Editorial Board   

Ms. Knutson

Bonnie Knutson

Professor, The School of Hospitality Business/MSU

Bonnie J. Knutson is a professor in The School of Hospitality Business in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Widely known as an authority on emerging lifestyle trends and innovative marketing strategies, she often consults with business leaders who want to understand and take advantage of changing consumer demands.

Dr. Knutson's work has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and on PBS and CNN. She has also had numerous articles appear in industry, business, and academic publications. With her wit and entertaining style, Dr. Knutson is a frequent speaker for executive education as well as business and industry meetings, workshops, and seminars.

She has been a featured presenter for the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Motel Association, Meeting Professionals International, Club Managers Association of America, National Automated Merchandising Association, US Air Force, American Marketing Association, as well as financial, health care, automotive, and education organizations throughout the United States and abroad.

Dr. Knutson is also editor of the prestigious Journal of Hospitality & Leisure Marketing. Dr. Knutson has been awarded the Withrow Award for outstanding teaching and research as well as the prestigious Golden Key Teaching Excellence Award for continued outstanding instruction and dedication to students. She has also been named an Advertising Education Foundation Teacher-Scholar.

Dr. Knutson is currently on the Advisory Council of the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, the Travel, Tourism and Recreation Resource Center, the National Michigan State University Alumni Association, and Curveware.

Ms. Knutson can be contacted at 517-353-9211 or drbonnie@msu.edu

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.