Editorial Board   

Mr. Rush

Rob Rush

CEO, LRA Worldwide

Rob Rush is President & CEO of LRA Worldwide, Inc. a leading consulting and research company that specializes in Customer Experience Management (CEM). Rob co-founded the company two decades ago, and has helped grow it to its position as a leader in CEM consulting. Based outside of Philadelphia, LRA relies on an integrated suite of services designed to help organizations measure and improve service quality, employee performance, customer satisfaction, retention and profitability. LRA's service offerings include customer experience strategy and design, customer and employee research, the design and development of corporate standards and practices, customer service training, and quality assurance. LRA has deep sector expertise in the hospitality, leisure, sports, entertainment, and travel industries, and is exploring emerging sectors such as automotive, financial services, and healthcare. Clients include the PGA TOUR, Six Flags, Churchill Downs, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, MGM Mirage, Hyatt Hotels, the ARAMARK Corporation, NetJets and Quest Diagnostics. Rob is active in the American Hotel & Lodging Association and was recently interviewed by editors of The Wall Street Transcript for its CEO Spotlight Series. In addition to serving on the Hospitality Forum Editorial Board, Rob is a frequent contributor to leading marketing and industry trade publications such as Brandweek, Golf Magazine, CRM Magazine, US Banker, Resort & Recreation and Casino Journal. Recently, Rob was a featured speaker at the North American Conference on Customer Management, the National Institute of Golf Management and InfoShare 2005. Mr. Rush is a graduate of Cornell University. You can visit the LRA website at www.lraworldwide.com

Mr. Rush can be contacted at 215-449-0301 or rob.rush@lraworldwide.com

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.