Four Pillars Hotels
8 years of consistently moving more buyers to the Four Pillars brand in an increasingly competitive market
Following a change of management in 2004, Four Pillars Hotels needed a marketing agency that could help to develop their brand and move their marketing forward in line with their business objectives and aspirations.
That’s where we came in.
Marketing Team Direct were originally commissioned to work with the board of Four Pillars to define the vision, mission and values of the business before rebranding and re-positioning the mid-market hotel group. Since then, we have worked continuously with Four Pillars Hotels to develop and implement strategies and tactics that move more and more buyers to their brands, keeping them ahead of the competition, helping them to meet their targets and grow their business.
So – how did we do it?
We understood their market.
Four Pillars Hotels have four key customer groups that make up their target market. Yet they have heavy competition from rival hotel groups, many of which are larger and have bigger marketing budgets. So we’ve developed marketing solutions that enable them to effectively target these key audiences in a way that is consistent, timely and cost efficient.
We were innovative with agents
Approximately 70% of corporate bookings come through agents, so it’s essential that Four Pillars Hotels maintain a close relationship with them. We delivered the Agents’ Lounge, an innovative online hub specifically for agents, which:
- Provides a platform for ongoing communication
- Features rewards, news, offers and competitions, to incentivise agents to visit the site regularly and promote loyalty
- Has created a buzz among agents – approximately two thirds of agents have signed up to the Agents’ Lounge
- Given Four Pillars Hotels a significant advantage in a highly competitive market.
We helped them to build relationships with corporate bookers
Four Pillars Hotels have meeting, conference and event facilities at all of their hotels, and this is a substantial and lucrative part of their business. We have worked with them to develop two core marketing solutions, aimed at the corporate sector.
Meetings Four You: This conference product was launched to raise the profile of Four Pillars’ conference offering, increase their commercial opportunity, reflect the needs of the market and ensures internal delivery standards. We worked with them to create an identity that reflects the brand, an optimised website and a printed brochure, which have helped to generate revenue and differentiate them from the competition.
Company Lounge: This exclusive online hub, specifically for corporate buyers, gives Four Pillars Hotels an opportunity to build a relationship with this core market, not only by communicating with them through the website, but by obtaining their data, which enables them to send them targeted communications on an ongoing basis.
We provided timely, cost effective marketing solutions for leisure customers
Located in areas that are popular with tourists, and with a wide range of leisure facilities in all their hotels, the leisure market is crucial to Four Pillars Hotels. Yet the economic downturn has made this area even more cost critical and made the need to outperform the market even greater. Marketing Team Direct have worked with Four Pillars Hotels to provide cost efficient marketing solutions that give Four Pillars real cut through.
Integrated seasonal campaigns: They needed a seasonal solution with standout that they could use to promote their short breaks and drive sales throughout the year. We delivered a strong theme that Four Pillars could own, encapsulates their offering and appeals to their broad target market. Our seasonal strategy ensures that they are amongst the first to market each season with a strong and comprehensive campaign that is more compelling than that of many of the larger hotel groups. The fully integrated campaign consists of a microsite, POS, ads, HTML email blasts and web banners. These campaigns have achieved an exceptionally high response ranging from 40:1 to 60:1 return on investment.
Online solutions: We created a sophisticated yet easy to use content managed suite of websites, which enables the client to amend, add and even share content between sites, saving them time and money. Key search terms were researched and the site optimised to increase relevant traffic. A data capture element was included and Google Analytics was integrated to measure the performance of the site. We have also given them templates and functionality that enables them to convert offer pages into HTML emails that can be broadcast to their customers. The new websites increased the value of online sales by 30%, and Four Pillars welcome 120,000+ unique visitors to the site every month.
We helped them to maximize revenue from locals
Understanding the value of their local market, Four Pillars Hotels wanted a loyalty scheme that would help them build relationships with local clientele and incentivise them to use the hotels’ restaurants frequently. We devised the Privilege Club, a loyalty card scheme, which encourages engagement with the brand and increases sales.
We created the Privilege Club website, through which the whole scheme is managed, and includes personalised vouchers, offers, news and competitions. Much of the scheme is automated, so it’s cost efficient for the client, and updating content via the content management system is quick and easy for them.
Once we’d created the scheme identity and the microsite, we promoted the Privilege Club using a low cost, yet highly effective combination of POS in the hotels, direct mail to existing local customers and promotional banners within Four Pillars’ main website.
We’ve given Four Pillars a templated email solution, which enables them to send Privilege Club members regular e-newsletters.
To further build on this market and generate additional income, Privilege Plus, a subscription based package of discounted vouchers, was conceived.
Privilege Club has resulted in a database of over 8,000 loyal and committed local customers, who regularly frequent their hotels and help to maximize revenue throughout the year.
We’ve worked with Four Pillars Hotels, helping to develop their brand strategy and implement their marketing communications, for 8 years. During that time we’ve seen fluctuations in the market, from buoyant and prosperous to a credit crunch and a recession. Yet, despite these ups and downs in the hotel and leisure industry, Four Pillars have managed to gain ground, often out-performing the market and achieving high occupancy levels.
The work that we’ve done together has helped them to build a strong brand, a loyal customer base and a reputation for getting the simple things right. By investing in their marketing and focusing on their customers, Four Pillars Hotels remain a successful business that can adapt to changes in the market and compete with other much larger hotel groups.