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 February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.