Latin American Hotel Operator Turns Data Into Customer Loyalty

As we head into the coldest months of winter, a stay at a luxury resort in Los Cabos sounds like a nice get-a-way. Even so, resorts know that competition for consumer share of wallet continues to be fierce. With the goal of building long-term relationships, many marketers are looking for ways to translate the information from existing loyalty program databases and CRM systems into more relevant marketing campaigns that improve customers' brand experience and drive sales.

To create dialogues that are truly seamless, dynamic and personalized, marketers are evolving from traditional multi-channel or cross-channel approaches, to employing the next generation of technology-driven customer interaction -- called conversational marketing. Conversational marketing technology facilitates the creation of a 360-degree marketing view of the customer by coordinating communications across all inbound and outbound channels and automating consistent, effective -- and measurable -- strategies across all of them.



One of Latin America's leading hotel operators has achieved great success in leveraging conversational marketing technology to help improve segmentation and deliver consistent, one-to-one personalized messages across e-mail and direct mail channels.

The Challenge: Volumes of Data, Limited Visibility

Through multiple loyalty programs and regular hotel bookings, the hotel operator accumulated more than seven million customer records in its CRM system, but wasn't using the data wisely. This was a major challenge as it was evolving from a product-focused organization to a customer-focused one in which improving guest satisfaction and customer loyalty were top priorities.

By not "knowing" its customers -- their preferences, booking patterns -- the organization was at a distinct disadvantage. It needed to better use its data to improve the customer experience at every single point of contact -- from marketing communications to the actual on-site, physical hotel experience.

The Solution: Taking Charge of the Customer Experience

The marketing team couldn't accurately measure which channels had the greatest impact on customers or revenues. As a first step, the operator implemented conversational marketing technology that provided a centralized data mart to track customer interactions across various marketing channels. With a single, up-to-date view of the customer and tight integration with its existing in-house CRM system, the operator gained greater personalization and segmentation capabilities across all customer communications- including event-triggered and transactional messages -- that have resulted in deeper, more profitable customer relationships.

Improved Segmentation Translates Into Loyalty and Bookings

Today, customers receive a maximum of four emails per month, by design. The organization carefully segments its list and only sends offers to specific customers based on detailed preferences and travel history profiles. With this level of personalization, it has decreased unsubscribe rates dramatically from an average of 7-9%, to 0.5% for each run.

Since deploying the conversational marketing technology, it has recorded significant improvements in email delivery, open and click rates. In addition, it has gained tremendous improvements in campaign ROI due in large part to its ability to better segment deep customer data and put it to work to develop highly targeted, personalized campaigns. For example, it can send specific offers related to its luxury properties, only to its most affluent customers. As a result, those campaigns have improved revenue 300% versus previous "all to all" campaigns. Now it can replicate that success across other segments.

Through the use of conversational marketing technology, the hotel operator can ensure consistent messaging and branding across email, direct mail, web and other customer communications channels as a means to improve profit and ROI of its campaigns, and most importantly, to support long term customer loyalty goals.

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