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 June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.