Online Learning & Opportunities

A goal of mine over the past few months of quarantine and working remotely, has been to use the time wisely while staying safe. It was unexpected, but after the initial adjustment opportunities starting coming to the surface.

The Digital Marketing class that I was teaching in the Spring 2020 semester at NYU moved to remote learning mid-term. Students abruptly returned to their home locations of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Lebanon and various parts of the U.S.  My class of 23 students was now scattered throughout the world and needed to finish the class via Zoom. I hadn’t taught remotely before – teaching in front of a class and interacting was something that I enjoyed doing each Tuesday night. NYU quickly ran a few webinars to help instructors adjust and take the uncertainty out of this new normal. The first class in late March was awkward for all, but we began to adapt and made it through to final presentations in May, with each group taking a turn to share their screen. I still look forward to teaching in person, but there was a sense of achievement for both the students and I, that we successfully pivoted to meet this challenge.

Personally, I had a few online certifications that needed a refresh. I was able to take some time to review the education portals and finish my Facebook Blueprint certification, in addition to Google Analytics and Google Ads.


Eye For Travel 2019

I’m excited to be returning to Eye For Travel North America in Chicago October 28-29th. Our panel topic will be Social Media for Lifestyle Brands, focusing on that first touch of customer discovery using visuals and seasonal offerings to increase ancillary sales.

NYU Anniversary

I am proud to be in my 5th year as a Part-Time Adjunct at my alma mater, New York University. I feel fortunate to have met so many students from around the world, each with different career goals and interests.

E-Commerce Marketing is such a rapidly changing field of study, that it is also always interesting to teach new topics and discuss what the future holds. I am looking forward to Fall 2018, for a new class and another semester at N.Y.U. School of Professional Studies.

Marketing Sherpa Blog

Online Advertising: Tips based on The Leading Hotels of the World’s campaigns

Posted by Daniel Burstein

Unlike many hotel brands that strive for a consistent look and feel, part of the value proposition of The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), a hospitality consortium with 425 hotels worldwide, is that each hotel is unique. From the fabled King David Hotel in Jerusalem to The Ritz Hotel in London (featured in the film “Notting Hill”), customers have a plethora of experiences to choose from.

With such a diverse offering, online advertising, content and customer journey challenges that face every brand loom especially large for LHW.

I sat down with Debbie Johnsen, Director of Interactive Marketing, The Leading Hotels of the World (and Adjunct Instructor at New York University teaching Integrated Marketing, Ecommerce Marketing and Web Analytics), to get some tips that might help you improve your marketing campaigns.

“It’s key to understand your target audience. And for us, being a luxury brand, we’re looking for people [with] higher income, higher propensity to travel, people who travel more frequently [and] are looking for unique experiences,” Debbie said.

We discussed paid search, travel-specific Meta Search Networks, A/B testing, attribution modeling, the customer journey, content and customer reviews in this conversation.

Luxury Interactive


“Cost-per-click is going up every year, so how do you get the biggest bang for your buck?” asked Debbie Johnsen, Director of Interactive Marketing, The Leading Hotels of the World. “Using tactics like RSLA to get somebody to come back after you’ve gotten the first click is a way to do that.”

RSLA could become particularly important with ad-blocking software and mobile applications, which have recently been introduced on the market. Brands rely on traffic from effectively deployed advertisements to drive traffic, but they may be looking for new methods soon.

Read More at Luxury Daily

HSMAI – Digital Marketing Strategy Conference session

hsmai conference 2015

HSMAI Conference – 2/24/15 – NYC

An Industry View: Engaging Today’s Connected Travelers

It’s hard and it’s not going to get any easier. That underlying theme was one of my key takeaways as nearly 300 travel industry marketing executives gathered last week in New York City at the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Digital Marketing Strategy Conference.
Read More at MediaPost…

Feature in Luxury Daily

luxury daily

I was pleased to be selected as a speaker for this year’s Luxury Interactive conference,  October 15th in New York. The event brings together executives from retail, fashion, travel, real estate as well as media and technology companies.

Luxury Daily reported on my October 15th session and roundtable on multi-channel marketing and attribution.

Dealing with the mystery of ecommerce attribution

“To be honest there’s really no one size fits all answer,” said Debbie Johnsen, Director of Interactive Marketing at The Leading Hotels of the World, New York. “It really depends on what kind of vertical you’re in… read more…

Interview in Eat, Love, Savor

Prior to Luxury Interactive, I was interviewed by Angela Tunner from the luxury lifestyle magazine Eat, Love, Savor

How has the Internet and all things digital reshaped a luxury hotel branding strategy overall?

It has caused us to step back and consider where resources and budgets are being allocated. As the digital ecosystem evolves, more and more opportunities are being presented in rich media, social, mobile, etc. Not all new networks and channels are right for a luxury brand, and it’s up to marketers to do the research and decide whether or not it should be part of their strategy…

Read more…