A native of Newark, New Jersey, Julius Robinson is at the forefront of changing how we approach travel.
As chief marketing and sales officer for Marriott, Robinson is responsible for leading leads the sales, distribution, field marketing, franchise sales, marketing & revenue management support, and public relations and crisis communications for Marriott International.
With a career spanning nearly three decades, Robinson and Marriott Bonvoy are creating a total hotel and hospitality experience that meets the guests at various points by integrating products, services, and technology into their stay.
Robinson, who began his Marriott career in a call center as a Rutgers University student, has held various leadership positions with Marriott—from Global Brand Leader for Autograph Collection Hotels and Tribute Portfolio to Vice President of Global Sales and Brand Franchising,
He plays a pivotal role in the development and implementation of strategic priorities designed to yield profitable sales, increased market share, and expanded competitive advantage for more than 5,800 Managed by Marriott and franchised hotels.
The act of service
As a young man growing up in Newark, New Jersey, the church was a big part of his upbringing. “The New Jersey community is a big part of my life and the work I do in the hospitality industry,” he says. As a junior usher, Robinson began learning the act of service early on.
“Being an usher teaches you discipline, but also the act of service through greeting, helping people find their seats, opening doors, and shaking hands,” he explains.
From the moment you begin hotel shopping, there is a visual experience and a service experience expectation. Robinson adds.
“The hospitality industry takes a certain level of service and sacrifice of yourself to help others deliver on their expectations,” he says. “The goal is to provide an experience that meets needs at the beginning, throughout, and the end of a stay.”
Providing a personalized solution
Whether a guy or girl trip, wedding, business conference, AAU tournament, or a weekend getaway, there is something special about hotel stays.
Trip purpose plays a vital role in the way our hotel brands speak to customers and target messaging that will resonate at a personal level. Marriott hotels and brands are well known, and “our goal is to have a product that supports every single trip purpose you have. We really think about our customers not just based on who they are but their trip purpose.”
An example of this personalized experience is Marriott’s partnership with NCAA and travel. The diversity of the NCAA through sports, alumna, students, and fans creates an opportunity to serve people from global backgrounds.
“We service our world and provide a personalized approach with partners like the NCAA that align with the world,” he says. “The excitement and anticipation that comes with sports allow us to be creative and innovate through our Marriott Bonvoy program.”
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Engaging Marriott on a global level, Robinson has an enlightened perspective on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Spending the appropriate time “understanding who people truly are, and meeting people where they are while having the ability to do business or build a relationship in their environment is essential in DEI,” adds Robinson.
The world has changed, and business travelers and guests present themselves in many ways. Robinson points out that “in its simplest form, our employee base needs to look like our customer base.”
Believing in the continuous efforts of Marriott’s diversity focus, Deborah Lee heads the social impact and inclusion committee.
“Bridging the Gap is Marriott’s financial contribution pledge of 50M to help women and minority groups become hotel owners by leading them through that process,” he says. On the campus of Howard University, the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership is “establishing innovative, and practical learning opportunities to expand the pipeline of highly qualified students to lead hospitality companies.”
Grooming Future Executives for Success
Robinson believes the confidence to show up as yourself is paramount for any future leader. “There is no reason to be someone that you are not,” he says. “Even if you are successful in trying to be someone you are not, ultimately you will not be.”
Building networks and coalitions are essential to all of our success and continues as we reach higher levels. In Robinson’s view, “success is not an individual thing, and you will need people to help you be successful.”
“People have to believe what you are saying and believe that you are committed to what you are saying,” he says.