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 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.