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[JOB] VP of Digital Strategy, Hyatt

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For additional information, contact:

Kenneth R. Greger
22208 Skyview Drive
West Linn, OR 97068
503/655-4100 office
503/803-2300 mobile

Matthew J. Peterson
1142 Highland Ave. Ste. B
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
310/318-8777 office
310/469-2529 mobile

Position Profile
Hyatt Hotels Corporation [NYSE: H], headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world’s premier global hotel companies and has a proud heritage of making guests feel more than welcome. Thousands of members of the Hyatt family in 45 countries strive to make a difference in the lives of the guests they encounter every day by providing authentic hospitality. The company’s subsidiaries manage, franchise, own and develop hotels and resorts under the Hyatt®, Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place® and Hyatt Summerfield Suites® brand names and have locations under development on five continents. Hyatt Vacation
Ownership, Inc., a Hyatt Hotels Corporation subsidiary, develops and operates vacation ownership properties under the Hyatt Vacation Club® brand.

Hyatt specializes in deluxe hotels with meeting facilities and special services for the business traveler, and operates hotels in major and secondary cities, airport locations, and leading resort areas throughout the world. In many cities, the Company has made a significant contribution to revitalizing the area and spurring business and population growth. Through the new hotels under development, Hyatt will be creating more job opportunities throughout the world. Accordingly, as the Company expands its reach, Hyatt is also expanding its earth-friendly commitment to the environment.

Hyatt seeks to enhance the Company’s brand preference by continuously improving the performance of existing hotels and, as mentioned, successfully expanding the presence of its brands in select markets worldwide. Smart growth and development is fundamental to achieving these aims. As a company, Hyatt has thoughtfully added hotels in locations throughout the world where loyal guests and customers want to stay. The Company works closely with its development partners to ensure success through innovative and efficient design, operational excellence and effective sales and marketing strategies. Today, Hyatt is highly focused on the role of development and, as of June 30, 2012, the company’s worldwide portfolio consisted of 492 properties.

Steve Jobs admonished us to ‘Think Different,’ and we all know where that’s led us. Now, we’re at a level of inertia such that our world is ever changing, which means we can’t afford to remain static. More than 2 billion people are already online. The Internet and digital age has changed the entire game, so we have to play or we lose. Our thinking must change, and we must be ready for it to change again. Call it digital disruption, complain if you like, but there is no going back:

  •  There are more than 1 billion search queries per day on Google
  •  Some 167 million people will shop online this year, which will increase to 192 million by 2016 (spending an average of $1,800 per person per year)
  •  Social commerce sales should total $9.2 billion by the end of this year and are expected to climb to $14.25 billion in 2013 and $30 billion in 2015
  •  The average US internet user spends 32 hours online every month
  •  Every month the online population spends equivalent to 4 million years online
  •  On average a global internet user spends 16 hours online (vs 32 hours for USA)
  •  The UK has the highest percentage of people online (85% – 53 million), followed by Germany (82% – 67 million), France (80% 52 million), Japan (80%, 102 million) and the USA (79% – 244 million)
  •  62% of adults worldwide now use social media
  •  Social networking is the most popular online activity, with 22% of time online spent on channels like Facebook, Twitter You Tube and Pinterest
  •  Social media users are willing to pay a 21% premium for brands that deliver great service through social media
  •  17% have used social media in the past year to obtain a service response
  •  Social media users who receive great service tell an average of 42 people (compared to just 9 for social absentees)
  •  83% of social media users have not completed an intended purchase because of poor customer service and will inform 53 people (compared to 49% and 17 people for those not active on social)
  •  YouTube users watch in excess of 3 billion hours of video per month
  •  There were around 100 billion smartphone application sessions during Q1 2012
  •  Users log an average of 77 minutes per day using apps on their smartphone
  •  China has the most people online – 456 million (only 34% of population)
  •  Chinese users spend more than 5 hours a week shopping online
  •  The highest growing trends: Location-Based Services (27%), Timeshifted TV (27%), Internet Banking (19%)

[Source: The Social Skinny 2012]

The statistics go on and on. Clearly, logging on has become part of consumers’ daily routine and their time online through desktop or mobile devices continues to skyrocket, fueled by easy connections, more access points and faster speeds with greater bandwidth, as well as quality content. It’s fair to say that many consumers practically live online!

