Marriott International Full Service Hotel Opening of the Year Award in 2015. Mr. Spurr previously held the position of Director of Sales and Marketing for the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. During his time in San Francisco, Mr. Spurr successfully led his team to achieve their targeted sales goals and two-year crossover goals for the first time in five years. A graduate of the University of South Caroline-Columbia’s Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Management program, Mr. Spurr has also served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Area Director of Sales for Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor, and Senior Account Executive for JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. Please visit http://www.jwmarriottaustin.com for more information.

Mr. Spurr can be contacted at 512-608-4460 or jay.spurr@jwmarriottaustin.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.