Watermark Hotel Brisbane Selects ZDirect for Hotel Marketing Automation

  • ZDirect, Inc.
  • 08.06.13
Watermark Hotel Group has selected ZDirect's electronic communication platform, ZMail®, to be installed at the Watermark Hotel Brisbane.

Watermark Hotel Group Taps ZDirect for Hotel Marketing Automation in Australia

When the Australian division of Watermark Hotel Group needed to replace its outdated and labor-intensive eMarketing software, they turned to hotel marketing automation specialist ZDirect. Today, the ZMail® electronic communication platform is installed at the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, and soon it will roll out to the Watermark Hotel Brisbane, making "the most refreshing hotel experience" even more fulfilling for guests and far more valuable for marketing staff.

ZDirect, hospitality’s Email Service Provider, has been servicing more than 2,000 hotels and resorts on six continents with eMarketing and eCRM solutions since 2002. ZMail® delivers dynamic, real-time profiles of hotel guests and streamlines and centralizes each property's eMarketing initiative by tracking guest behaviors and preferences. This not only helps to fill unsold rooms by keeping customers engaged and wanting to receive emails and SMS/text messages, but it enables marketers to identify the best possible candidates for increasing occupancy, revenues, and loyalty.

"In order to remain competitive today, hotels need much more than a monthly eNewsletter," said Che Bianca Black, QLD marketing communications manager for Watermark Hotel Group. "Our Australia properties were using a system, which did not provide functionality updates, to send eNewsletters only. It also did not interface with our MICROS Opera property-management system. Instead, the data was pulled from a basic excel spreadsheet, making tracking very difficult. Pre- and post-stay emails were not being sent. The only way we were receiving guest feedback was through printed feedback forms in the rooms and verbal comments at reception. This was labor intensive as it required a staff member to manually input the data into a spreadsheet and create charts to make it meaningful. It became painfully obvious that sourcing and implementing a new eCRM system was critical.

"ZDirect came highly recommended," Black said. "After conducting extensive research, we found ZMail® to be the best system for Watermark Hotels. It not only had an established interface to our PMS, but it enabled us to send eNewsletters to different market codes and to send automated pre- and post-stay surveys. Everything we were lacking previously was available immediately and affordably from ZDirect, and the migration process, from initial consultation to post-implementation, was very smooth. We couldn't be more pleased with our new eCRM system and the results it is producing. "

Black said the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast is generating significant revenue; its leisure e-newsletter alone generates approximately $7,000 in revenue per month. The PMS interface delivers access to much-needed information, including who our guests are, how long they have stayed with the hotel, where they come from, why they chose the property, and what services or amenities they like or don’t like. The hotel can then draw from this information easily, and confidently incorporate it into its marketing strategy. The post-stay survey program also is proving to be invaluable. On the flip side, pre-stay emails are allowing the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast to provide guests with more information about the hotel before they arrive, encouraging them to consider and spend more on hotel facilities.

Mobile Marketing
"Above and beyond our eMail program, ZDirect's SMS/text message service is driving our mobile strategy," Black said. "Being able to send SMS messages to our guests' mobile phones is not only convenient, but it's the way that travelers prefer to communicate with our hotels, and vice versa. Through ZDirect, we send a daily SMS to guests in the afternoon after they check-in. The text message welcomes the guest to the hotel and provides a ‘daily special’ for our restaurants or day spa. This not only increases on-property spending, but it shows our guests that we are just a touch away from responding to their every request, and that we will do everything possible to make their stay enjoyable. To avoid being invasive, each guest only receives one message during their stay."

Caren de'Ath, ZDirect vice president of sales, said she is delighted that the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast is having such tremendous success with reservation confirmations, pre-/post-stay emails, and eNewsletters from ZDirect, and that they are leveraging text and SMS to increase customer interaction and communication.

"When you communicate with people in the way that they prefer and only push to them information that is relevant to them, it creates an enriching experience," de'Ath said. "The result is a remarkable increase in customer satisfaction, loyalty and revenues.

“Due to the success at the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Cost, the Watermark Hotel Brisbane will be implementing ZMail to optimize delivery rates, create eQueries on the fly, analyze statistical reports driven by interfaces to the hotel's PMS, personalize campaigns that boost brand loyalty and bottom line revenues, and build opt-in subscribers," she said.

For more information on ZDirect, please visit www.zdirect.com

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