Pool and Integrated Resort Campaign 06-08/2013 (DISPLAY ADVERTISING) – Over my time at The Venetian and The Palazzo we created a dozen of fresh and innovative display advertising campaigns. In-terms of the creative our primary focus was to incorporate our brand’s value proposition (all-suite hotels plus our suites are 2x the size of an average hotel room in Vegas) and meet our brand standards. We used market research and search engine data to drive our messaging strategy and analyzed our results analytics weekly. Something also worth noting is how we carefully differentiated the brand message for Venetian versus the brand message for Palazzo. Here are two example ads:
Digital On-property Touchscreen “DOT” 01/2014 (INTERACTIVE) – I am sure you have seen or used a huge touch-screen before. For example viewing a menu at Aria Resort & Casino or looking up airport flight information at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Well we decided to make our own!
As background, we had learned through market research that our on-property guests and visitors primarily cared about three things: 1. What’s Happening, 2. Where to Dine, Shop, Play and 3. How to Get There. Also we wanted to improve visitor and guest experience by connecting the digital and physical experiences. Therefore we worked with Proof Interactive and built a digital on-property touchscreen that was both differentiated and provided a good user experience. We thought this would help with the primary visitor and guest needs which would in-turn improve the overall visitor and guest experience and satisfaction.
In the end it turned out differentiated compared to other Vegas property touchscreens in-terms of its functionality (it was mobilized) and branding (it had a unique Vitruvian Man design that fit our brand). However after we designed and tested it we realized it was not something we could maintain in the long-run and was not the optimal experience. For example we did not plan for 1) the touchscreen to sync up with the CMS for our websites 2) who was going to upload/create/update content for it and 3) how its content would be differentiated from our websites. Also although it was “mobilized”, specifically you could scan a QR code for a specific venue and get directions in our mobile app to the venue, the technology was not adding value. Specifically the technology could not identify the user’s current location. Therefore the actual experience was the user had to input their starting point for it to work. But what if the user didn’t know where they were? For visitors and guests already lost in our extremely large property this was not the best user-experience. Also after getting feedback from team members who work on the floor and interact with visitors and guests on a daily basis, I would have liked to have included a “digital concierge” component, one where a guest or visitor could get immediate responses from a real person via the touchscreen. However once again that would involve planning a specific person or team to manage this beforehand.
In summary this, along with my other projects at The Venetian and The Palazzo, were an awesome learning experience and I definitely learned a lot of things in the process that have since then made me a better marketer.
Passaporto 11/2013 (MOBILE) – As you know at The Venetian and The Palazzo our main goal was to sell all 7,100 of our suites on a daily basis. During slower seasons, such as Summer and Winter, most of our competition were dropping their hotel room rates. We didn’t want to follow this trend and hurt our brand plus we knew our product was providing the value for its price. Therefore we thought of a new way to add value. We created the “Passaporto” which was first in a printed booklet form and then we made a digital version that was part of our mobile app. In Passaporto we added value to each booking customers made by giving them 500+ experiences around our resort (all included with every booking at no additional cost). For example hundreds of experiences including a complimentary gondola ride or a surprise dessert at a 5-star restaurant or special backstage access to one of our shows.
However although this was a brilliant idea it initially failed and it was all because we did not effectively roll it out to our team members, especially the ones who interact with our guests while they are on-property, from front desk receptions to casino hosts to housekeepers. Although we developed great messaging the really believed in this idea everyone outside of the marketing department either didn’t know what it was or were calling Passaporto a coupon book.
This is why we created a version of Passaporto just for team members that had exclusive team member discounts/offers for on and off-property for them and their families. We also rolled out a full marketing campaign with creative specifically for our team members. This involved a fun pacman themed video (that explained what “Passaporto” was) to having a team outside the team member dining rooms to help team members download and use the Passaporto along with a sweepstakes. The coolest and most humbling part of it all was that our Team Member Engagement Department took it to the next level by creating a scavenger hunt for the new team member orientation around Passaporto and announcing it in our team member rallies.
In the end our efforts paid off. We cut print costs (discontinuing the original printed versions of Passaporto) and grew digital adoption from less than 5% to 40%. Also we increased our mobile app downloads by 4x!
In the long-run, it was better for our brand to add value (Passaporto) than for our brand to discount. Passaporto has great value and is difficult to be copied. Not to mention it is a way to connect directly with guest who originally booked a stay at The Venetian and The Palazzo through an online travel agency site (instead of directly though our website). For example if someone booked on Expedia and downloaded our app with Passaporto in it we could now send them relevant information during their stay and future offers directly (without paying a commission to OTAs).