Doubletree Bay City Riverfront Hits the Target with their Online Merchandising

Meet Leslie Thompson, Director of Sales and Marketing at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City Riverfront. She knows that staying ahead of her competition is key. And she’s doing so with a strong online presence using VBrochure. That makes her a VFM Leonardo Merchandising Hero!

Residing in the quaint little town of Bay City Michigan, this classy, downtown hotel is consistently ranked one of the
five best DoubleTree hotels in the world.  DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City Riverfront is known for its excellent staff and competitive price, which makes the property a favourite for corporate groups, business and leisure travelers, and weddings.

Leslie Thompson, Director of Sales and Marketing, at the property, received her degree in hospitality from Michigan State.  She has been immersed in the hotel industry for 13 years, running the gamut of positions, including catering manager, sales manager, and director of sales.  She believes a winning combination of passion for your product and creativity in delivering its message is a proven formula for sales success.

Thompson has a palpable desire to be the best in her field, and she is constantly looking for ways to stay ahead of her competition.

“Online presence is more important than ever.  Our local competition is not yet into social media or having an online presence, so right now that’s my competitive edge.  I also feel like our competitors are just sitting back and waiting for people to come to them but I want to aggressively bring people in so I’m getting more business and achieving targets”.

Before finding VBrochure, Thompson was struggling with way to provide a strong and consistent online presence across the web. Understanding that conveying a consistent and compelling story about her hotel across online channels was important, she recognized that VBrochure was the right solution for her hotel.

Since the implementation of VBrochure, Thompson has been able to leverage her Multi-Media Player, to tell an engaging story about her hotel. Along with all the details that make her hotel unique, she’s also incorporated an “Explore” tab to highlight the many local attractions guests can enjoy when staying at her hotel.

They’ve also benefited from Hilton’s relationship with VFM Leonardo. All DoubleTree Hotels who purchase VBrochure receive an additional tab in their VBrochure Player called “The New DoubleTree”. With this she’s able to reinforce the strong DoubleTree brand messaging, reminding potential guests of the standard they can expect when choosing a DoubleTree hotel.

Because traditionally, a large percentage of business for the DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City Riverfront, comes from group travel, and weddings, Thompson has also added a “Meetings” and a “Weddings” tab to her VBrochure Player, to capture the attention of those target groups. Because much of their communication with these target groups is done through email and email proposals, they’re able to further leverage the VBrochure Player in their email signatures as well.

“VBrochure is on every email that goes out to our groups or individuals inquiring about our property.  We’re able to professionally present the product on a daily basis.  People are visual and with this we’re able to provide them with a visual story about our hotel, without them having to go look for it.”

To further reach their wedding demographic, Thompson has also turned to Facebook where she finds many of her brides spend their time. Here she was able to leverage The VBrochure Facebook Events App to communicate with her brides.

“Facebook is an important part of our marketing strategy – we do 60-70 weddings a year and it’s clear that a lot of our brides are using Facebook.  We load a lot of rich media on Facebook to showcase our event spaces and to create and communicate our image to potential customers”.

The ability to have a wedding tab on their facebook page – devoted solely to brides – allows them to communicate their hotel story through visuals and text, on a channel their brides are already using. Thompson can show her prospective brides how her hotel can make their big day really special!

When asked what she hopes VBrochure will accomplish, Thompson has a clear goal.

“Of course our ultimate goal is more sales. We see VBrochure as a great way to help speed up the decision making process for group sales. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I’m confident that being able to show travel shoppers all of the great things that our hotel has to offer  and really convey our hotel story to them, will help speed up the decision making process and get them excited about coming to the area.”

It looks like Thompson’s online marketing strategy is right on target! Thompson quickly noticed an upswing in online traffic after implementing VBrochure.  They had a strong quarter with bookings, and their online views through Facebook and TripAdvisor significantly increased too! Since they implemented VBrochure their content is receiving hundreds of views each month from their email signature and Facebook App alone, and all signs are pointing up.

Their success has prompted Thompson to share some advice for her peers looking to enhance their own online presence: “People want simple and easy – they don’t want to have to search a bunch of sites to learn about your hotel, or get confused when they see different information on different sites. Using VBrochure on OTA’s, in your email signature, and on Facebook, is a great way to ensure a travel shopper gets a consistent impression of your property, plus they get all the information they need in one spot, so they don’t have to go searching. I would not want to not have this product!”

To learn how VBrochure™ can help you reinvent your hotels online presence –  and start you down the path to becoming a Merchandising Hero – Book a web demo!

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