How Visit NC is supercharging one resort’s marketing, while lifting the entire community to a more profitable future

In the heart of North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad, Christina York is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the 244-room Grandover Resort & Spa. She leads a small, but mighty team on the sales side, and an even smaller team on the marketing side.

Deployed as part of the first-of-its-kind NorthCarolinaBound collaborative, Flip.to’s out-of-the-box platform is built with hoteliers like Christina in mind. We do all the heavy lifting, so properties like Grandover get started with a copy-&-paste, and spend only a few minutes per week—yet net incredible impact.

Here’s what that looks like for Christina.

The results

The Flip.to platform is moving the needle for Grandover Resort & Spa with a minimal investment of time spent behind the scenes.

Infographic: A look at Impact, 90 days for Grandover Resort & Spa. 26K friends and family reached who are the perfect demographic; 11.4K planners unveiled considering a stay at the Grandover Resort & Spa; $102K in direct revenue earned tracked in real-time

Sponsored by Visit North Carolina, lodging partners across the state are joining the NorthCarolinaBound collaborative at no cost to them. And in Greensboro, Christina is grateful to have the platform working for her.

It’s acting as an extension of her marketing efforts, introducing the resort to travelers in the inspiration and dreaming phase through Advocacy, and sparking conversations with planners in the booking phase through Discovery.

Photo submission from Yvette G., showing 3 African American ladies enjoying their spa day in terry robes and stylish sunglasses

Lightweight by design

As a full-service, independent resort surrounded by 36 holes of golf, Grandover is an unexpected find in Greensboro. “It’s not the first place people think about going for a vacation,” explains Christina.

Yet, there’s a strong drive market within a six-hour radius, to which the platform has introduced over 26,000 potential travelers in the past 90 days. “These are people we would not have reached without Flip.to,” she added. “Every time I look at the dashboard, I’m like, ‘Hey, this is working. This is cool!'”

Photo submission from Hart F., showing 4 caucasian males on a golf green smiling at the camera.

From the start of NCBound, the Flip.to team made things turnkey for Christina.

“The onboarding process was tremendous. The service from the Flip.to folks was really amazing, and they walked us through very patiently. There was lots of education and hand-holding once we were all set up and going.”

Customer Success representative, Sam Gedihovich, is a great part of Grandover’s success. She keeps an eye on the resort’s efforts, and strategizes next moves, preserving Christina’s time for other tasks.

Why NCBound?

Visit NC is making this technology possible—supercharging Christina’s marketing while she’s executing her day-to-day—and lifting the entire community to compete for a larger share of travelers.

“I have really good feelings about Visit NC, and what they’re doing. They’re proactive, and I’m always surprised by the initiatives they take. They always seem to be onto creative things.”

If you’d like to be a part of something bigger in the North Carolina community, join NCBound here.

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.

A first of its kind collaborative is off to a great start in North Carolina

How it started

Earlier this year we shared our excitement to launch NorthCarolinaBound as the first state-wide destination collaborative of its kind. Through this partnership, Visit North Carolina is leading the charge to bring massive value to regional destinations and its lodging industry.

How it’s going

Since our announcement, we’ve been working to onboard an enthusiastic group of folks from independent hotels to branded groups, vacation rentals, and even regional destinations.

Infographic: In just five months since announcing the collaborative, here’s who’s on board. 16 regional destinations working together to level up their markets, 155 lodging partners winning over travelers in the dreaming and planning phases, 17,000+ lodging rooms a significant percentage of the state's inventory working in unison.

From the dreaming phase to the planning phase, Flip.to is helping North Carolina’s properties spark conversations that build relationships and win over travelers.

A variety of screenshots of various guest stories and photos from Sanderling Resort guests

Sanderling Resort is winning at the Dreaming Phase.

231K friends and family reached in 90 days.

Screenshots of Grandover's Discovery stats and Discovery Planner Flow

The Grandover Resort & Spa is crushing it in the Planning Phase.

In 90 days, 3,000 planners unveiled, which led to $30K in direct revenue earned.

Photo submission from Jay M., showing a small chihuahua in the back of an SUV looking out of the open hatchback at the sunset as its owner is laying camping next to him. Jay's photo says 'My favorite North Carolina moment was watching an amazing sunset with my best friend on the Blue Ridge Parkway.'

On the statewide level, Visit North Carolina is creating impact for everyone.

385,000 friends and family reached—a new, right-fit audience—and 8,000 planners unveiled, who are considering a trip to NC.

