Currently Attending Robert Morris University - Master’s of Management Information Systems
Columbia College, Chicago – Bachelor’s Degree, Marketing Communications, Public Relations Concentration
“I don’t sell hotel rooms. I sell happiness.” Those two simple sentences that Brittany Busch overheard on her first day as an eCommerce manager for Hilton Worldwide almost perfectly sums up why she is enamored with her job. Romantic vacations, girlfriend getaways, seeing the world — Brittany’s work aims to show you there’s so much more to a Hilton than the bed you sleep in.
Supporting new hotels joining the Hilton family in all things web and social, Brittany’s role is all about connecting the dots between brand, general manager and customer to enhance travel. Whether she’s helping a not-so-tech-savvy manager have an ‘ah-ha!’ social media moment or optimizing the online experience for a potential guest, Britany takes pleasure in enhancing the Hilton brand.
It all comes back to the idea that Brittany spends her days selling — or perhaps sharing is a better word — what she loves. Find what you love, then do that and voila! You’ve found the key to really enjoying your career, says Brittany.
I try to look at every day as separate from the last and I can only hope to be better today than I was yesterday.
How did you get your job with Hilton Worldwide as an eCommerce Manager?
I was formerly employed as a digital marketing manager for an agency that specialized in hotel marketing. The majority of our clients were Hilton franchised hotels, since Hilton had not yet developed the eCommerce manager role as it is today. While at the agency, I managed nine Hilton-branded hotels at once, focusing on their digital marketing needs across multiple channels.
I left the agency in 2011 and Hilton developed the eCommerce manager role and EDGE eCommerce department in 2012. I knew I wanted to join Hilton, but I was on track to becoming a supervisor at my new agency and wanted to see my possible promotion through. Then, in 2013, the stars aligned for me. There was an opening at Hilton and I was ready to leave my former employer. Luckily, a few of my co-workers from the hospitality agency joined the Hilton team and were able to let the director know about me.
What responsibilities fall under you in this role?
Originally, I supported several regional markets in the Midwest and helped them develop and maintain their online presence. I now support new hotels joining the Hilton family and help onboard them into the Hilton EDGE eCommerce program. My responsibilities for both roles include optimizing hotels’ websites for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), updating website content including text and photos, educating hotel staff about eCommerce and digital marketing, advising on social media strategy and regular account management. I also work on several projects within the EDGE eCommerce organization that are outside of my day-to-day role and help our overall program evolve.
How do you organize your day?
I never skip breakfast. Also, I’m all about making lists on a weekly, daily and sometime hourly basis. I prefer to write them out rather than using a digital list, but recently I’ve starting using my Outlook calendar more frequently to keep track of my to-do list. The work I do in my current position requires a checklist of sorts for each hotel. I have weekly recurring tasks set up in my Outlook for my must-do checklist items and I fill in the additional time for each day completing client requests or answering emails. I try to set aside dedicated time to check email each day, rather than checking email each time I get a new mail notification.
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
I really enjoy making connections with others, whether in a business or personal setting. My current role is very focused on forming relationships with our hotel personnel and educating them about our services and digital marketing as a whole. I love being able to explain a digital marketing concept that’s foreign to a hotel general manager and seeing the moment when they finally grasp what I’m trying to explain. I feel like I just made them a better general manager and in turn, guests will have a better experience at the hotel. To hear someone tell you that you’re the reason their hotel opening is a success is a great feeling. Being able to help contribute revenue to a global company, while also forming relationships at the hotel level, is very rewarding.
What is your favorite aspect of your job? Why do you feel compelled to do the work you do?
On my first day at Hilton, I heard a sales manager tell one of my teammates, “I don’t sell hotel rooms. I sell happiness.” That really stuck with me and sums up why I love what I do. Travel means so many different things to many people. I love that I’m contributing to someone having a getaway with friends, getting engaged, honeymooning or just seeing the world because they have that desire.
I feel life is enhanced when you’re able to travel. I’m happy I can share my love of travel with others just like me via our digital marketing. For me, being able to market something that I love to do makes my career easier and helps me to imagine all of the places I want to visit in the world! I also love Hilton as a company, because we’re all working towards the same goals year after year. The cohesive focus is really showing in our business growth and accolades we receive in the industry.
How do you balance working for a global company, parenting and pursuing your master’s degree?
Most days, I’m on autopilot and making things happen by the grace of God. I always remember that my daughter needs to see her mother succeed. She needs to see her mother tackle her goals and dreams head on, even when it’s a tough week schedule-wise, or even if that means going to school just like her. My family has been a huge help to me and without them, I wouldn’t be able to go to complete my degree.
I’m very fortunate that Hilton encourages all employees to maintain a positive work/life balance. That has helped me to be able to pursue my Master’s along with other interests I have. I study during my commute or while my daughter’s at her various activities. I also make time for myself as a young woman, because I think it’s important for all mothers to have an identity outside of their children. Exploring passions and interests only make a mother better at her job both professionally and as a mother.
What are some of the rules you live by?
- Every day is a new day to be great. It’s so easy to beat yourself up for what you didn’t do yesterday, didn’t say last week or couldn’t handle an hour ago. I try to look at every day as separate from the last and I can only hope to be better today than I was yesterday.
- Always be yourself. People will love you and respect you more if you strive to be as authentic as possible at all times. There’s no reason to make yourself a carbon copy of someone else. We were all given a unique identity for a reason!
What qualities does it take for someone to be a successful in the hospitality technology space?
You must be open to forming relationships, as our hotels trust us to handle digital marketing. That trust is essential when we launch new initiatives or try to get a hotel’s buy-in on digital strategy. Organization and time management skills are pivotal as we are responsible for many tasks and channels; both with our hotel clients and internally.
Keeping abreast of digital marketing trends and hospitality industry news is huge for our role. The digital industry is ever evolving and ever changing and hospitality is one of the largest industries in the world.
Finally, you must be able to adapt to change and work in a fast-paced environment. Though we typically try to organize our day, things can change in the blink of an eye. Someone who wants this role must be able to adapt to change on a small scale or a large, organizational scale.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about your job?
I do so much that I could never explain it all. Also, I work for corporate, not a particular hotel like some think!
What advice do you have for those trying to break into the same industry?
Network like crazy! The digital marketing industry is still relatively new and small. The connections you build now could carry you through the rest of your career. Also, learn a hard skill, such as website coding, graphic design or Excel programming. These types of skills will make you invaluable in the digital marketing world.