Editorial Board   

Mr. Portugal

Marc Portugal

Director of Marketing, Bortz Group of Companies

Marc Portugal is an experiential marketing professional with twelve years of accomplishments in launching brands and associated experiential marketing programs - including events, sponsorships, partnerships, and more - with a keen focus on the mindspace, feelings and rituals of consumers. Whether it's an e-mail campaign or a fashion show; a guerilla campaign or a fundraiser - Marc firmly believes in the "4th" dimension of experiential marketing. He addresses mind, body, spirit AND community when implementing marketing programs. Marc practices "experiential empathy" every step of the way - deeply focused on and concerned about the genuineness and consistency of audience feelings and relationships - not merely demographics, statistics, or out-dated traditions. In 1998, after several internships and completion of undergraduate studies, Marc began at KBA Marketing where he activated brand sponsorships and events across the country for various clients. Turning both conventional and unorthodox venue spaces into lifestyle lounges, sampling stations, fashion shows and concerts, Marc delivered the promise of the clients' brands and aided in renewed AOR status. Marc's most notable achievement includes the brand launch of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and the N9NE Group venues it houses. As founding Marketing Director, Marc first brought the Palms and N9NE Group to life in the backyard of the famed Playboy Mansion - giving key influencers a sneak peak of what was to come. Upon opening, Marc founded ground-breaking marketing partnerships with Playboy, MTV, Red Bull, and other brands that helped elevate the Palms to the status of Boutique Casino Resort, and arguably reinvented standards for lifestyle branding and nightlife-driven entertainment nationwide. Currently, Marc resides in Chicago and consults for the Bortz Group of Companies - a lifestyle and entertainment development firm specializing in the branding, marketing, and operation of salon/spas, nightclubs, sports leagues, and associated experiential integrations of sponsor and partner brands including but not limited to AVEDA, Belvedere Moet-Hennessy, Miller-Coors Brewing, Opt-It, and others. Marc specifically applies experiential strategies to the electronic and online spaces to effectively and affordably retain consumers across multiple profiles and brands. In his spare time, Marc volunteers for PAWS: Chicago-'s largest no-kill animal shelter, and turns to his favorite Martin guitar - aspiring to move beyond a self-described "novice grunge" level. He focuses overwhelming attention and emotion on the love of his life - an 80-lb Rottweiler named Princess Leia.

Mr. Portugal can be contacted at 312-850-8186 or marcportugal@yahoo.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.