Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Pohl

Ron Pohl

Vice President Brand Management, Best Western Hotels and Resorts

Ron Pohl is senior vice president of brand management for Best Western® Hotels and Resorts and serves on the company's executive committee. Mr. Pohl oversees North American and Asia Operations and Development. In addition, he directs other key departments, including: Customer Care, Owner Relations, Revenue Management, Education and Training, Design and Supply, Member Services, and International Quality Assurance. Mr. Pohl joined Best Western in 2007 as vice president of operations. In that role, the 30-year hospitality industry veteran significantly improved revenue management systems, implemented new and innovative education and training resources, restructured departments to improve efficiency and enhance hotel support, and launched the industry-leading Best Western I Care® program. These positive changes have significantly contributed to record-high brand performance in the areas of RevPAR index and customer and owner satisfaction. Prior to joining Best Western, Mr. Pohl spent more than 20 years with Boykin Management Company, a respected hotel management firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. During his tenure with Boykin, Mr. Pohl spent 10 years as a full-service hotel general manager and earned awards for sales leadership, website development and outstanding customer service. He served in a number of senior-level positions in the areas of marketing, sales and revenue management, working his way up to regional vice president, and ultimately senior vice president of operations. Mr. Pohl's diverse hotel background comes from working with an array of hotel brands, including Choice, Hilton, Marriott and Radisson, and independent resorts and condo hotels. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and previously served on the board of directors for the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, as well as advisory committees for Marriott and Doubletree hotels. Please visit http://www.bestwestern.com for more information.

Mr. Pohl can be contacted at 602-957-4200 or ron.pohl@bestwestern.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.