Screenshots of the Visit NC 'Take only stories, leave only footprints' campaign invitation page

Visit North Carolina’s Take Only Stories, Leave Only Footprints campaign is currently introducing the state to a trove of enthusiasts interested in outdoor adventure, and bringing added awareness to Outdoor NC’s “Leave No Trace” principles.

Flip.to’s other partners in NorthCarolinaBound are setting up for massive impacts too, and as the groundswell builds, it’s going to be a major win for everyone in the state of North Carolina.

Working to help everyone

“It’s our mission to drive meaningful growth to the tourism industry with innovation that provides measurable impact.

NorthCarolinaBound delivers directly to our destination and lodging partners in all 100 counties while engaging with travelers in positive ways,” said Wit Tuttell, director of Visit NC.

By working together at scale, Flip.to and Visit North Carolina are leading the state to a more profitable future. We continue to add more partners, and grow a collaborative that’s stronger with each passing day.


If you’re a member of the North Carolina lodging industry or a regional destination, give us a shout. We’d love to welcome you into this unique collaborative.

Woodloch Resort’s Rory O’Fee teams up with Flip.to to have better conversations with travelers

Since 2015 Woodloch Resort has been a power-user of the Flip.to platform, led by Director of Marketing, Rory O’Fee. He and his team have always felt that personal stories and authentic conversations are what resonate with travelers.

Recently, Woodloch implemented Discovery, and after only a short time, O’Fee and his team have been astounded by the results.

Infographic: A look at Impact, 45 days on Discovery for Woodloch Resort. 14K website visitors unveiled and shared their intent; 300+ room nights booked, attributed to returning planners; $300K direct incremental revenue, tracked in real-time

How did they end up with such a big bump in revenue and conversion? Let’s look further.

Family First

At Woodloch Resort, everyone is family. “We’re a family business that employs families that cater to families vacationing,” explains O’Fee. With thirty plus activities scheduled daily and inclusive meal plans, it’s easy to see why families are the number one draw to the 225-key resort. The property’s shores along Lake Teedyuskung, in the picturesque Pocono Mountains, are a wonderful place to make memories.

Photo submission from Xuefei T. showing a small child with mom warming themselves in front of a fire pit.

Marketing on Authenticity + Trust

Woodloch’s homegrown property management system has evolved over time, but is still limited for O’Fee’s marketing needs. When he first heard about Discovery, he knew it was a solve for many of his pain points.

“It’s the feeling you get when you come to Woodloch that leaves a lasting impression. That’s how we bring a family aspect into our marketing. We extrapolate those stories, and let people share their best moments,” says O’Fee.

Advocacy has been supporting that strategy for some time now in the dreaming phase. But O’Fee wanted to bring those tenets into focus on the planning phase.

“The Discovery platform has given us a new set of tools that I haven’t had access to previously. And that’s looking at traveler intent and interest—their timing interest, and their lead time to booking.

And being able to craft a message to talk to them, and help guide them through the booking process at the right time. That has been a wonderful tool for me, because I get to see when people are interested and looking. Then I can really shift my strategy accordingly.”

Intent: A Crystal Ball

That’s important for Woodloch, since its activities shift from season to season, maximizing fun in each. Winter’s snow tubing and “Winter Olympics” activities give way to spring and summer’s boating on private Lake Teedyuskung, nature walks through the mountains, and outdoor concerts.

Knowing a traveler group’s season of interest and mix of ages helps Woodloch continue the conversation further. It helps to connect them with the experience that helped win them over.

Photo submission from Joan G., showing a dad and daughters doing a workout at the Woodloch gym

The Discovery Difference: Unveil + Re-engage

With Discovery, travelers unveil far earlier in the funnel than a traditional booking path. Once a planner unveils, Woodloch tapped the platform to nurture around the experiences for their age mix, save their plans until they’re ready to book, and most importantly, re-engage at the most appropriate point in the traveler’s planning stages.

It’s no secret that understanding more about their travelers drives Woodloch’s impressive increase in conversion.

The Future: Better Marketing

Overall, Rory is seeing a strong desire for families to reconnect post-COVID. Like any marketing effort, reconnecting with and growing audiences also means navigating challenges around privacy and compliance that will continue to be important to travelers in the future, often strained by fragmented policies at varying levels.

“To be in compliance with one thing, you’re out of compliance with another. It’s very complicated.”

