Editorial Board   

Mr. Hefler

Lawrence Hefler

Principal, Hefler International

Lawrence Hefler, principal of Hefler International and founder of BrandShares, is an accomplished marketer, whose vision and expertise in consumer marketing have driven results in the travel, leisure, and hospitality sectors. His depth of experience and understanding of shared and fractional ownership, residence clubs, and the evolving leisure real estate industry are the driving force behind BrandShares. The Hefler expertise in branding and marketing helps companies find, understand, keep, and grow customers - thereby building the value of their brand share. His mantra is that more than marketing, branding and sales training are critical in to compete in the marketplace. Mr. Hefler is the former Vice President, Brand Marketing at Hilton Grand Vacations Company. At Hilton, he led global advertising, branding, marketing, e Business and strategic alliances. Before his five years at Hilton, he was senior manager at Walt Disney where he led the transformation of Disney Vacation Development and other Parks and Resorts niche business units into e-business organizations. Prior to entering the hospitality industry, he held senior marketing management roles with Fortune 500 brands including American Express, BellSouth, and Boise Cascade.

Mr. Hefler can be contacted at 407-644-7840 or hefler@cfl.rr.com

Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.