Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Spurr

Jay Spurr

Market Director of Sales & Marketing, JW Marriott Austin

JW Marriott Austin welcomed Jay Spurr back to Austin as the Market Director of Sales and Marketing in spring 2017. Mr. Spurr has nearly 30 years of hospitality experience and is responsible for leading the JW Marriott Austin sales and marketing team with expanded responsibilities supporting the new Austin Marriott Downtown, set to begin construction later this year. The return to Austin is a homecoming for Mr. Spurr, who previously served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for JW Marriott Austin from 2011-2015. The very first associate hired at the JW Marriott Austin in 2011, Mr. Spurr quickly made an impact as he built and led his preopening sales team to secure over a half million group rooms prior to the hotel's opening in February of 2015. Under his leadership, the hotel was named one of the world's top 9 new business hotels by Forbes magazine and received the Marriott International Full Service Hotel Opening of the Year Award in 2015. Mr. Spurr previously held the position of Director of Sales and Marketing for the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. During his time in San Francisco, Mr. Spurr successfully led his team to achieve their targeted sales goals and two-year crossover goals for the first time in five years. A graduate of the University of South Caroline-Columbia's Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Management program, Mr. Spurr has also served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Area Director of Sales for Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor, and Senior Account Executive for JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.

Please visit http://www.jwmarriottaustin.com for more information.

Mr. Spurr can be contacted at 512-608-4460 or jay.spurr@jwmarriottaustin.com

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.