It’s those consumers who power the Internet and generate much of the content, and they are comfortable with the technology and their devices. On a daily basis, consumer brands are subjected to opinions, recommendations or criticism through social networks, blogs, online groups and postings that are viewed by millions. As many say, the Internet never sleeps.

Over the last six years, the hotel industry has seen a steady increase in online bookings. According to data provided by TravelClick, 2011 Internet bookings were over 53% of central reservation system bookings, up from 37% in 2006. Combined with the Global Distribution System companies, total electronic bookings for 2011 topped 75%. And that’s just bookings. What about the potential customers who haven’t booked yet? How do we drive them to Hyatt brands in a way that is compelling and serves their needs? How do we know their needs in the first place? What do those needs tell us about the types of online experiences that need to be delivered, and about the ongoing relationships that must to be built and maintained with existing and prospective guests? Where is it strategic and rewarding to engage Hyatt consumers beyond the Company’s own websites, and with what level of frequency? What is the most effective way to leverage the rich consumer data Hyatt gathers every day?

Hyatt understands that it is critical to actively monitor, protect and promote its brands on the Internet, and to deliver superb online experiences to its consumers. To do so effectively, Hyatt also knows it must pay attention and listen so that all online interactions with consumers – from seeking information and booking a room, to providing positive feedback or filing a complaint – are optimized to deliver positive experiences and outcomes in a way that drives sales and shareholder value. That said, Hyatt fully embraces the following from the book, Velocity – The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital:

If we ask why whatever product or service we create will make people’s lives easier, better or more fun, rather than starting with how it might contribute to the bottom line, we’d see a more successful business.

We live in a society today where legacy thinking inhibits innovation. The Vice President – Digital Strategy is a new position that is more than just a marketing job. It’s about redefining the customer experience in an industry that is typically slow to adopt new ideas and has been analog for too long. This individual will manage the development and execution of integrated consumer-facing marketing initiatives and programs that encompass all digital platforms. He/She will interact with and manage outside agencies and play an integral role among internal groups to develop customer-centric online marketing experiences for all Hyatt brands, drive traffic, grow the social fan base(s) and increase general awareness of Hyatt and the specific experiences its brands deliver online and on property. The Vice President will serve as the key strategic advisor and evangelist in moving Hyatt’s brands from websites based on Google search algorithms to more engaging sites designed around the consumer experience.

The Vice President will lead the brands to more effective social media and digital marketing strategies, and also prepare Hyatt to be successfully positioned for what’s coming next. This is an opportunity to have a tremendous impact on the success of Hyatt’s global brands through influencing the Company to think digitally. The Vice President will be a digital evangelist, innovator, teacher, marketer and Sherpa. He/She will be the ultimate digital champion of the consumer within Hyatt, and a catalyst for fully transforming the Company into a digitally savvy business that is moving full steam ahead on all platforms. This is a chance to develop innovative social, mobile, and digital breakthrough programs that directly influence the digital relationship between Hyatt’s brands and millions of consumers. It’s an opportunity to influence consumer behavior and adoption; a career-defining role for someone who is passionate, knowledgeable and strategic about all things digital.

Position Hyatt to win by shedding its legacy mindset, and by creating innovative, highly effective digital marketing strategies for each of its brands. Create maximum engagement for its brands across the digital environment, inclusive of online and mobile platforms. Achieve Hyatt’s strategic brand and corporate objectives by connecting digital to all aspects of the Company’s business and driving growth opportunities through its brands, emphasizing how brands are communicated and experienced through digital interactions, and how digital interactions fit into broader customer experiences.

Based in Chicago at Hyatt’s global headquarters, the Vice President will report to Mr. John Wallis, Global Head of Marketing & Brand Strategy who, in turn, reports to Mr. Mark Hoplamazian, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Hoplamazian is fully commited to this position. This is a new position and direct reports are to be determined. Hyatt’s CIO will be a key internal partner, but that individual is yet to be named.

