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Holiday Inn Express Folkestone

Situation

Holiday Inn Express Folkestone is a franchisee of  Inter-Continental Hotels Group (IHG). The proactive hotel management with the support and marketing provided by IHG, were receiving a steady flow of room bookings via the IHG but the hotel had higher occupancy goals to achieve. Focused and targeted help was needed. IRUN has been working with HI Express Folkestone for over two years, and during this time the hotel has seen impressive results in increased revenue and occupancy. A successful partnership has developed between the proactive hotel management lead by General Manager Joseph Albanese, and the internet marketing expertise of Paul Bourdillon and IRUN. The independent hotel website now consistently generates more than 20% of the hotel’s revenue, and has recorded revenue of more than 11 times the investment in IRUN activities during 2010 alone.
This has contributed significantly to the massively improved fortunes of the hotel; the results were immediate, sustained and extraordinary. Revenue increased by 19% in 2010.

Objective

The objective was simple, to increase market share, get more bookings via the website, to encourage existing customers to return more frequently and to refer more thus improving all KPIs

Action

Whilst the hotel was being found via the main IHG website, management were not in full control of their own and specific marketing initiatives or of their customer and prospective customer communications.  IRUN delivered a complete marketing system, comprising of an advanced customer database, email shot capability, SMS communication, guest feedback system and a branded, content-managed website that linked to the booking system enabling the hotel’s management team to have full ownership and control of the ongoing maintenance. Advanced tracking was implemented to monitor ongoing web business performance accurately. Above all the website was geared up fully for the search engines to attract high volumes of quality visitors likely to book rooms.

Results

The results were impressive to say the least. 

• In less than 5 weeks the hotel achieved payback on their initial investment;
• Since then all key performance indicators have continued to significantly improve
• IHG have confirmed that online bookings via the HIEx Folkestone’s own independent website in 2010 have generated a massive 1,120% Return On Investment with IRUN;  This is understating the facts as there is also evidence that a significant number of website visitors prefer to book by telephone or email rather than online; these are not included in this figure.
• Recently the hotel has been regularly achieving over x% occupancy, despite the difficult economic times that prevail
• Currently an average of 500 online booking engine requests are being received each month, during the off-season
• More than 19% increase in revenue in 2010;
• RevPAR - Revenue per Available Room has increased to its highest level ever;
• Holiday Inn Express Folkestone now dominates page 1 of Google for all its most valuable local search terms;
• Furthermore, conference facilities are now frequently booked.
• At a recent review meeting after some 2 years of working with IRUN, the management team at HIEx Folkestone are more than satisfied with their investment and the impressive results achieved and have requested further work to be done.

An outstanding success – the increased sales are way ahead of the costs of both the original investment and much more importantly the cost of the ongoing work to continually ‘optimise’ the whole marketing system. This means IRUN has helped add profit to the hotel’s bottom line.

Customer Comments: 

‘Regular meetings and email communication ensured that both the hotel and IRUN are producing the best of results and together the creative partnership has produced the second generation website to ensure future success.’

Joseph Albanese (General Manager)