Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Jost

Benjamin Jost

Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou

Benjamin Jost is co-founder and chief executive officer of TrustYou. Since 2008, TrustYou has set the standard for reputation management with solutions for hospitality-industry businesses to analyze online reviews, tweets and posts across the social web, to gather trusted reviews directly from its customers, and to use the authentic conversations to successfully market online reputations. TrustYou monitors over 400,000 hotels, providing an extensive base for competitive analysis, capturing sentiment and opinions from millions of comments in one easy-to-view place from sources like TripAdvisor, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Yelp and more across 23 different languages. Mr. Jost is an expert on social semantic search and is leading the big data revolution in hospitality. As CEO he has been instrumental in the company's growth from two to 70 people with more than 13,000 customers in 60 countries. TrustYou's clients include individual hotels, independent boutique chains, destinations and major global brands such as Accor, Marriott, Starwood, Hard Rock Cafes and Best Western Hotels. Started in Munich, Germany, TrustYou is now a global company with USA headquarters in Dallas, Texas and offices and sales representation in U.K., the Netherlands, France, Central Europe, Asia and Australia. Mr. Jost is extremely hands-on with TrustYou's international team hailing from 23 countries and speaking more than 20 different languages. He oversees product development, as well as all PR and marketing for TrustYou. Mr. Jost personally interviews all engineers for the research & development team and less than five percent make the final cut. Mr. Jost has was a driving force in the acquisition of USA-based ReviewAnalyst in 2011 and the company's partnerships, spanning an impressive variety of organizations; from tech companies like Google, Trust and Micros, to destination-specific alignment with Germany and Switzerland to develop the countries' official star-rating systems for hotels. Prior to TrustYou, Mr. Jost spearheaded the Southern European M&A team for one of the world's leading renewable energy providers and oversaw hundreds of investment cases covering a profusion of renewable technologies. He started his career in venture capital at Siemens Venture Capital and Xange Capital. During his studies he conducted extensive research into the security aspects of mobile applications systems and organic RFID. Mr. Jost holds a MsC in engineering from the University of Technology in Munich and conducted research at the ENST Paris and the University of Washington Business School, Seattle.

Mr. Jost can be contacted at 011 49 89548 02925 or benjamin.jost@trustyou.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.