Managing Partner, Account Director
As the global lead on the Marriott International account at MEC, Rachel Israel has been instrumental in driving the repositioning of the brand to increase its relevance with the next generation of business travelers, Gen X and Y. Rachel’s opportunist mindset, creative problem solving skills, sharp personality and knack for juggling, has allowed her to transform a conservative client’s overall communications strategy. A brand historically focused on traditional and out of home media (one way communications), she has pushed boundaries and paved the road for the implementation of a comprehensive digital and content strategy that engages and interacts with the brand’s target demographic, creating a two-way dialogue and setting the stage for the ‘co-creation’ of the future of travel.
With the launch of the Marriott Culturazzi Campaign Series in 2012, which saw the creation of surprisingly, shareable & innovative experiences targeted to Gen X and Y consumers, Marriott has shifted brand perception and has elevated its position as a forward-thinking, technology-savvy brand that understands the needs of its customers. Combatting a limited budget, aging brand image and the rise of challenger hotels and online travel sites, Rachel lead a team that created innovative and immersive partnerships with Wired, Spotify and Good.
“But Culturazzi was about more than just increasing bookings—it was about ‘keeping the conversation going,’ says Michael Dail, VP of global brand marketing for MHR at Marriott International. “We've seen a lot more in the way of engagement from these customers. If we can get people to come to our hotel for the social environment, we anticipate many will come back to us for an overnight stay. It's a multiyear journey.”
It’s clear that Rachel Israel has blended passion and creativity with strategic thinking to help drive Marriott’s transformation as a brand and a company. Although she admits her biggest challenge “is scaling ideas in developing countries;" there’s little doubt she’ll find a way forward.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, she’s the daughter of an Irish mother and a father of Spanish descent. Her mother, a Yeats scholar, was a literary teacher during the summer months in Northern Ireland. As a young girl, Rachel would spend summers with her family learning about her culture and traveling throughout Europe.