Ideally a digital native, the Vice President – Digital Strategy will have a background that combines in-depth knowledge of consumer brands and objectives, and their online strategies and competitive landscape, with rich credentials in the interactive marketing industry so as to deliver effective digital marketing strategies/tactics and recommendations to Hyatt’s brands. The role requires an innovator, a trendsetter, and a progressive thinker who can connect the dots between Hyatt’s business objectives, consumer insights and key trends to create profitable digital strategies. This position requires a person with 5 to 7 years of senior leadership experience in digital marketing gained with top consumer products companies, digital agencies, top hospitality and service organizations, or a combination thereof. Strong, diverse digital marketing experience is required — email marketing, social media, mobile, paid and organic search, website management and other online marketing. Must be fluent in social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Four Square, LinkedIn and Pinterest and related best practices.

The Vice President must be an exceptional team player with the confidence and integrity to quickly earn client and internal team confidence and respect. Advanced computer skills are essential, including HTML, as well as facility with Content Management Systems and Google Analytics. The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising, Marketing, Communications, English or other applicable major and/or equivalent experience. An MBA will be viewed favorably. Relevant experience and track record, in addition to personal style and approach, will be the key determining factors. International experience is preferred. The Vice President must be willing and able to travel.


  •  Authentic, down-to-earth
  •  Strong on emotional intelligence, low on ego
  •  Permanently inquisitive
  •  Willing to question, argue; open to being questioned, argued with
  •  Strategic and tactical; strong on execution
  •  Superior relationship management, organizational and project management skills
  •  Digitally competent and highly creative
  •  Credible; earns respect of others
  •  Insatiable appetite for staying current as to digital technology and consumer trends
  •  Imaginative, visionary
  •  Gutsy; courage to be a pioneer
  •  Energetic and productive; able to thrive in a fluid, fast-paced environment
  •  Thoughtful, but action-oriented; able to make decisions and move forward
  •  Practical, pragmatic
  •  Passionate; contagiously enthusiastic – a good ‘salesman’ of his/her craft
  •  Proven ability to lead and influence
  •  Approachable
  •  Honest and transparent
  •  Helpful and supportive
  •  Purposeful; outcome-oriented
  •  Undaunted; persevering
  •  Effective at setting, organizing and managing priorities; multitasking
  •  Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills
  •  Excellent interpersonal skills
  •  Ability to clearly articulate ideas to both technical and non-technical audiences
  •  Exceptionally self-motivated and directed; disciplined
  •  Keen attention to detail
  •  Perceptive and good problem solver with superior analytical and evaluative abilities
  •  Exceptionally service oriented
  •  Natural team player and collaborator
  •  Resourceful
  •  Strong moral compass
  •  Good-humored

The most powerful force in the universe isn’t technology.  It’s imagination.

[From the book, Velocity – The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital]


1. Actively invest the time and energy necessary to become familiar with Hyatt Hotels Corporation and the related entities and brands, including organizational structure, mission, values and culture, core competencies, key leaders, external partners and outside agencies, competitive set, financial resources and projections, IT resources and leadership, long-range plans, budgets, timelines, and key priorities

2. Immerse in the web presence and digital consumer experiences currently presented by Hyatt, as well as its brands, and assess the effectiveness of each, making specific notes as to what’s being done well, what needs improvement, what isn’t being done at all, and what Hyatt should stop doing altogether.

3. Consult with Hyatt executive team and each brand to develop and then execute digital marketing strategies designed to fine tune or completely transform current thinking and create more effective consumer experiences and business results.

4. Work with IT and brand marketing executives to define and implement appropriate tools and metrics for gauging the effectiveness of digital marketing strategies.

1. Serve as the in-house expert and lead educator on new digital developments and constantly advise, communicate and train Hyatt brand executives as to the ideal interactive marketing approach for each.

2. For each Hyatt brand, strategize and manage digital marketing plans, campaigns and initiatives with the broader Marketing team to ensure optimization of all programs, with a focus on driving traffic, engagement and, ultimately, bookings and e-commerce.

