Editorial Board   

Mr. Carr

Bob Carr

Chairman & CEO, Heartland Payment Systems

Bob Carr founded Heartland Payment Systems, the nation's fifth largest payments processor in 1997. Under his guidance, Heartland has been named a FORTUNE 1000 company; climbed the rankings from #62 to #5 in the nation and #9 in the world; from 25 to 3,400 employees; from 2,500 to 250,000 business locations and from a portfolio of $0.4 billion in bankcard volume to more than $80 billion. Heartland is the official preferred provider of card processing, gift marketing, check management, payroll and tip management services for the American Hotel & Lodging Association and 38 state lodging associations. Mr. Carr spearheaded The Merchant Bill of Rights (www.merchantbillofrights.org) - a revolutionary public advocacy initiative to promote fair card processing practices on behalf of all business owners. He has been a driving force in the enhancement of payment card security and at the helm of the development of “E3™, (www.E3secure.com) Heartland's end-to-end encryption technology that is designed to protect cardholder data at rest and in motion throughout the lifecycle of card transactions. Mr. Carr received his Master of Science degree in computer science and his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), as well as an honorary PhD from Lewis University.

Mr. Carr can be contacted at Bob.Carr@e-hps.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.