Please Note: All names have been changed to protect the confidential nature of our clients.
Hotel X Thailand is a luxury 50-room boutique hotel in southern Thailand. It is known for providing unique travel experiences to guests from around the world for the last 10 years. Recently new competition along with a shifting marketplace introduced issues that affected the company. They faced increased marketing costs, greater competition for customers, and declining occupancy along with a host of other smaller issues.
Hotel X Thailand is a beachfront boutique hotel featuring 50 beautiful accommodations. They cater to guests from around the world and are known for delivering the most captivating views and experiences in southern Thailand.
The company has experienced massive growth in all areas (team, assets, and expenses). Their success results from staying agile in the marketplace.
The General Manager James was experiencing firsthand just how hard it was to match customer experiences to their expectations for thousands of geographically dispersed guests.
"We are in a massively changing and growing market catering to really diverse customer sets. Customer experience is important, but it’s dicult to do consistently and well across all those guests."
To help them dig into the core of their issue we ran an internal review. Our researched revealed Hotel X Thailand’s current marketing strategy didn’t align with their guests’ needs and goals.
The direct booking rates were low despite Hotel X Thailand’s large ongoing investment into their marketing. We found that guests had a difficult time finding information they needed to feel confident in their purchase.
James knew the issue was simple. They had content but it was generic.
"Potential customers were using our website and social media channels but not following through and making a purchase. That’s not an investment, that’s an expense. We had the content all in the right places but it was too generic as we were trying to call everyone who engaged with our website or a social channel a potential guest."
We wanted to make the most of Hotel X Thailand marketing investment. To accomplish that we knew they needed to keep both their strategy and messaging relevant for international guests.
James knew the company’s content’s lack of specificity didn’t match the growing demand for personalized experiences. Their site’s content was generic, so how could users expect to receive personally curated experiences?
"We segmented our customers at a very high level, maybe on by geography but we had a long way to go to personalize the experience. This led to generic sounding messaging which was not attractive or suitable for our diverse international audience."
The pre-and post stay online guest experience was not congruent with where the hotel wanted and needed it to be.
A further analysis revealed a startling lack of online engagement through their site.
"Potential guests were accessing our content maybe once or twice when planning their trip… a far cry from the 36 touch points a guest uses to plan their trip according to Google."
The company understood they needed to extend their experience they create offline for customers online.
“We’re a hospitality company. We need a guest experience that looks good, works smoothly and is fun and interesting.”
James and his team needed to find a way to bring relevant messaging and consistent branding across multiple customer segments around the globe and they had to be able to do it anytime and anywhere – without sounding generic or templated.
James was drawn to Primal Digital’s targeted and guest-focused approach. The initial conversations with Primal Digital’s team encouraged him to engage.
“Primal Digital was very keen to help us update our approach. Zachary (Primal Digital’s Founder & CEO) has worked with hundreds of boutique hotels and travel companies around the world, so he gets it. He understands the challenges, and everything in terms of customer segmentation, and how to navigate emerging technologies.”
James decided to take Primal Digital up on their Platinum Marketing Partnership. He wanted Primal Digital to take control of the entire customer journey across all channels.
Doing this allowed James to get a deeper understanding of guest movement along the buyer’s journey while ensuring consistent messaging across all channels. This consistency helped funnel more customer to purchase.
“We’ve tried using multiple vendors who claim to be an expert in their target field but what we’ve seen is the value of hiring an expert is diminished when they are only looking at a small piece of the customer’s journey. Multiple vendors means multiple interpretations of customer profiles which leads to multiple, mixed messages and is the exact opposite of what we were looking for.”
To accomplish this Primal Digital did two things:
They worked with to James to break Hotel X Thailand’s guest and reservation data into manageable customer segments.
This allowed them to identify buying density and search interest to see what in their marketing was relevant and what was not.
“We took all the data that we had available to us including all the past guest history, reservation data, website data and anything else would get. Then Primal Digital used some of their custom build algorithms to segment users based on user behavior rather than on just high-level demographics. This allowed us to get much more unique segments and gain a much better understanding of how psychologically certain guests approached planning their trip.”
When working on a large online project speed is key. To help get Hotel X Thailand up and running as quickly as possible Primal Digital handed off all integrations to their system’s support team.
Within days all the API calls were programed and Primal Digital was able to export all the guest data into their database to be processed and segmented. With this data Primal was able to get a better idea of the most effective and cost saving way to segment and targeting guests.
Primal did this by focusing the company’s marketing efforts on the most profitable segments first. This allowed them to test in-depth key messaging to see what worked best.
Within weeks engagement surpassed Jame's Expectations.
“They listen to our feedback and implement our requests. They’re really invested in our relationship and us being successful. We found the majority of our new customer segments were responding really well to the content and unique messaging being produced by the Primal team. I was also really impressed how we were able to really target our marketing based on which segments would produce the most profit for the hotel. It really showed that the Primal Digital’s team understanding of our customers and the hospitality business.”
Through the entire process Primal Digital’s team remained involved, interested, and responsive to the company’s needs. James appreciated this along with Primal’s strong focus on educating them on why they were using the approach they were. This education developed deeper level strategies that increased the company’s results.
“Primal Digital really took the time to educate our team which led to much deeper level conversations that we otherwise could have had resulting in more sophisticated strategies. Primal Digital really cares about their product and their clients. They will spend time with me, helping me make messaging more engaging and relevant. They listen to our feedback and implement our requests. They’re really invested in our relationship and us being successful.”
Primal Digital achieved both:
Primal Digital accomplished this by through an integrative approach that utilized both data and client education.
“Within two month, we saw a 25 percent increase in the number of direct bookings coming into our website. We also started to see engagement metrics like average session duration, pages per session, new vs returning customers really starting to increase."
For the first time in the company’s online history guests proactively accessed the site’s content to not only book rooms but also better understand the area they were visiting. Primal’s targeted messaging approach positioned the company’s site as a trusted resource for researching and planning a trip. This created massive social proof to customers and led to an increase in bookings.
“We got feedback right away from our analytics system. We could visually see how customer engagement was changing with our guests and thanks to attribution we are able to quickly see what was and what wasn’t working which allowed us to capitalize on what was and act quickly when something wasn’t.”
There was an added benefit to using content and messaging tailored to each customer segment as well. The targeted content increased the company’s positive feedback and reviews from guests. They shared the content, talked about their time at the hotel, and shared their experience in the area as a whole. This increase in overall engagement continues to produce benefits for the company.
“In the guest feedback and reviews, customers have even told us what we could do to improve their pre and post stay online even more, and we’ve been able to turn around a create it for them.”
Primal Digital’s approach to segmenting customers and developing targeted messaging for these segments not only increased booking and customer experience it also increased Hotel X Thailand’s bottom line.
Let us show you how Primal Digital makes it easy to target your most profitable guests and be their preferred choice along their buyer’s journey.