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Customer Stories / Texts that add real value to the customer journey – Vail Resorts

Texts that add real value to the customer journey

How Vail Resorts uses SMS to build lasting relationships and offer the experience of a lifetime.

37 resorts

around the world

3 countries

around the world

50+

years in business

Vail Resorts has a long history in the ski industry, beginning with the opening of Vail Mountain in 1962. Now, the company is the leading global mountain resort operator, with resorts in the United States, Canada, and Australia. A true leader in luxury, destination-based travel, Vail Resorts’ mission is to offer guests the “experience of a lifetime”.

 

A data-oriented solution

A challenge that comes with being a long-standing, well-established company is that it’s all too easy to be blindsided by routine. Vail Resorts was determined not to make that mistake.

“A few years ago we did a discovery project to get a holistic view of our marketing and MarTech approach,” says Matt Reid, Vice President of Omni-Channel Marketing at Vail Resorts. “We looked at everything from our processes to our data to our strategies, where we were ahead of the curve and where we were behind. One area that needed improvement was direct channel marketing, and specifically targeted mobile marketing.”

Mobile messaging had been implemented a few years earlier to offer guests real-time snow reports, but there was no connection to the company’s own customer database.

“It was a great service for the guests, but it was more or less anonymous. We didn’t know anything about those customers,” Matt Reid says. “We decided it was important for us to create a more consistent, personalized experience for each customer moving forward, especially mobile marketing.”

 

Achieving personalization at scale

Vail Resorts aimed to create a broader opt-in SMS program which contained more useful information for guests as well as contextual marketing. The content needed to be engagement-focused, rather than purely promotional, it needed to build an incredible customer experience, leading to stronger relationships with the resort, greater customer loyalty, and ultimately higher sales.

Vail  Resorts was already working with Adobe Campaign and wanted a tool which would integrate with their current analytics and other solutions. Sinch, an Adobe Business partner, was a perfect fit.

“Sinch’s competitive pricing for SMS was an important aspect, but even more important was the integration with Adobe,” says Matt Reid. “It was a seamless and fast transition for us to get started. Sinch was easy to use with our platforms, and they’re a great partner to help us scale in the right way.”

 

A mobile-first approach with direct business impact

After several seasons with the new SMS program, Vail Resorts has seen significant results.

“We find that when we use SMS as opposed to or in addition to an email, we see an increase in engagement and sometimes purchase rate,” Matt Reid says. For example, if a customer has opted in for snow reports in Colorado and Vail Resorts sends a targeted offer on lift tickets, an increase in purchase rates has been seen.

The nature of mobile marketing is changing rapidly, and it’s no secret that customers are shifting towards a more mobile experience. But Vail Resorts is well on their way to leading the charge into a new paradigm, having decided to further invest in rich multimedia mobile messaging to boost engagement and conversion rates even further.

“There are ways for us to be more playful in mobile messaging, that allow you to grab attention and really come to the front of someone’s phone, rather than being buried in their inbox,” Matt Reid says. “The shift to mobile puts more of the experience in the customers’ hands, and you have to be clear about the value you add.”

Sinch is honored to be a trusted partner with Vail Resorts as the company continues its mobile messaging journey.

Thanks to Sinch, Vail Resorts has found an easy, reliable way to engage customers, personalize at scale, and drive stronger business results in the mobile channel.  Sinch looks forward to continuing the journey with Vail, adding value and building long-term relationships with guests.

Key Facts

Company

Vail Resorts

Product

SMS

Industry

Hospitality

Country

USA/Canada

Challenge

Improve marketing approach by connecting all channels to a single-understanding of the guest, and specifically add more focus to direct, personalized mobile marketing

Solution

Deeper segmentation opportunities in SMS marketing, including opt-in for notifications offering weather updates and sales information

Results

Increase in customer engagement and purchase rate

" There are ways for us to be more playful in mobile messaging, that allow you to grab attention and really come to the front of someone’s phone, rather than being buried in their inbox. "

Matt Reid

Vice President of Omni-Channel Marketing, Vail Resorts

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