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The Caterer

Best Group Marketing Campaign – Exclusive Hotels

13 July 2006
Best Group Marketing Campaign – Exclusive Hotels

Sponsored by Nestlé FoodServices

Exclusive Hotels' Breakfast at Tiffany's-themed promotion had all the hallmarks of a quality marketing campaign. Judge Pamela Carvell said its goals were entirely tangible and measurable and fellow judge Andrew Evans added: "There is an inherent danger in being wowed by the visual material, whereas a measurable return on investment is absolutely critical. This campaign was very focused on its target market."

Exclusive Hotels is a collection of four country house hotels, including Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, Surrey. Individually, the hotels were well known, however, the Exclusive Hotels brand was not.

The campaign's external objectives were to increase the awareness and profile of the Exclusive Hotels group among corporate events bookers, increase revenue from the direct corporate market by 5% for 2005, encourage new clients to book, increase awareness of the Spa at Pennyhill Park and increase hits to the Exclusive Hotels website.

Internal objectives were to improve deposit taking for events, increase the booking conversion percentage for the group, and encourage competition between the events teams.

Bearing in mind that 90% of direct corporate bookers are female, Exclusive created a Breakfast at Tiffany's-themed campaign which ran for four months, culminating in a sparkling evening held at the Spa in Pennyhill Park Hotel.

Judges were impressed by the level of detail that saw staff dressed in Audrey Hepburn little black dresses with long black gloves and cigarette holders, all wearing the name badge "Audrey". Tiffany & Co came along to allow guests to try on jewellery and the Spa reception area was made to look like a jewellery store.

All who attended the party were entered into a draw to win a luxury three-night stay in New York City complete with $5,000 to spend at Tiffany & Co. In order to be invited, corporate bookers had to deposit at least £8,000 of business before
26 May. Each £8,000 represented one entry into the draw. The deposit had to be received prior to the date of the party.

In parallel, staff also had an incentive. For every £8,000 a member of the events team brought in, they were entered into another draw for a trip to New York. Both prizes were presented at the same party. The whole campaign cost just under £20,000.

The results were a total of 10,730 hits on the campaign web page during the four-month promotion, one-third of which were new clients. Direct corporate business increased by 10%. Clients were shown the Spa during the party as a potential venue. Deposit taking increased by more than 20% during the time of the campaign.

Carvell concluded: "In terms of achieving the business objectives, of trying to change the business for the future, the whole positioning of it was exquisite. It all integrated beautifully."

The shortlist

  • Exclusive Hotels
  • Glasgow City Council
  • Virgin Limited Edition
  • Best Western Hotels - two-for-one third party campaign

Judges

  • Pamela Carvell, owner, Pampas Training & Marketing
  • Andrew Evans, managing director, Fresh RM
  • Laurence Owen, marketing manager, Caterer.com
  • Duncan Reynolds, retail and procurement director, Odeon Cinemas
  • John Saxon, client services director, Momentum PDP
  • Ian Styles, marketing director, Elior UK
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