Nuts & Bolts - Case Study: Marketing Plans to Go Downhill
Challenge: Improve the customer experience.
Solution: Create a Web-based vacation planning tool for those considering visiting Park City Mountain Resort.
Results: Half of the people who visited the planner created profiles, 41 percent of registrants mapped out their vacations and 46 percent of the profile users opted in for future marketing. This effort is credited with causing a 7 percent year-over-year increase in PCMR vacations during the 2008-09 ski season, as well as an 11 percent increase in children’s ski and snowboard lessons.
In a family of four, a ski vacation probably sounds fun to three of them—dad and the kids. But to mom, it sounds like packing four pairs of snow boots and skis, battling ski lesson and mealtime conflicts, and rushing from the airport to the hotel.
“In our focus groups that we’ve done with moms, they’ve said that a ski vacation is not a vacation; it is a trip,” says Krista Parry, director of marketing and communications for Park City Mountain Resort. “So we wanted to make the trip a vacation, a relaxing vacation, because that’s what families need these days.”
During summer 2007, the resort hired advertising agency Thomas Taber & Drazen (TTD) of Denver to work on branding and positioning. The core of the project, the Park City Mountain Resort Vacation Planner, came online in fall 2007.
E-mails to previous resort vacationers directed recipients to the planner landing page. The resort’s homepage touted the new offering, and brochures about it went to anyone requesting information from the resort in Park City, Utah, or from the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.
Once in the planner, registrants could outline the dates of their stays, what activities they’d like to participate in and where they’d like to go. Additionally, they could e-mail members of a group, and those individuals could add in their preferences. (Parry says as people planned their trips, the resort discovered the “alpha moms” they appealed to were not e-mailing anyone else—presumably to keep their children’s e-mail addresses private.)