Thursday 24 August 2017

Marketing people: Suzanne Cannon

Head of marketing, Amaris Hospitality

Suzanne Cannon
Suzanne Cannon

John McGee

Suzanne Cannon, head of marketing for Amaris Hospitality, which is headed up by former Jury’s boss John Brennan, talks to John McGee about the challenges she faces as a marketer

Describe your role with Amaris Hospitality.

I am head of marketing for Amaris Hospitality and Jurys Inn, with responsibility for the overall brand strategy for all the branded hotels in the Amaris Hospitality portfolio, as well as group marketing manager for Jurys Inn. Amaris Hospitality is one of the UK and Ireland’s leading hotel investment and hospitality management companies. We have over 65 hotels trading under six prestigious, international brands including Jurys Inn, Mercure, Ibis Styles, Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn.

Given the number of different brand propositions, what are the main marketing challenges you face?

Our main objective is getting the value of the hotel experience across to all of our customers. We need to ensure we are keeping up with the latest changes in consumers’ habits, trends and tastes. That’s why we have to invest in more direct-to-consumer campaigns whilst, at the same time, managing our reputation on online review sites which can be a great enabler or disabler for your brand.

How do you overcome these challenges?

For our own Jurys Inn brand, we have positioned it to better reflect what our customers love about staying at a Jurys Inn. We can then invest in, and orchestrate, more direct-to-consumer campaigns that grow our customer base whilst offering great incentives. 

At the same time we have created extensive feedback channels so our general managers are able to respond to online reviews in real time.

Within the wider Amaris Hospitality portfolio, we have had to make sure each hotel had the right brand that suited its position in the local market. International brands like Hilton have great customer loyalty programmes that bring in new customers but you need to ensure they are in the right areas and will be able to compete at the higher end of the market.

Jurys Inn has launched its first advertising campaign in several years. What is the background to it?

We have launched a new integrated ‘Stay Happy’ Jurys Inn marketing campaign, which we’ve rolled out across TV, VOD and digital media. It’s also being accompanied by social, CRM and in-hotel activity. The premise of the campaign focuses on the hotel’s touch points and has a brand promise of ‘Stay Happy’. Through extensive qualitative and quantitative research, we identified what elements of the hotel experience are most important to our guests and we invested in developing these. These ‘Stay Happy’ touch points include our refurbished rooms, DREAM beds, plentiful breakfasts options, fresh bean to cup coffee, fast and free wifi and of course our friendly employees who work hard everyday to ensure Jurys Inn guests have a happy stay.

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