Digital Marketing Best Practice: Margaritaville Resort Orlando

HSMAI’s 2019 Adrian Awards competition is open and accepting entries through Aug. 22 — honoring creativity and innovation in hospitality advertising, digital marketing, and public relations. Take some inspiration from one of last year’s Platinum winners: Margaritaville Resort Orlando, whose “Margaritaville Resort Orlando: Integrated Consumer Digital Campaign” was honored in the Digital Marketing/Digital Campaign/Integrated Market Campaign for Consumers. (View all of last year’s Adrian-winning submissions here.)

BACKGROUND: Margaritaville Resort Orlando (MRO) is a 300-acre resort that opened in Kissimmee, Florida, in January 2019. The resort features a hotel and 1,000 rental cottages to house guests as well as a water park and a retail center with dozens of restaurants and a movie theater. MRO worked with Concept Farm to handle the marketing leading up to the resort’s opening.

RESEARCH: More than 62 million people visit Orlando every year, while more than 60 million customers engage with the Margaritaville brand every year. The purpose of MRO’s campaign was to excite both bases. Supplementing existing research with its own to identify and then test potential messaging points, MRO found that the three messages that generated the highest engagements were “Becoming immersed in Margaritaville,” “Learning the business of Margaritaville,” and “Being in the know as it relates to Margaritaville.” From there, MRO supplemented information provided by tourism boards and its corporate brand with research that identified target audiences. Because the range of customers was so broad — from a hotel guest spending $200 per night to a cottage owner spending a million dollars — there was a wide spectrum for whom to tailor messages.

THE CAMPAIGN: The primary objective was to deliver 300 leads to the in-house sales team for phase one cottage sales. The secondary objective was to build a pool of potential renters for the rental units and hotel rooms. The marketing team worked to promote the brand while engaging with the existing Margaritaville base and extending to consumers beyond the brand, fostering a relationship with the audience to convince them to stay at MRO once it opened. The message conveyed was to make the Margaretville lifestyle possible for everyone to enjoy by offering a vacation experience that was on their terms and in their very own place in paradise. Content was designed to play out on the digital screen and be quickly digestible. Engagement was constantly monitored to refine audiences and hone the messages. This delivered highly qualified traffic to the website, which maintained a 10-percent conversion rate (lead submissions/unique visitors).

RESULTS: As of April 2018, 12,000 ownership leads for the cottages were delivered, and were converted into 550 deposits, then 225 closed contracts, selling through all inventory in the first two phases of development without the use of an outside broker. That left an additional 325 depositors awaiting new inventory. This far surpassed the original goal of 300 leads and closing on 100 cottages. Also, as of April 2018, 20,000 rental/hotel leads were delivered.

Categories: Marketing, Digital, Resort Marketing
Insight Type: Best Practices