Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Varma

Gaurav Varma

Product Marketing Manager, Milestone Inc.

Gaurav Varma is a Product Marketing Manager at Milestone, Inc., a leading provider of digital marketing software and services for hospitality, retail, banking and finance with headquarters in Silicon Valley, CA. Over the years, Milestone has developed effective and successful digital marketing solutions that drive revenue and return on investment for its clients including; award winning products such as Content Management System (CMS 6.0), Local Listings Platform (Milestone Local), Online reviews management software (Milestone Reviews), Social Media Marketing Software (Milestone Social), Digital and Competitive Intelligence Software (Milestone Insights), and a Cloud based Integrated Digital Marketing Analytics Platform (Milestone Insights). Mr. Varma is responsible for driving product pricing, positioning and packaging with customers; helping build marketing materials to support all stages of a product sale; developing and improving Milestone's marketing collateral, presentations, materials, and tools used by Milestone's direct sales force; providing training and support for the Sales team and leading the annual sales training; developing leadership content; enhancing brand and increasing brand awareness; generating leads through marketing efforts; and supporting the Sales team and Client Services team. Mr. Varma serves in a leadership capacity to promote Milestone's products and services, including strategy development, technical implementation, optimization, reporting and analysis, and information technology management. Mr. Varma has extensive experience working in the luxury hospitality industry and specializes in Digital Marketing, CRM, Loyalty and Revenue Management with brands such as Oberoi Hotels & Resorts & Trident Hotels. Mr. Varma holds a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Information Technology. Please visit http://www.milestoneinternet.com for more information.

Mr. Varma can be contacted at 408-200-6949 or gaurav.v@milestoneinternet.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.