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How the Atrium Inn Went from Frustrated to Delighted with Their Digital Marketing
The Atrium Inn Vancouver is a stylish hotel that takes advantage of its prime location in the gorgeous city of Vancouver.
Tammy White is the Director of Revenue Operations for Aquilini Properties, which manages the Atrium Inn. Tammy is a tech and marketing savvy woman who knows what she wants for her properties – namely, to improve the performance of Atrium Inn’s online marketing, increase direct bookings and amp up profitability.
The 100-room hotel is unique in that it offers guests amenities they simply can’t find elsewhere in Vancouver – free breakfast, complimentary WiFi and underground parking. Like many independent hotels and despite the Atrium Inn’s unique features, ideal location and captivating story, Tammy was not achieving her goal of increasing direct bookings at a higher ADR, particularly in the off season and her digital marketing was costing her too much in time and money.
The Problem #1: Shoppers Were Not Booking On Their Website, Especially During Low Season
A big dilemma facing the Atrium Inn was to improve the percentage of website visitors that moved through to the booking engine (Purchase Intent) to complete a reservation and at a higher ADR. And, although responsible for the property’s revenue goals, Tammy wasn’t in direct control of her own content resulting in lengthy turnaround times and loss of flexibility to market Atrium Inn’s seasonal and local offers to boost her off season business.
The Problem #2: Website Was Difficult To Maintain And Costs Were Way Out Of Whack
Though Tammy’s website was relatively new (less than a year old) they didn’t have a central content management system, and the bureaucracy around managing online marketing initiatives via a 3rd party was not only painful, but expensive. Seemed like every change no matter how significant or ordinary made the cash register ring, especially since their developer charged by the hour! Tasks like keeping up with search algorithm changes (e.g. Google’s 500 – 600 annual updates), swapping out promotional offers and updating social media took considerable iteration, time and money! “We couldn’t make the existing site do what we wanted it to do and make it financially feasible,” Tammy says. She needed a better way to manage the Atrium Inn’s digital marketing.
The Solution: An Easy To Use, Cost-Effective Digital Marketing System That Performs
Tammy went through the due diligence of vetting alternative solutions with products from SiteMinder, Booking Suite and Milestone. In the end Vizlly was chosen because of its complete digital marketing platform and because of her familiarity with Leonardo, having worked with brands like IHG in her past life.
Using all of the features of her new easy-to-use cloud based Digital Marketing System Tammy has 100% control of her online marketing without delays, and at a fraction of what she used to pay. Her end to end Vizlly solution includes a visually-driven website that converts and is optimized for search engines along with a Facebook suite of apps to market the Atrium’s Press Box Pub plus offer helpful guidance on what to see and do in Vancouver. All of which address the needs of travel shoppers to secure that direct booking and set her up for success in the off season.
“With Vizlly, I can play around with the website and if I don’t like it I can easily change it tomorrow. The price point was reasonable.”
In a world where everything is rapidly being digitized, it’s important to remember that it’s not about the technology per se, but rather about the problems it solves. Tammy’s story describes the positive direction Atrium’s digital marketing is headed and illustrates just what is possible when a purpose driven website is implemented using best practices in modern online marketing.
Increase In ADR
An authentic story, wrapped with rich meaning and visuals, can actually help you justify a higher price. In other words, consumers in general are willing to pay more for an anticipated experience and hotel shoppers are no different. So, if you’d like to get $20+ more per night over last year, tell a better story.
That’s exactly what happened when the Atrium Inn implemented Vizlly just 3 short months ago. Once they started showcasing their rooms, unique features and local offers, complemented by stunning visuals, their value increased. Not just by a little, but rather by a whopping 25% increase in the average daily rate!
“We’ve seen a significant increase in our ADR. A $35 increase year over year.”
If you do the math, assuming an average year round occupancy rate of 60%, which is on the low side, the Atrium Inn stands to generate an incremental $700k+ in ADR year over year for their property. No wonder her management is delighted! “My bosses keep asking me what I’m doing, they’re very happy with the changes!”
Purchase Intent Leads To More Direct Bookings
They’ve also experienced success with something marketers call “purchase intent”. In the case of a hotel website, the desired action is navigating to the shopping cart (i.e. IBE or booking engine), which demonstrates the intent to purchase.
In just 90 days after going live, the Atrium Inn has had more than 22,000 visits to their site with a purchase intent rate of 21% on their direct channels alone by focusing on the 4 primary elements of the shopping journey that influence someone to continue to the booking engine. Today’s travel shopper cares about 4 things:
It’s a combination of these storytelling elements weaved together that closes the direct sale reducing the costs associated with OTA promotions and discounted rates.
Digital Marketing Made Easy
Tammy’s new purpose driven website looks great on all devices travel shoppers are using, including smartphones, tablets and desktops. Features like:
Tammy can now quickly and simply manage her own online marketing initiatives and realize her goals. “[Vizlly’s usability] is natural and organic,” she says. “I’m not a website developer, but I can do everything now.”
The problems facing the Atrium Inn Vancouver are not uncommon: smart hospitality marketers are always looking for opportunities to improve the performance of their digital marketing to increase direct bookings reducing dependence on OTAs. Tammy’s decision to subscribe to Vizlly has given her the tools she needed to cost-effectively manage her hotel’s digital marketing to reach, engage and convert travel shoppers. She’s happily achieving her revenue targets and keeping her budget in check which in turn, has her bosses smiling!