Photo submission from Melody Y., showing 2 girls holding hands standing on a pier looking out at sailboats out on the lake

But he’s optimistic about working through those challenges with Flip.to and people like Customer Success Team Lead, Michael Mathews.

“I know you’re going to grow, and come up with new solutions that will enhance the travelers’ experience. In doing so, you’re going to enhance the supplier’s experience in getting people booked,” said O’Fee.

“You’re working to change an element of the travel experience, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”


If you’d like to stay in touch with Rory to hear more of his ideas on where travel marketing needs to be headed, give him a follow, here.

If you think Flip.to can help you have better conversations with your travelers, and in doing so, increase your conversion at the same time, we’d love to hear from you.

Changing latitudes: a lake-loving audience is the key to a strong opening for Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe | Houston

Beyond one-to-one traveler journeys, we’ve built a platform that launches hoteliers on a marketing journey, too. A journey that infuses the tenets of good hospitality from beginning to end, and that’s simple to manage, yet incredibly impactful.

When Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe | Houston opened its doors, the property brought an entirely new concept to the area. They had to build an audience, and inspire them to get “into a vacation state of mind.

They tapped Flip.to to do just that—and when lake life called, this audience answered, to the tune of incredible impact:

Infographic: A look at Impact, 1 Year for Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe Houston. 1,300,000 friends & family reached and inspired in the dreaming phase, in the most authentic way possible; 77,000 travelers unveiled in the planning phase, deciding where to go next; This resulted in $1,600,000 in reservations tracked in real time to direct, incremental revenue

So, how’d we get here? Let’s dive in. 🏊👇

Timing is everything, until it’s not

As you’d expect, mid-2020 was a challenging time to open a new resort—even for one with rock star branding and universal name appeal. But schedules are schedules, and a property sitting idle is guaranteed to earn zero returns.

On the edge of glimmering, boater-friendly Lake Conroe, the 335-room island outpost was fresh off a massive renovation and rebranding that made it unique to any other offering on or near the lake.

Changes in Latitudes

As it does, the Margaritaville brand brought a slice of boat-drink-inspired island life to the heart of land-locked Texas, where it created a new lakefront destination fit for the surrounding drive markets of Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

Caribbean-hued paint schemes and thatch-roofed palapas inspire a more southern latitude, while Jolly Mon Water Park, also tucked in a grove of swaying palm trees, kicks up a splash of fun. Of course, no Margaritaville property is complete without a signature LandShark Bar & Grill, which in Lake Conroe, is appropriately set waterside.

Photo submission from Christi G. showing a small child standing in a kiddie pool at a water park with arms outstretched splashing water.

Flip.to leads the charge

To thwart the unfortunate debut timing, the resort needed to grow an audience ready to receive this fin-tastic new concept.

When we partnered with the lakeside property, Flip.to Customer Success standout, Joseph Meuse, quickly became an extension of their marketing team.

Joseph helped formulate a strategy to reach and inspire travelers, especially ones that would be most engaged with lake life. His input led the resort’s team to launch conversations with a new audience in an authentic way, and at the right time in their traveler journeys.

Photo submission from Kellie P. showing 2 boys on innertubes floating down a lazy river in a water park.

Advocacy in the dreaming phase

Joseph first helped to maximize the impact of the Advocacy platform. He and the property’s team launched a campaign around lakeside memories.

Stories began flooding in, filled with travelers’ best moments spent on or near the water—a positive connection which was now associated with a new resort.

This led the brand into conversation with these potential new guests, and created an ever-growing audience for the resort with a love of the lake. Once the property was fully open, Flip.to helped to win-over this new audience with the right messaging.

Photo submission from Laura N. showing adirondack lounge chairs right by Lake Conroe, Houston TX

Discovery in the planning phase

Joseph then switched on the Discovery platform to win over planners visiting the resort’s website. This part of the platform starts conversations in a reimagined way, leads planners to unveil, and learns their intent.

Flip.to helps Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe | Houston re-engage these planners around that intent when they’re ready to book. That effort increased conversion at the bottom of the funnel, and together with Advocacy humming along in the dreaming phase, fueled a successful opening year for the property.

A successful partnership

The platform sparks genuine conversations around travelers’ intent, comes fully charged to grow audiences, and converts planners into guests—all with only light lift from your team, and at a much lower cost than through traditional marketing channels.

The heartwarming story that made love-struck travelers swoon over the Westgate New York Grand Central

Winning the hearts and minds of travelers is the ultimate goal for properties of all types, and takes a thoughtful strategy on the part of the marketer.

