Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. MacDonald

Marina MacDonald

Chief Marketing Officer, Red Roof

Chief Marketing Officer of Red Roof, Marina MacDonald began as an assistant to the general manager at the Franklin Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia and is now CMO of a national brand with 600+ hotels across the country. It's a role that didn't previously exist and was created specifically for her.

As CMO, Ms. MacDonald is forging a path - and acting as a role model - for women who aspire to leadership positions in the hospitality industry. As a leader at Red Roof, she proposed that the company create and launch the Red Roof Forum on Leadership for Women Entrepreneurs showcasing women in the male-dominated hospitality industry: their accomplishments, achievements, and insights. The Forum recognizes the growing influence of women owners, general managers and executives who are vital to any brand's success and to the overall growth of the hospitality industry with panels, talks, and awards and has resonated with female hospitality executives internally at Red Roof and across the industry.

Some of Ms. MacDonald's additional accomplishments include:

· In 2018, she oversaw the launch of two major Red Roof sub-brands, The Red Collection and HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof in multiple cities.

· In 2018, the American Hotel & Lodging Association awarded her the industry's Paving the Way award for her efforts to encourage women to grow their careers and pursue leadership roles.

· She was named one of the Top 30 Most Influential Women in Hospitality by Hotel Management and featured on the cover of Lodging magazine.

· Ms. MacDonald is the Vice Chair of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).

· Under her watch, Red Roof was recognized and awarded the 2018 Best Budget Hotel Brand by USA Today Reader's Choice.

· As Chief Marketing Officer, she's overseen radical innovations that have contributed to huge growth for Red Roof. Most recently, Red Roof® became the first hotel chain to connect directly with consumers - beyond their hotel room - through Amazon's Alexa Skills platform.

· Ms. MacDonald also greenlit the Along the Route platform, a tech innovation which allows travelers to pinpoint Red Roofs wherever they are geographically in the country and be able to book a stay.

Cycling is Ms. MacDonald's passion. After investing many hours, she is a trained performance cyclist and feels a strong pull to help others enjoy the sport. She enjoys coaching other women to cycle like pros.

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

Ms. MacDonald can be contacted at +1 614-744-2617 or mmacdonald@redroof.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.