Trying to be everything to everyone is usually an ill-advised strategy when it comes to hospitality. This is why hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, and other properties lean on segmentation to guide them on their journey to target, capture and convert pockets of demand.
But what if a property has the ability to delight an incredibly diverse group of guests, and deliver a remarkable, one-of-a-kind, life-changing experience for all of them?
Sounds like a good problem to have, but as CASA DE CAMPO® Resort & Villas can attest, even with such an extraordinary capacity, it’s not easy to come up with an effective solution. It takes the right leadership, and a special system, both sturdy and fluid, backed by support.
A Truly Remarkable Property
Casa De Campo spans over 7,000 acres in La Romana, Dominican Republic, and almost every acre holds its own unique vacation experience. A small city in itself, Casa De Campo includes a 247-room hotel, 50 villas (some with up to 11 rooms), three award-winning golf courses, the Caribbean’s only shooting center, private beaches, an equestrian center, a replica 16th Century Mediterranean village that serves as a cultural center for residents, tourists and working artists, a prestigious marina…and yes, much, much more.
“You need at least 7 days to experience everything.”Gitti Hernandez, Ecommerce Manager, Casa De Campo
So, when you’re the equivalent of a resort collection condensed into one location with the unique ability to delight everyone, how do you actually delight…everyone?
A Diverse Ecosystem
Visitors to Casa De Campo bring varied expectations. A Superior Casita Room guest is very different from an Elite Suite guest, and both are in turn completely distinct from an Exclusive Villa guest. Guests are as varied and diverse as the property itself.
“A hotel visitor may be booking their own flight, while a villa guest may never experience our marketing materials or talk to Reservation Sales themselves – that’s handled by their vacation planner or secretary,” explains Gitti.
Despite the diversity, a common thread weaves through these seemingly disparate traveler segments: The desire for luxury, exclusivity, and to have a dream fulfilled.
The First Challenge
When faced with such striking variance, how does Casa De Campo target each guest in a way that will fit their particular worldview, without compromising the property’s luxury brand identity?
Even when faced with accommodating incredible diversity, building personal relationships with each guest is of utmost importance at Casa De Campo. Their visitors expect nothing less. Unfortunately, the teams at Casa De Campo had no way of determining who was who.
“Agents couldn’t even refer to the guest by name, addressing by name is huge,” shares Gitti.
The Second Challenge
How can Casa De Campo build personal relationships that scale?
Before NAVIS, Reservations wondered if a guest had ever called before, or when they last visited. Lacking a system to capture and integrate this and other important lead data compromised the luxury brand status Casa De Campo sought to convey.
Meanwhile, Marketing suffered from a significant lack of data insight as well. Casa De Campo ran the risk of alienating clients and jeopardizing the loyalty they worked so hard to earn with each campaign.
“We were concerned a “kids free” promo would go to the wrong client, or to the same client repeatedly,” admits Gitti.
Finally, website data was falling by the wayside. Many guests disappeared from the booking engine, even when speaking with agents to walk through the extensive website together. No one knew why, or what to do next. With online bookings accounting for up to 12% of total revenue, Casa De Campo needed a way to see what they were missing, while ensuring channel alignment between Reservations and Marketing
The Final Challenge
How can Casa De Campo collect – and share – relevant, actionable data between Reservations, Marketing and their website’s direct booking engine for conversion?”
Casa De Campo knew they needed to better understand their guests, determine which marketing efforts were yielding results, and create efficient workflows.
“We initially chose NAVIS for Reservations Sales Suite,” says Gitti. “Our previous solution had lots of issues, we wanted something more robust. The marketing part was kind of a surprise plus.”
Drilling Down on Diversity
The voice channel is Casa De Campo’s number one channel, accounting for nearrly 25% of total revenue. With NAVIS Reservations Sales Suite agents can now tailor messaging – emphasizing the value propositions that will resonate most with each individual guest based on detailed, integrated lead nurturing data, including captured guest information and preferences. Now guests from every walk of life understand their particular dream awaits their arrival, allowing Casa De Campo to stay true to its luxury brand identity and personality.
Yet more than one channel can contribute to a deep understanding of each guest. In fact, elegantly interlaced systems sharing guest information in real-time not only create the holistic view necessary to drive more direct bookings now, but also provide vital information that can be re-leveraged later to accommodate a fluid marketplace. Casa De Campo’s digital marketing agency partner Encompass Consulting uses NAVIS data to help inform, target, and personalize marketing messaging to drive conversion.
“As the hotel distribution landscape is continually evolving, so should our strategy – by constantly refining and cultivating the different roles of each distribution channel for the overall success of the business.”Nicola Clark, Encompass Consulting, Inc.
Connection That Counts
Along with providing detailed information about each guest, NAVIS Reservation Sales Suite improves the way Casa De Campo talks and listens to clients, allowing agents to focus on the property’s spirit of service and create a personal connection. For example, with NAVIS data agents can individualize callbacks, targeting guests who had expressed interest in more complicated stays, like bringing extended family to a villa – all while keeping up with demand.