Transactional approaches, like discounts, can impact conversion in the short term—but are nothing more than a ‘fling’ in the mind’s eye of the traveler. Instead, emotional connections are what leave a long-lasting impact on prospects.

Together with Flip.to Customer Success Team Lead, Michael Mathews Westgate New York Grand Central tapped into inspiration and authentic experiences to do just that—winning over tens of thousands of future travelers along the way.

How it started

Maurice and Sally Goller caught the attention of Westgate’s marketing team. The lovebirds spent their honeymoon at the property—then the historic Hotel Tudor—some 76 years before.

Old 1940s black and white photograph of Sally and Maurice Goller

The story Best-selling novelist, Agatha Christie, said of love, “It’s a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.”

And that’s exactly when love struck for Maurice Goller. In the school cafeteria, to be precise. Right after his future wife, Sally, was banished to his table for the crime of being too loud.

Immediately drawn to her boisterous personality, that ridiculous encounter turned into a Coney Island date, and eventually a marriage sealed in a Brooklyn ceremony on October 20, 1945.

For the next three nights Maurice and Sally celebrated in luxury at the historic Hotel Tudor, now the Westgate New York City Grand Central—at a rate of $6.25 per night.

Like a good Hallmark movie, the team found the Gollers’ backstory tugged at their heart strings, and knew others would find it endearing, too. Telling their story would inspire more travelers looking for a romantic escape.

Love turned travel inspiration

Westgate invited storytellers to congratulate the anniversary couple by submitting their own romantic vacation stories from past travels.

That welled up beautiful memories, and made a meaningful introduction to Westgate.

Word spread at the speed of Cupid’s arrow, 💘 drawing hundreds of storytellers who sent heartfelt memories of their own, and reached over thirty thousand friends and family with their stories. That attracted a little romantic spark from hundreds of leads for the Westgate New York Grand Central.

2 photos sitting side by side. Photo submission from Dotty F. of a young couple with the female draping her arms around her husband's neck. Photo submission from Mary C. showing a young couple on a mountain hike holding hands.2 photos sitting side by side. Photo submission from Cedric B. of a young couple standing close together in front of a forested area. Photo submission from Mark T. showing a young couple on a motorbike in a small alleyway.

A genuine love story featuring a cute couple inspired an audience of hopeless romantics, and sent them right into the arms of the Westgate New York Grand Central. Which proves there is such a thing as love at first sight.

Why better conversations with travelers lead to bigger successes for Plunge Beach Resort

Building an audience of like-minded folks is a top priority for 163-key Plunge Beach Resort. After all, as an independent hotel set in the lesser-known market of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, the property would be remiss to rely on marketing efforts from the municipalities of Fort Lauderdale and Miami alone.

It’s sleek, surf-inspired design, and edgy restaurants make it an unexpected gem in its neighborhood, and while the resort provides the unique experience its guests seek out, it’s not in an obvious location where those specific planners tend to search.

With this in mind, the team at Plunge Beach Resort knew an owned audience opens up the opportunity to have better, more authentic conversations with future travelers, and to key in on a right-fit demographic for their hip beachfront hotel.

In doing so, the property is able to win over travelers with a higher return on investment than through traditional marketing alone.

Photo submission from Jennifer C. showing a woman at the beach with hands outstretched looking out onto the ocean.

Advocacy in the dreaming phase

Our team at Flip.to initially worked with Plunge Beach Resort to build and grow their audience through Advocacy. There, the resort is introduced to friends and family of their guests, which are a perfect demographic to consistently fill their marketing funnel.

Advocacy reaches the traveler at their point of inspiration, and opens a dialogue with the resort that’s nurtured by the platform to help these warm leads convert.

Photo submission from Diane S. showing a beach at sunset with an empty hammock in between palm trees.

Discovery in the planning phase

Halfway through this year, the resort also began sparking conversations with travelers in another phase of the traveler journey—the planning phase. By switching on Discovery, Plunge Beach Resort aims to learn more about visitors who land on their site, ready to plan a trip.

Discovery unveils planners deciding where to go next, learns their intent and booking time-frame, and re-engages that traveler along their decision-making journey to help win them over for Plunge Beach.

In fact, whether that window is near-term or farther out, the platform helps the property re-engage at the appropriate time and with the right message to convert, all based on their intent. And it even helps extend a guest’s stay.

The results

Both parts of the Flip.to platform are performing swimmingly (pun intended!) for Plunge Beach, leading to a 137X return on investment. While the numbers speak for themselves, the biggest takeaway is that better conversations with travelers lead to better business for our partners.

