Lakeview landscape shot of the Osthoff Resort

Why marketing your hotel is far more than selling a room

“The least important thing when booking a hotel reservation is the hotel room,” says Adam Hartenberger, which sums up a bold marketing ethos. In the ever-changing world of hotel marketing, the statement guides Adam’s open-minded approach to stay ahead of the curve.

“I think where a lot of hoteliers get lost is the one thing that most hoteliers sell on—hotel rooms. And really when you think about your vacation, most people can’t explain the hotel room they stayed in. They talk about the things they went on vacation to do.”

As Assistant Director of Marketing at The Osthoff Resort, Adam focuses on the experiences his lakeside resort in Wisconsin offers. As part of that effort, he relies on Flip.to to drive those experiential conversations with future guests. In fact, his team has become one of the most creative users of the platform to date.

3 photos sitting side by side. Photo submission from Jennifer B., showing 2 boys and 1 girl in swimsuits smiling at camera while sitting on a stone bench. Photo submission from Maria B., showing 2 women smiling at the camera. Both are holding champagne flutes and the younger woman has a bride-to-be sash, tiara. Photo submission from Stephanie C., showing a guy on one knee proposing to a woman at a lake shore

Sparking conversations with traveler planners

After Advocacy proved very effective in inspiring dreamers, Adam was introduced to the newest part of the platform by Flip.to’s Account Executive for Customer Success, Joseph Meuse.

Discovery is a reimagined booking path built to spark more meaningful conversations with travelers in the planning phase. Though Adam was intrigued, he admits he was a skeptic at first.

“When Joe [from Flip.to] pitched us on Discovery, he said, ‘Watch the numbers. Your conversion percentage is going to increase.’ I’m just thinking in my head, ‘Joe, there’s no way that’s going to happen. Joe, you’re asking people for their email. They’re just going to exit out. That’s not going to happen.'”

Until it did. Discovery helped the Osthoff learn about their travelers’ intent, unveil who they are, and re-engage them around their interests.

In just ninety days, here’s what The Osthoff tallied. 📈

Infographic: A look at Impact, 90 days on Discovery for the Osthoff Resort. 12K planners unveiled and shared their intent; 635 room nights booked, attributed to returning planners; $219K direct incremental revenue, tracked in real-time

The pursuit of audience growth

At the point The Osthoff switched on Discovery, Adam’s biggest goal to follow revenue was audience growth. He shared,

“We didn’t really—even at that point—understand what it was going to do. We didn’t realize how many people were going to our website, and how many people we could genuinely open up a conversation with.”

Once Discovery was fully live, the resort was seeing incredible audience growth.

“Going in, I honestly thought we were going to get like eight percent [of unveils]. Last time we checked it was forty-one percent!”

It’s proof that engaging planners in better conversations around their intent, and bringing the principles of hospitality into the online experience drives better results.

Other insights from Discovery

Screencapture of Flip.to showing Discovery engagement numbers for Osthoff Resort

On top of driving top line revenue, Discovery is giving Adam the real-time insights of travelers on The Osthoff’s site, including when travelers are looking to book. Those signals helped Adam identify previously unrecognized seasonal demand.

“We noticed that we had way more people looking at our website for dates that weren’t summer. We really didn’t think fall was a big thing for us. But we had a record breaking fall all of the sudden, because we found that there were really a lot of people searching for those dates.”

Adam was able to focus the efforts of his marketing team based on these learnings from Discovery.

“I now have data about when people are really looking to stay with us this year. I know that 40-ish percent of people unveil. If we just use some assumptive math, we can figure out the demand on our website. From a revenue perspective, that’s huge.

From a marketing perspective, I also know when people are shopping. I know what their booking window is. I know the dates they’re shopping. Most importantly, I have their email address to give them information about their shopping journey.”

The immediate takeaway from Adam’s bold new approach is if you do a really good job speaking to the individual interests of each traveler, you’ll likely be the top choice for their place to stay.

But Adam’s story doesn’t end here. Adam and his team took nurturing the extra mile—a story to look out for next.


Discovery was built to spark better conversations with travelers. And better marketing ultimately nets better results.

If you’re ready to reach, inspire and win over travelers with an approach that centered on authenticity and trust, give us a shout—we’re excited to kick off.

Published by

Zach Stovall

Senior Creative Strategist for Flip.to. Content guy, island explorer, traveler, slight-to-medium goofball.