3. Develop an intimate knowledge of each Hyatt brand and its business objectives so as to guide potential opportunities and communications plans across digital platforms for the launch of new promotions as well as ongoing engagement with the brand’s consumers.

4. Facilitate and support the development of a digital consumer marketing plan for each brand, fully considering data provided by Analytics and performing rigorous analyses to maximize outcomes.

5. Develop strategies to drive a best-in-class consumer experience to maximize conversion rates and growth of online responses and revenue generation.

6. Drive SEM / SEO, mobile, web, video and social media strategies.

7. Promote the integration of cross-functional teams and ensure seamless delivery of the work product.

8. Develop detailed communications plans for social environments including, but not limited to, editorial calendars, website content release strategies, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other top priority digital environments identified as part of the plan.

9. Work with Hyatt’s Vice President of Communications to develop an online reputation management program for the entire company

10. Act as Project Manager for specific web initiatives, collaborating with multiple internal and external partners and agencies as appropriate.

11. Coordinate approvals of brand visuals, website schematics, display banners, rich media, and other creative assets with appropriate Hyatt team members.

12. Manage Hyatt’s current investment in pay-per-click advertising and, over time, evolve strategy and spend.

13. Participate and be effective in joint meetings, presentations and brainstorming sessions. Contribute to and advocate support for compelling relevant ideas within the marketing group as a whole.

14. Maintain constant communication with brand marketing executives to ensure understanding, alignment and agreement in regard to interactive marketing plans, as well as execution of the plans.

15. Monitor and track all digital campaigns and strategies, recommending changes or refinements as needed.

16. Effectively execute social and digital programs through collaborative agency partnerships (when involved), tracking competitive research and testing new and emerging channels and technologies.

17. Work with Hyatt marketing executives and external agency experts to analyze digital metrics and trends to improve and/or add functionality, drive repeat visits, boost time spent on sites/page and increase conversions in an effort to improve online performance.

18. Ensure that data, learnings and ROI analyses from marketing campaigns are reported back in a timely manner. Create processes and reports, and collaborate with internal and agency teams to improve website and social engagement metrics.

19. Be responsible for obtaining appropriate market, industry and out of industry research pertinent to interactive marketing strategies and tactics.

20. Optimize ways to combine digital campaigns with strategic partners to extend overall reach.

21. Facilitate the brands in being creative and innovative when applying digital strategies to seek new opportunities for marketing exposure and/or non-traditional revenue generation. Oversee development of creative elements and provide input on all interactive branding initiatives.

22. Facilitate the brands in being creative and innovative when applying digital strategies to seek new opportunities for marketing exposure and/or non-traditional revenue generation. Oversee development of creative elements and provide input on all interactive branding initiatives

23. Pursue partnerships with new/untapped digital platforms, working with the overall marketing team to develop innovative and effective marketing programs, promotions, campaigns and online tools that will increase exposure and engagement.

24. Constantly be on the lookout for digital trends so as to understand new technologies, social media dynamics and consumer behavior, and align these with Hyatt’s business objectives to create new and innovative marketing opportunities and solutions.

25. Work closely with Hyatt’s Analytics group and other sources to obtain relevant data as it relates to digital marketing, consumer preferences and current marketing strategies, while developing methods to utilize data available, and strategies to acquire data from alternative sources, when necessary.

26. Manage budgets, develop cohesive conclusions and present key findings at the executive level.

27. Evangelize the positive attributes of well-conceived digital strategies throughout Hyatt.

28. Advocate and teach best practices to drive end results designed to support Hyatt’s business and brand objectives.

29. Perform all of the duties herein with the highest standard of excellence and integrity

Hyatt Hotels Corporation is committed to finding and attracting the best-qualified individual for Vice President – Digital Strategy and will offer a compensation arrangement commensurate with this outstanding opportunity. The package will be tailored for the final candidate and includes an excellent base salary plus incentive cash compensation, stock options, company-paid benefits and, where required, relocation.

©2012 Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Greger/Peterson Associates, Inc.