Granite Hospitality’s Rock Solid Strategy for Merchandising Success
Melissa Bruckler, the E-Commerce Consultant for Granite Hospitality knows the importance of casting your line where the fish are swimming. She’s been using VBrochure effectively for over three years to ensure her properties have a strong presence online. That’s why she is a VFM Leonardo Merchandising Hero!
Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Granite Hospitality is a full service strategic hotel management company. Currently, they manage the daily operations of five hotels, totaling over 1,000 guestrooms.
Our Merchandising Hero
Melissa Bruckler has over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. After graduating from Northern Arizona University for hotel management, she held various management roles with Wyndham for six years. She then moved on to Carlson working in a variety of roles including revenue systems management and training. In 2001 Melissa went independent and now she finds herself engulfed in the exciting world of online hotel marketing.
Melissa explains “The typical online shopper visits an average of 22 travel websites before they book a hotel. It’s important for our properties to be presented in a compelling way on as many online channels as possible.” She adds, “It’s important to have a visual presence where your guests are researching—and these days people are researching online.”
She also understands that different guests are seeking different features in the hotel they choose, so she makes the effort to identify and appeal to the individual needs of prospective guests. An important aspect of her online marketing strategy is identifying her customer segments.
“Hotels must cater to the specific needs of guests based on the guest segment. For example, leisure guests have different needs than those traveling on business or with a group,” explains Melissa. ”The VBrochure multimedia player enables us to communicate to a guest based specifically on what they need.”
Customize for Customers
Granite Hospitality currently manages five hotels with widely varied customer segments. Since Melissa has a firm grasp on who her target customer segments are, she’s able to make the most of the VBrochure Online Merchandising System by customizing players for different online channels and for different customer groups.
One of Granite’s properties, The Holiday Inn Buena Park-Knott’s Berry Farm, is located near Anaheim, California. The property offers an excellent catering staff onsite and hosts a variety of groups, ranging from elegant weddings to corporate events. Melissa is able to provide a compelling story of what the hotel has to offer to each group. She adds, “People who are planning weddings are looking for different things than people who are planning corporate events.” With VBrochure we are able to show them exactly what they need to see by creating specialized players with media and text that speaks to each group.”
By identifying and understanding their potential guests, Granite is able to adapt the hotel viewers to market specifically to the types of travel shoppers they want to attract. It allows them to strategically target customer segments that they know they can service, and those that they want to grow.
Another way that Melissa keeps Granite’s hotels in prospective customers’ line of vision is by effectively using the Facebook Apps Suite. Something she especially appreciates about VBrochure.
She says, “VBrochure is one of the only products for hoteliers that have really tackled Facebook. The apps make it easy to promote our hotels more effectively on Facebook, and the links from each app to the booking engine are an added bonus.” “They also quickly update the Facebook Apps when the new Timeline profiles were introduced.”
Endless Opportunities with VBrochure
Melissa has been using the VBrochure Online Merchandising System to market Granite’s different hotels for over three years. With the help of her Customer Success Representative, she has leveraged VBrochure to its full potential, adding new media frequently, implementing the Facebook Apps Suite, creating mobile websites for some properties and incorporating the multi-media player into many other aspects of her digital marketing initiatives.
When asked what advice she could offer her peers about presenting their hotels online, our hero Melissa stressed the importance of being where the guests are.
“I’m really an advocate for being where your guests are,” says Melissa, “VBrochure is a one stop shop so I’m able to login, load my media and text, build my players and then distribute them across VFML’s network of sites, on our Facebook pages and everywhere we market online.”