“When someone is bringing their spouse, three kids and a grandpa, you have to be able to walk them through it,” states Gitti.
Coaching with recorded calls and score cards are also key to maintaining these special relationships.
“The script agents use has evolved and changed so much because of listening to calls as agents talk to clients – NAVIS lets our managers improve and most importantly adapt that script to each guest, boosting productivity and conversion”,says Gitti.
What’s Under The Hood
Alongside listening to agent calls to improve workload management and gain insight about demand, Casa De Campo no longer worries about stumbling through guest communications and risking alienation thanks to the integration and alignment of their teams through the NAVIS platform.
Reservations lead data is shared with Marketing. With NAVIS Marketing Suite they can leverage that data to build personalized communications for guests at scale, focusing on where the guest is in the buying process, and further segmented by guest attributes, previous stay dates and other data.
NAVIS Marketing Suite synergizes what has been sent, and said, to each guest – eliminating concern over sending multiple, repeat letters or making conflicting offers.
Then campaign performance tracking identifies which efforts are delivering direct bookings, and how much revenue they’ve driven.
“We can generate report after report about anything and see everything. This makes us confident. Confident in taking risks, testing new things, and trying new things, because it’s all backed by data,” states Gitti.
Win back strategies
Meanwhile, Casa De Campo leans on the NAVIS Shopping Cart Abandonment (SCA) tool to find those disappearing guests and close the sales conversion loop.When a prospect enters their information then exits the booking engine, an email is triggered that addresses potential reasons. With Marketing Suite’s quick and easy-to-use email templates, even these follow ups are completely customizable based on the data collected about the guest.
But if the guest abandoned for other reasons, like deciding to call to book instead, SCA’s integration with Casa De Campo’s PMS tracks this and an email is not sent, avoiding redundant communication. In addition to retargeting with automated emails and personalized sales emails, SCA provides Reservations the option to make an outbound phone call if warranted. By capturing guest contacts from abandoned bookings and initiating several options for retargeting, Casa De Campo also now has more ammunition to maximize their direct bookings in the fight against OTA’s.
“OTAs give a reach and range that may not otherwise be possible, but the hotel itself needs to gain control over their distribution channels to develop the strength of their own brand, increase their website visibility, and hence gain their own direct customers. This is the healthy way to drive profit to owners,” says Nicola
Delivering delight isn’t easy – it takes commitment, and leadership willing to leap through data-driven decisions.
Casa De Campo adopts this posture regularly and reaps the benefits. Even after losing revenue in 2019 secondary to a travel crisis in the Dominican Republic due to bad media, then enduring a pandemic-induced closure from March 2020 through July 2020 where they offered free cancellations, Casa De Campo kept a steady rhythm of communication to past guests and subscribers, via social media and, most importantly, email marketing, thanks to the integration between NAVIS Reservations Sales Suite and Marketing Suite.
“Our goal was staying top of mind; we understood early that travel would come back again, and guests would think first of those properties that remained visible,” says Gitti.
By building scalable personal relationships with NAVIS tools, Casa De Campo not only shared important information about health and safety, but also provided updates as to their reopening through useful and entertaining content including golf tips, famous recipes and drinks, the launch of their Faces of Casa de Campo campaign, and more.
With the help of NAVIS Marketing Suite, Casa De Campo campaigns show an increase in revenue even after two very challenging years, including being closed for nearly 5 months in 2020. Taking into consideration these special circumstances, marketing campaign revenue is barely $100,000 short of the previous period, with 70% increase in emails sends, and 72% increase in bookings.
Their strategy with Lifecycle email automation shows the highest conversion so far. If fact, two of their best performing emails are the LifeCycle “Follow-up” and the Covid Testing email set up for U.S. guests. Casa De Campo implemented LifeCycle emails in the beginning of 2018, and to date these emails have generated $1,752,344.00 in revenue, with 159,095 emails sent.
The Right Bucket
Casa De Campo established total website integration in 2016-2017, making it easier to implement retargeting and segmentation strategies, both in digital as email marketing. In 2019 they created different subscriptions to be able to segment their growing website subscribers into interest-based buckets. This way they can target specific groups with different content. For example, a Travel Agents Only subscription currently has 22,000 contacts with a 37% open rate.
Some properties aim to increase their online bookings and decrease their calls, but that is not the strategy Casa De Campo embraces – they want guests to call to better understand the distinct nature of the property.
Gitti is further encouraged by the ongoing support she receives from NAVIS when there’s a bump in the road. “It’s a real partnership. When we needed additional help, NAVIS stayed with our account throughout the process, at no extra expense on our end.”
Today, Casa De Campo continues to deliver remarkable, one-of-a-kind, life-changing experiences to a diverse group of guests. With data and performance insights from NAVIS, they’re confident they can continue to walk hand-in-hand with every visitor, from every walk of life, and deliver dreams.