Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. McKay

Marigrace McKay

OpEx Professional, Self

Marigrace McKay is an experienced Strategic Management and Operations Excellence (OpEx), professional - and she loves her job! She has worked across many industries including but not limited to: hospitality, energy, telecommunications, DOD/engineering, consumer and durable goods. Her first post-college job was with Canadian Pacific Hotels in Washington, DC group sales in the association and diplomatic markets. She also sold for Holiday Inns International Canada (CHIC) - so she truly understands the inside workings of getting and growing satisfied hotel clientele and the hospitality industry in general. Ms. McKay is a F500 Project Manager of Change Management and Performance Improvement (PI). She has served key executive partner roles in accelerating business growth and strategic goal achievement. She is a certified Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt, and holds several professional HR Management certifications (SHRM-SCP, SPHR) including Change Management and as a Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). Ms. McKay earned a Master of Science, Management degree from The Johns Hopkins University. A 10-year career with leading consultancies formed her systems thinking. Recently with Mondelez International (formerly Kraft Foods) she led the leadership development program for 400 managers in the largest North America business unit. In that role Ms. McKay and her team designed and implemented an e-learning academy. This later proved to deliver a calculated 3-sigma learner effectiveness. For classroom learning, she managed 23,000 hours. She has managed HR Departments in union and non-union environments, 2,200 employees. Her favorite city is Barcelona - pinchos and tapas on the Med! 2nd fav? US State Parks.

Ms. McKay can be contacted at 423-653-7696 or mg62529@att.net

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.