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Guest app

Crown Reef Resort was acquired by Vacation Myrtle Beach Resorts in 2013, which has spent more than $13 million to upgrade the property, build a water park and add other amenities. Matt Klugman, director of sales and marketing for Vacation Myrtle Beach, says, “We’ve always looked for better and more efficient ways to deliver data and analytics to our people so that they could make the right decisions. We have worked with Fuel for many years.”

Fuel’s GuestExpress Mobile App was implemented at the beginning of this year and is already showing benefits, with more expected as Crown Reef executives familiarize themselves with the way to use the customer-facing app to drive revenue through flash sales, room upgrades and in-app guest service purchases. The app also enables guests to check via their smartphones while also researching detailed room and property information and receiving push notifications from the resort.

“It’s a great tool for the customer; it’s a great way for us to enhance the customer experience,” Klugman says. “From a marketing perspective, we can connect with customers on a more personal basis.”

Customers who use the app are also less likely to go to a third-party site, like Kayak, to book a room, Klugman adds. A third party collects a portion of the revenue, so using the app enables the hotelier to keep all of the revenue. With the app, Crown Reef can track the customer’s behavior, how they navigate, what incentives tend to prompt conversion from prospect to booked guest and other information, according to Klugman.

“We are using [the app] to increase our exposure with potential guests,” Klugman adds. “The marketing is shifting. People want something where they can just press a button.”

The app makes it simple for Coral Reef to collect information about the guest’s preferences regarding his or her visits to the resort, enabling it to customize offers, incentives and discounts. Klugman adds that the resort is still in the early stages of offering the app, so he expects other opportunities to use the knowledge the technology provides as he and other resort execs become more seasoned in working with it.

Mobile campaign ups ice cream sales in Ecuador

Geolocation knowledge management is an increasingly important element in the mobile/multichannel strategies of many companies from small to large.

Unilever, the multinational conglomerate that manufactures everything from soap to high-end ice cream, wanted to increase the awareness of and the traffic to its ice cream stores in Ecuador, which offer Unilever’s Magnum premium ice cream.

The goal was to attract customers and offer them an experience that would prompt them to return. But Unilever didn’t have the geolocation or the targeting expertise to attract its preferred audience—teenagers and young adults at least 15 years of age who are near Magnum stores in Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador, according to Monica Albarracin, brand manager of ice cream at Unilever.

The geo-located banner ads were the work of Adsmovil, which uses geographic data and publisher relationships to find Spanish- and English-speaking customers. When smartphone owners who were reading publications appropriate to younger people came within range of a Magnum store, they were shown a geo-targeted rich-media banner ad inviting them to design their own ice cream bars and then pick them up at the shop. The ads invited them to select flavors and toppings and even to name their customized ice cream bars.

Out of more than 1 million impressions delivered, the ads received more than 15,000 clicks. The average click-through rate (CTR) was 2.01 percent—four times the average rich-media CTR.

The ad campaign doubled the company’s record for the number of ice cream bars sold in a Magnum store in a single day. Additionally, in-store sales volume increased by 14 percent over the brand average. The results were strong enough to convince Magnum to double its budget and repeat the campaign for the following year.

Knowledge management will continue to be at the core of programs and services that companies adopt in their mobile and multichannel strategies as they look to connect with and sell through the channel that customers find most convenient, which several studies show is increasingly dominated by mobile.

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