Editorial Board   

Mr. Hanks

Richard D. Hanks

Chairman and President, Mindshare Technologies

Richard D. Hanks is Chairman and President of Mindshare Technologies, the leading provider of real-time customer and employee feedback solutions. Mindshare's proprietary survey technology captures the voice of the customer in real-time and immediately transforms it into actionable intelligence through powerful and incisive enterprise reporting. Mr. Hanks has been a senior executive of several Fortune 500 companies as well as several start-up ventures. He was a corporate officer at Marriott, an executive with PepsiCo and Price Waterhouse, and CEO of Blue Step, a software start-up. Rich was named "The Leading Sales Innovator in the Lodging Industry," and Marriott's sales team was rated one of the top 25 among all companies in the U.S. for four years under his leadership. Rich also led Marriott onto the Internet, prompting Bill Gates to refer to him as an "Important Internet champion" in his book Business @ the Speed of Thought. Earlier in his career, Rich was called the "Leader of Hotel Revenue Management and Strategy" for his leadership in hotel pricing and yield management. He is also a CPA. Rich was nominated as Utah Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001, 2007, and 2008. Mr. Hanks is the author of "Delivering and Measuring Customer Service", is a frequent teacher/speaker at trade, academic and professional gatherings, and is widely quoted in top business journals and trade publications. An active participant on various boards of corporations, universities, and foundations. Mr. Hanks was a lecturer and adjunct professor at Cornell University for 10 years and on the Board of the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research. He obtained his bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and his MBA from Northwestern University.

Mr. Hanks can be contacted at 801-263-2333 or rhanks@mshare.net

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.