Infographic: A look at Impact, 90 Days for Plunge Beach Resort. 47,207 friends & family reached  thanks to 93 advocates; 4,097  planners unveiled considering a stay at Plunge Beach Resort; Plunge Beach Resort has earned and tracked $198,033 in direct revenue, a 137X return on investment

A Destination Platform: How a collaboration 5 years in the making helped Condo-World and Visit Myrtle Beach put up big wins

One of the important aspects of collaboration is that—beyond being a sustainable strategy for growth—it grows to become a long term competitive edge.

We’ve seen this proven in Myrtle Beach. Now in a record-performant year after one of the fastest rebounds in the country, early collaboration was the foundation for their recovery.

We’re now 5 years in to the partnership. In lockstep with Alex Husner, CMO of Condo-World and newly elected Chair of the Board of Visit Myrtle Beach, we’ve seen the community soar.

We sat down with Alex to talk about the big wins both organizations have seen, including how the platform is driving their decision-making, a better path to conversion, and tackling their big rocks.

Early adopters

Condo-World and Visit Myrtle Beach agreed that having better conversations and more authentic relationships with travelers would naturally lead to better conversion. That led them to become early adopters of the platform.


Video 1: Visit Myrtle Beach + Condo-World: Early Adopters

“We all knew that there was a better way; a more personalized way to get guests along the funnel.”

Collaborative insights drives decision making

The insights gained from across the community l have helped everyone understand what’s making the most impact down to dollars. That has shaped marketing efforts in real time, and has led to exponential growth in audience and revenue.


Video 2: Flip.to for Visit Myrtle Beach: Collaborative Insights

“Through Flip.to we’ve been able to build one of the most sophisticated data structures of any DMO in the country.”

Winning over travelers

Whether in the dreaming phase, planning phase or booking phase, Flip.to helps Condo-World and Visit Myrtle Beach reach a high-quality audience, inspiring them with the right message at the right time in their traveler journey.


Video 3: Flip.to and the Traveler Journey: winning over dreamers, planners and bookers

“We’ve been able to use Flip.to to make more informed decisions on our advertising.”

Better conversations with travelers

A reimagined booking path, Discovery sparks conversations with planners on both sites in a more authentic way, building an audience, learning their intent, and winning them over. This, of course, leads to increased revenue.


Video 4: Discovery: Unveil & re-engage planners on your site, tracked to revenue

“We’ve really flipped the script on how abandonment works. We know there’s a lot of nurturing that needs to happen along the way, and through Flip.to we’re able to do that.”

Impact

The Flip.to platform is helping Condo-World and Visit Myrtle Beach grow an owned audience of travelers, enabling them to have better conversations with that audience, and following the impact of those relationships all the way down to dollars.


Video 5: Alex on the Flip.to team

“Working with the Flip.to team could not be better. They’re passionate about what they do. They’re passionate about technology, but they’re also passionate about travel.”

And it’s working better than we could have dreamed. So far this year, we’ve helped earn and track $37 million across all of Myrtle Beach.

That’s on top of the high quality audience growth, and all of the other benefits of the platform— including a mission that’s been a sustaining factor for their travel industry: collaboration.

What a shift toward first-party data means for destination marketers

As the subject of online privacy makes daily headlines in news outlets around the world, destination marketers are taking note. Consumers are more aware of their online privacy, and the oft poor marketing tactics that threaten it.

Big tech companies like Google are committing to the strategy, declaring its intention to send third-party cookies the way of Flash.

In doing so, the tech giant is putting privacy first—though without completely leaving publishers and other advertisers out in the cold.

As marketers in the destination space ourselves, we’ve long been talking about marketing practices that needed to change, specifically in travel. Not in an effort to make marketing harder, but to make it better. Better for the traveler and better for business.

We’re happy to say that destination marketers are leaning in, with the privacy-first approaches centered on first-party data. We spoke to growth innovator and longtime destination marketer Scott Schult for his take.

As Scott shares and Google demonstrates, putting your audience and your community front-and-center is the core of a great marketing plan. Having better conversations with these people—as real people—and earning their trust is a well-regarded, privacy-first approach.

That turns into more meaningful insight which builds stronger business—so long as you protect your audience.

As our audience, we’re putting you first, too. We’d love to hear about the first-party data strategy your destination uses at zstovall@flip.to.

