Tom Wyvill, a new presenter at E-Tourism Summit and former opera singer, is now a strategist at Google who works with Fortune 500 travel and hospitality clients to maximize their digital ROI. We caught up with him in New York and wanted to share some of his thoughts on how to get past the recession with our readers?
How did you come to Google?
After working in hotel sales and marketing for many years, I had an early mid-life crisis and then worked as a professional operatic tenor and music teacher. When I decided to return to a career in marketing, I discovered the Google Advertising Professionals Program and took great advantage of the opportunity to study, take the exam, prove my qualifications and start my own business. Later, I joined Google and returned to the Travel industry. We like to hire creative people, so I strongly believe those years of professional musicianship were highly valued!
What do you do at Google and what type of companies do you work with?
At Google, I work with Fortune 500 travel companies (across the spectrum of hotels, airlines, car rentals, destinations, online publishers and OTAs) to capture opportunities and maximize their marketing investments.
What can small and mid-size companies learn from the large advertisers?
All of our advertisers can learn from each other. The most successful advertisers are sometimes small to medium sized companies, as they’re often able to be incredibly flexible and creative. We work with our advertisers to be more customer-responsive and resourceful with their marketing investments.
How can travel companies get ahead of the recession and begin their recovery process early?
To get ahead of the recession and begin the recovery process early, Travel companies need to focus on their customers more than ever before. Google helps you do this, by offering more scale and targeting capabilities than any other form of advertising. It’s actually part of our own corporate value system to “think and act like an underdog” and to “be scrappy and resourceful,” so we make it easy for all Travel companies to acquire customers and visitors with a rapidly evolving set of incredibly powerful and free tools. We all know a recession forces companies to be “scrappier” – the trick is to make sure you adapt quickly and acquire these new efficiencies now, to pull ahead of the economic rebound and capture your customers’ imaginations. Are you ready for the coming Travel boom?
Prior to joining Google, he worked in national sales for Four Seasons and Aston Hotels in Hawaii, was a general manager for Ramada properties in the Pacific Northwest, and helped bring Starbucks to the East Coast, opening many of the first stores in Washington, D.C. and New York City. Tom started his career in digital marketing as a freelancer, working as a white-label consultant to advertising agencies. Later he managed SEO, SEM, website architecture, analytics and operations as an e-commerce manager for Wolters Kluwer. At other times, Tom worked as a classical singer, performing with several regional opera houses, directing numerous choirs and teaching. Tom holds degrees from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and the University of Maryland School of Music, and recently earned his MBA in global strategy through a joint program between Cornell and Queens University in Ontario.
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