Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Brown

Mark Brown

Sales & Digital Marketing Director, Great Hotels of the World

From seismologist to dotcom entrepreneur, Mark Brown has a wealth of experience in many diverse fields. His main skill, however, is in providing social media, e-commerce, online marketing and customer relation management expertise to businesses of all kinds from small start-ups to companies with multi-million pound turnovers. He has pioneered new recruitment models and methodologies and founded and launched a number of online businesses in different sectors. Mr. Brown is experienced in sales training, management, business analysis, project management, executive search and selection and digital marketing. He has also provided senior level global recruitment services to the telecoms, banking, finance and internet industries, primarily in the emerging markets, Middle East and UK. For the past two years, Mr. Brown has been Strategy Director and more recently Sales and Digital Marketing Director for Great Hotels of the World. He has developed strategic objectives for the different business strands, identified synergies across departments and made an effective change to the sales and business development culture. He has provided subject matter expertise on social media and e-commerce and has further implemented a digital marketing strategy across the organisation. Prior to this, Mr. Brown founded ezezpz llc, a suite of online child-friendly internet applications that enable parents to control and monitor their children online. He also worked as an associate for seven years at Applicado, where he had executive responsibility for the day-to-day running of the business. Mr. Brown worked on new business pitches, quality assurance programs and staff recruitment, mainly placing SAP consultants on contract in the Middle East. He also founded Alchemy Worx, an email marketing agency which targeted blue chip companies with a complete solution. This encompassed e-commerce strategy, implementation, segmentation, content, delivery and tracking.

Mr. Brown can be contacted at 44-0-20-7383-2335 or mbrown@ghotw.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.