Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Thomas

Tara Thomas

Vice President of Global Marketing, Certain Software, Inc.

Tara Thomas is Vice President of Global Marketing for Certain Software, Inc., where she is responsible for all marketing activities, including branding, events, social media, public relations, communications, strategy, and operations across Certain’s worldwide offices. Ms. Thomas’ career as a marketing and communications professional is defined by her broad experience leading teams executing integrated marketing programs and strategies, channel development, branding, positioning and messaging, social media, collateral and website development, advertising and PR, and award-winning events and lead generation programs. Her past experiences as a hands-on event professional gives her valued insight into the day-to-day challenges of today’s event professionals. Her background in the marketing of technology applications and online services spans a broad set of technologies including software-as-a-service, B2B, enterprise, financial services, publishing, real estate, and automotive markets. She has over 15 years of expertise managing strategic event marketing programs for companies including The Television Bureau of Advertising, Visa, IPIX and The Cobalt Group, a leader in the automotive marketing space. Most recently at Cobalt, Thomas oversaw a myriad of trade, corporate meetings and incentive events that were essential to Cobalt’s growth. At Certain, Ms. Thomas continues to incorporate new technology into events. Under her direction, the Certain marketing team develops and executes marketing campaigns that integrate mobile technology, tradeshows and virtual technology to keep event industry professionals abreast of the solutions Certain has to offer. Ms. Thomas often speaks at industry events where attendees are seeking to increase the overall value of their meetings and events. Her sessions not only have thoughtful, focused content but also a high degree of interactivity, including her trademark “caring and sharing” sessions. Thomas holds a BA in English and Communications from Lebanon College, and is based in San Francisco, CA. She is a member of Meetings Professional International (MPI).

Ms. Thomas can be contacted at 415-353-5330 or tthomas@certain.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.