How Alden Suites accelerated to a more profitable rebound, all thanks to a warm audience

We aim to tackle marketing that’s both good for travelers and good for business, and we partner with industry players who do the same to drive more impact for customers.

We teamed up with NAVIS and the Sunshine Gals to boost the bottom line for Alden Suites Beachfront Resort, a 143-room property in sunny St. Pete Beach, Florida. Here’s a closer look at how the partnership set Alden up for a post-2020 comeback.

A competitive market

Marketing duo Sunshine Woodyard and Trudy Anderson of the Sunshine Gals are the conductors of Alden’s marketing, together with Alden’s VP of Operations, Tony Satterfield. He explains,

“The challenge with an independent hotel is not having that big brother that can feed you anywhere from thirty to sixty percent of your business.”

Like other independent hotels, the property elbows its way into market share in many of the same crowded channels as its peers.

Alden and the Sunshine Gals knew they needed a different approach. They wanted to talk directly to their audience, segmenting based on their wants and needs, and knew focusing on the guest experience over promotions would be a better way to engage their community.

The approach was successful, but they quickly found the need to scale, leading them to tap Flip.to and NAVIS. The partnership would grow the audience faster, and build traveler relationships across the traveler journey, tackling their goals:

  • Reach and inspire an audience of dreamers who are the perfect demographic
  • Unveil planners on their site, sparking new conversations in more authentic ways
  • Win over new and repeat guests, inspiring them to return again and again

Isometric screenshots of Flip.to screens

Growth at every part of the traveler journey

Winning over planners and bookers

After 2020, Alden’s focus was to rebound more quickly and profitably by growing their direct channel. They turned to Flip.to, and we were excited to put to work the newest part of our marketing platform: Discovery.

Discovery unveils prospects on their site with a reimagined booking path, learning a planner’s intent and travel aspirations in a more authentic way. From there, the platform re-engages and nurtures prospects by sparking better conversations based on that newly discovered intent.

Switching on Discovery resulted in a leap in conversion, and a significant increase in direct revenue for Alden.

Letting won-over guests inspire a new audience of dreamers

After these guests have stayed, Flip.to steps in once again—this time with Advocacy. Alden turns their guests into storytellers, letting them share their experiences to grow a new audience.

They reach a highly-targeted, like-minded demographic who are dreaming about travel, before competitors even have the chance. Plus, these storytellers fuel other marketing. Woodyard shares,

“Flip.to lets us tell authentic guest stories throughout the traveler journey. People can see themselves at the property, living the vacation dream.”

The impact from Flip.to in the dreaming, planning & booking stages is massive:

IN JUST 90 DAYS ON FLIP.TO 147K Friends and family reached with Advocacy—the right demographic at the lowest cost-of-acquisition 12K Planners unveiled, leading to hundreds of added room nights using Discovery’s reimagined booking path ALDEN HAS EARNED AND TRACKED AN ADDITIONAL $470K in direct revenue a 325x return on investment, thanks to Flip.to and on pace to reach $1.8M in 2021

Extending the traveler’s lifetime value

After working hard to grow and maintain this highly valuable audience, Alden Suites sought to maximize its impact, and that’s where NAVIS took the reins.

In order to build more fruitful, long-term relationships, NAVIS aims to increase its value, analyzing guest data, nurturing leads, and creating new or repeat direct bookings.

In doing so, NAVIS helps Alden Suites continue meaningful conversations with past guests, keeping their audience from going stale and ultimately priming guests to return.

This increases long-term revenue, creating growth that has been especially important after the challenges our industry has faced in the past year:

Year Over Year (YOY) GROWTH WITH NAVIS 34K Click Throughs 17% Open Rate IN 2020, THIS RESULTED IN $1,343,780 in direct revenue an 18% growth in gross revenue YoY, thanks to NAVIS

Teaming up for better marketing and better results

Marketing efforts with Flip.to and NAVIS proving effective through to revenue have helped the spirited team at Alden and the Sunshine Gals solidify their strategy:

“The partnership with NAVIS and Flip.to is a critical component of how we’ve been successful over the last several years,”

says Satterfield. And Anderson agrees:

“Our investment in building our own audience prior to COVID has made recovery work a lot better.”

Let’s talk

If you’re ready to hear how the Flip.to marketing platform can launch incredible impact for your property in weeks, get in touch. To keep up with more on what Alden Suites, NAVIS, and the Sunshine Gals are doing to reshape travel marketing, give them a follow:

We’ll share how you can reach, inspire and convert new audiences at a massive scale.