Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Seddon

Tom Seddon

Chief Marketing Officer, Extended Stay America

Tom Seddon currently serves as the chief marketing officer for Extended Stay America - a category leader with the largest distribution of owned and operated extended-stay hotels in the country. Appointed in April 2012, Seddon's responsibilities include sales, marketing, E-commerce and revenue management for the 629-property portfolio. Prior to joining Extended Stay America, Mr. Seddon spent nearly 15 years with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), whose $19 billion global portfolio includes the Intercontinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® and Hotel Indigo® brands. Quickly rising in the company, he served most recently as chief marketing officer from 2007-11, managing a $1 billion expense budget. During his tenure, Mr. Seddon had a track record of improving operational efficiency and effectiveness, including leading part of IHG's restructuring in 2003, reducing operating costs 30 percent as well as many other initiatives such as cutting call center operating costs in half. He has a consistent record of driving outperformance versus the competitor set for brands he's managed. He is recognized throughout the lodging industry for successfully re-launching the Holiday Inn® brand globally with improved facilities and service levels, developing the Holiday Inn Express® “Stay Smart” campaign and doubling the size of the company's loyalty program. From 2004-2007 Mr. Seddon was chief executive officer of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, an autonomous organization created to provide marketing and advertising globally for the $8 billion business. Reporting directly to a 14-member board of elected franchisees, he oversaw all worldwide marketing activity designed to build sales and revenue, and sustain performance. In this role, he developed “Fresh Fit,” the first ever AHA-endorsed QSR meal. In addition to Mr. Seddon's hospitality marketing and general management experience, he has also participated extensively in government affairs activity such as the AHLA Legislative Action Summit, White House Obesity Summit, and serving as a panelist on the FTC Panel on Best Practices in Data Privacy. Mr. Seddon received his Bachelor's Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with honors, and a Masters of Engineering from the University of Bath, UK. He currently lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife and two children.

Mr. Seddon can be contacted at 980-345-1621 or tseddon@extendedstay.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.