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Novotel Taps into Mobile for Incremental Revenue

Melbourne, Australia (August 28, 2012) – The Novotel Melbourne on Collins is using mobile technology for incremental guest revenue in the hotel.

The Novotel Melbourne on Collins is a four star hotel located in the heart of Melbourne and perfectly positioned on stylish Collins Street.

The Novotel saw an opportunity to provide guests with exclusive food and beverage offers for their stay, as a means of improving guest relations and also for improving revenues for their bar and restaurant.

The Lane Cafe and Bar is the first destination guests see when they access the hotel’s reception on Level 1. The Novotel Melbourne on Collins knew if they could boost their guest numbers at the bar during Happy Hour, this would create a flow-on effect to boost guest numbers in both the bar and restaurant.

Therefore, one strategy used was to offer all house guests with a free drink during ‘Happy Hour’, as a part of a guests “welcome message” for the hotel.

The best way to reach all guests with exclusive food and beverage offers is via the device they carry with them 24 hours per day – their mobile phone.

It was decided that SMS, with practically 100% open rates and readership was the best tactic to deliver such offers.

The Novotel engaged the services of MOBIPOST who were able to offer specific advice on how to construct the SMS offers along with campaign support and guidance.

Hayden Hughes, General Manager for Novotel Melbourne on Collins said, “MOBIPOST understood right from the beginning what our objectives were and were able to apply their immense experience with SMS campaigns to our business. They not only helped us to ensure that the message and timing were right, they also offered us guidance on past guest segmentation and also fully managed the campaigns on our behalf.”

The results from the initial campaigns was immediate, with a great proportion of staying guests taking up the free drink offers and in turn, increasing average bar revenues significantly.

Darren Press, MOBIPOST Manager says, “An important aspect of any mobile campaign like this is staff awareness and training. I had the privilege of staying at the hotel and witnessed firsthand how the barman was able to explain the free drink SMS offer to a staying guest, allowing them to maximise their free drink offer with the highest price drink”.

The guest welcome messages included a map link giving them access to the hotel’s street address, providing those with smart phones a convenient reference – particularly those guests coming from interstate.

Another strategy deployed to increase food and beverage revenues was by offering exclusive discounts to Michel’s Restaurant (conveniently located behind the Lane Cafe) – to encourage guests to “dine in” rather than dine elsewhere.

Again, the response rates on the offers were immediate and in some cases exceeding 60%.

Recognising that the mobile channel and in particular SMS, could deliver great returns for Novotel Melbourne on Collins they decided to instigate a new initiative of enticing past guests to say with them again.

Says Hughes, “We segmented our data from our past hotel guest list to ensure we were reaching only those guests who would remember us and who were in close enough proximity to act upon an attractive accommodation offer. Again MOBIPOST helped us to get the message right to gain maximum returns.”

The message went to several thousand guests and within 48 hours 30 guests had booked in at the hotel.

Darren Press says, “They key aspect of any mobile campaign is targeting and relevance. The first thing a past guest will ask is ‘why are you sending me this message?’. So you need to ensure that the message is relevant and exclusive just for them”.

A key feature of the MOBIPOST platform is the ability to send multipart or “long” SMS messages overcoming the often limiting 160 character limit.

Adds Press, “For certain messages where you need to convey a level of background or attach some intent or exclusivity to the offer, 160 characters is often not enough. Through MOBIPOST you can construct a 2 or 3 part SMS which still appears as a single long message on the recipient’s phone.”

Another feature of the MOBIPOST platform is multimedia messaging or MMS.

Hughes explains, “We tried MMS as a bar promotion on a Saturday, using the multimedia message as a means to excite and entice guests numbers into our Bar. It certainly worked for us, as bar revenues increased by around $1,500 based on the average Saturday takings for the previous four weeks.”

As the MOBIPOST platform is completely self managed, the Novotel Melbourne on Collins have now been trained to be able to run their own campaigns week to week.

The Novotel Melbourne on Collins are continuing to work with MOBIPOST on a range of other initiatives including guest services and co-promotions.

Contact:

Hayden Hughes
Novotel Melbourne on Collins
Web: www.novotelmelbourne.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/novotelmelbourne

Darren Press
MOBIPOST Manager
Tel: +61 3 9804 4600
Web: www.mobipost.com.au
Email: dp@mobipost.com.au

Post a comment on how your business is using MOBIPOST, or intend using MOBIPOST and the best comment will WIN a $100 voucher towards your messaging.



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