Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (Millennium) is a dynamic, global hotel company, which owns, asset manages and/or operates over 110 hotels worldwide. The company operates hotels in 17 countries around the world.
Millennium Hotels are upscale and deluxe properties situated in premier locations in major international gateway cities or prominent business locations around the world. Copthorne Hotels are midscale properties in major regional business centres or resort locations in the UK, Germany, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.
A well established European brand, Copthorne’s international expansion started in New Zealand, where it has now become the country’s largest midscale hotel group.
The Business Challenge
Millennium needed to fully realize the potential of online marketing. The company had been using an agency to roll out a series of campaigns, but their ideas had become stale, and as a consequence were not meeting the moderate targets set by Millennium.
In October 2006 Millennium invited NetBooster (netbooster.co.uk) to tender for the account, after having carried out some useful search engine optimization (SEO) analysis for Millennium.
· The successful agency will have a proven track record in online marketing for the hotel and leisure sector.
· The successful agency will operate on a performance based model, with very specific targets.
· The successful agency will be able to deliver campaigns on a global scale.
After initially engaging on SEO consultancy services, Millennium appointed online marketing company NetBooster to manage Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns for UK, New Zealand and Singapore.
NetBooster had already delivered a series of successful campaigns for Starwood Hotels, Barcelo, eBookers and other players in the travel and tourism industry and had a proven track record in international search engine marketing.
The Business Objectives
Millennium’s online marketing campaign had been under performing and monthly sales conversions were below target. Initial target markets were UK, Singapore, and New Zealand - these were seen as the three key areas to improve, with Google, Yahoo and MSN as the major search engines to cover.
NetBooster was tasked with increasing monthly conversions above the set objectives. Millennium agreed a performance based pricing model with NetBooster in order to incentivise and increase the online conversion levels.
Planning the Campaign
NetBooster analysed the existing pay per click (PPC) campaign to determine where and how it was falling short of its target. The team began by looking at the performance of Millennium’s Google Adwords – the keywords it was using on Google to display ads on a PPC basis.
It found that the keywords were ineffective which resulted in low conversion levels. NetBooster also found that improving the content and quality of the website landing pages would improve online conversions.
NetBooster had to setup the PPC campaign from scratch and therefore had the added challenge to build up the click through rate (CTR) history. NetBooster increased the range of keywords for Millennium, improved the advert copy, rotation of the ad copy, whilst also optimising the key landing pages of millenniumhotels.com, all of which resulted in the conversions significantly increasing within the first 30 days.
Vice President Global Distribution and Revenue Management for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels PLC, Jinou Park, said, “In addition to driving transactions online, building brand awareness continues to be a priority for Millennium and Copthorne hotels.
“We have some hefty targets to drive incremental revenue through brand online, and our PPC campaign with NetBooster will be a key ingredient in driving this growth.”
Measurement and Results
In the last six months there has been a 134% increase in the average number of monthly conversions. More than double the company’s previous performance.
By negotiating a performance related contract with NetBooster, Millennium has drastically increased their online conversions and ROI and thereby rewarding NetBooster for their contribution to their overall sales performance.
Since starting the campaign, Millennium has now increased the geo target to include Germany, France, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia.
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