Providing an outstanding guest experience is an important area of focus for the ski resort industry. Guests are expecting personalized communications before, during, and after their visit — but when resort data is scattered across multiple systems, using that data to personalize communications can be challenging.
Two members of our Ascent360 team, Jonathan Smith and Stephanie Smith, recently hosted a session at the NSAA Mountain Technology Symposium where they discussed the power of leveraging data in a meaningful way to improve guest experience and drive visitation.
Why data-driven marketing matters
As a ski resort, think about all the data you pull in daily: ticket, pass, scan, ski school, food and beverage, lodging, and rental data. This information provides incredible value, but if you lack a crystal-clear, holistic view of it, it can lose a lot of that value. Compiling the data into one comprehensive system allows you to see each of your individual guests, how they interact with the resort, and determine what they need from a marketing perspective.
Data-driven marketing is all about bringing your data to life. Once you have greater visibility all in one place, you can then segment your guests based on different identifying factors. For example, anyone who has been in the resort business for a while knows that the number one priority for sales and marketing is season pass sales. Locking in commitment upfront is ideal, typically before the lifts are even turning. With a data-driven marketing platform, you have the tools to maximize season pass sales by running personalized campaigns, such as:
Targeting paid customers who are already skiing enough days to make the season pass a no-brainer
Targeting customers with a season pass who are not using it to its full extent — just like any subscription service, the more you use it the more likely you are to renew, so you can build marketing programs around that
Re-engaging with lapsed season pass holders to talk about what’s new, provide offers to return, and more
And these are just ideas for season pass holders. Ski vacations can be quite complex; there is the potential need for lodging, lift access, rentals, transportation, and much more. The key to keeping this process from becoming overwhelming (and ultimately improving the guest experience from start to finish) is automation and personalization. A full view of your customers allows you to target them effectively throughout their buying and visitation journey.
This personalized messaging also applies to local guests and day trippers. If you are a local or just visiting for the day, you likely aren’t as interested in information about lodging. It’s important to use their language and meet them where they are and having the ability to view and segment your customers based on identifying factors like this will allow you to better meet their needs.
How Ascent360 helps put this process into practice
Our data-driven marketing platform is designed to make it easy for you to structure your marketing efforts around your data. The platform integrates with a variety of systems widely used across the resort industry, such as Siriusware, RTP, ResortSuite, SpringerMiller, Liftopia, Axess, and Inntopia. The sophisticated data hygiene engine ingests the data from your various systems, aggregates it, and cleans it to create a “golden record” of every customer.
From there, the platform has Audience Selector & Campaign Manager tools that allow you to easily drag and drop different parameters onto a canvas to create customer segments. Once you have your segments, you can check counts and push directly into marketing channels. We have an integrated ESP (but can also transfer campaigns to an external ESP), as well as other tools to set up an omnichannel approach.
This really highlights the versatility and usability of the tool to get the right messages out. But just as critical as the messaging itself, is the ability to track marketing attribution and ROI. Marketing budgets are limited, so having insights at your fingertips to make smart decisions is a necessity.
Ascent360 has built-in, out of the box reporting that shows you who your top customers are, what efforts are driving conversion and revenue (and the ones that aren’t), and much more so you can adjust your campaigns as necessary. It is laid out in a dashboard format so that busy marketing teams don’t need to spend hours digging for the insights they need.
As resorts gear up for the 2021/2022 ski season, data-driven marketing will help them kick off to a great start and continue that pattern throughout the season. With personalized messaging, resorts will be able to ensure a stellar guest experience throughout the buying process, when guests visit their resorts, and long after.