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07 Case Study

Increasing Hotel Revenue Through Site Direct Hotel Bookings

Putting "Heads in Beds" for Global Luxury Hotel Brand

Client:

The market brand leader in luxury extended stay hotels with 11 properties globally sought to limit its reliance on OTAs by increasing revenue through site direct hotel bookings.

Challenge:

Ongoing objectives were to establish brand as premiere long term stay hotel, achieve sustained growth and profitability through site direct hotel bookings, and reach new customer segments, such as luxury leisure travelers, while increasing direct sales to existing core customer of corporate business travelers.

Insight:

For this brand, most marketers might naturally have gravitated towards designing media programs aimed at the brand’s pre-existing primary customer – B2B corporate guests seeking longterm stay accommodations. Yet, after an extensive study of the market and competitive set, Criterion Global quickly learned that the fastest path to efficient brand growth was, perhaps counterintuitively, through appealing to both the brand’s core corporate customer, as well as luxury leisure guests appreciative of long-term amenities.

Like many independent and boutique hotel brands, our longterm stay client attracted an audience of corporate executives with the luxury of thinking beyond traditional loyalty programs. Regardless of itineraries that spanned either weekdays or holidays, both our corporate and leisure audiences were, at their core, luxury consumers who are often wary of booking via OTA’s (online travel agencies), and instead are inclined to book directly with a property. With a media strategy in place to capitalize on this luxury travel trait, our client was able to de-emphasize their OTA centric marketing, and shift to more profitable direct to consumer media planning.

Solution:

Thinking globally, we also noted that long haul travelers are prime for multi-night hotel stays – a perfect audience segment for a luxury long term stay hotel brand. With locations boasting luxury amenities in the heart of several world-class international cities, the value proposition was clear.

From there, we crafted a strategy using privacy-safe “digital data-mining” to analyze this elusive, globetrotting luxury guest. Starting with readily-available credit card spending data, our data specialists identified which international clientele the brand would be most apt to attract, and where the majority of them were traveling from. These insights created the blueprints for long term growth, realized by:

  1. Translating the brand’s marketing strategy and marketing assets to appeal to a wider international audience.
  2. Identifying the right markets for media investment. Global media, targeted to key markets on a seasonally-rotated schedule, helped reach guests with immediate lodging needs, providing the best opportunity for growing site direct hotel bookings, at the lowest cost.

Results:

This international direct to consumer strategy, targeted to key global markets has helped sidestep reliance on OTAs, and led to significant increase in site direct hotel bookings and  returns on investment for our client, with consistent YOY revenue growth for past seven years straight.

Our team continues to identify additional markets and guest growth opportunities throughout the Middle East, South America and around the world.

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