How does a fancy resort getaway sound to you right now? Our customer, Inspirato, is a luxury hospitality company with over 400 branded and staffed luxury vacation homes.
Inspirato has a membership business model that gains members access to an exclusive collection of luxury vacation homes, hotels, and resorts. At these locations, they experience one-of-a-kind luxury experiences, five-star personalized attention, and more.
Growth is key to Inspirato’s success. From acquisition through retention, they’ve been able to innovate people, processes, and technology — all while maintaining their authentic brand experience.
Whether or not a lavish vacation is in your near future, please feel free to imagine you’re sipping champagne poolside while you take in Inspirato’s marketing lessons for luxury and non-luxury brands alike:
Lesson #1: Using Data for Customer Acquisition
Insiprato’s first challenge came at launch in 2011. How would they achieve aggressive growth targets and stay profitable? The solution was to focus on the most fundamental goal for any new company: customer acquisition. To acquire great customers, Inspirato knew they needed to use the best data and most sophisticated data science to create highly-targeted acquisition audiences.
This meant understanding their entire data asset landscape and pinpointing which data sources were strongest. In managing their data, Inspirato discovered that:
- List brokers are generally stagnant and questionable data sources
- Single-source data is good for segmentation and basic modeling
- Multi-sourced data is strongest and exposes you to virtually all data assets
- First-party data from CRM and previous campaigns yields important insights
Takeaway: Customer acquisition — fueled by data — is key to achieving growth.
Lesson #2: Aligning Marketing and Sales Teams
Inspirato is a luxury brand with an best-in-class service offering. For Inspirato’s B2C customers — vacationing couples and families — membership is a high-consideration purchase that is typically emotionally driven and inspired by awareness and understanding of the brand. For the company’s B2B customers — resorts, vendors, and real estate licensors — purchases tends to be rationally driven and based on sales volume and velocity.
To succeed with both B2C and B2B audiences, Inspirato’s marketing and sales teams need to be aligned. To coordinate and elevate customer experiences across marketing communications, Inspirato uses Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot. This has allowed the company to create a simplified, intuitive, and measurable process for accelerating volume and velocity. They use acquisition-targeting data science with digital interactions to qualify leads for sales , and they give sales control over automated communications. They also keep this process consistent for late-stage opportunities.
With marketing and sales aligned, Inspirato saw:
- 300% cost decrease per quality lead acquired
- 4% click rate on emails
- 2x lead to opportunity rate
Takeaway: Marketing and sales alignment is essential for juggling the different needs of B2B and B2C customers.
Lesson #3: Creating a More Consistent Sales Process
Inspirato used to have a manic approach to selling. Sales revenue from new memberships would rise and fall, fluctuating wildly from month to month.
The company knew they needed a more predictable, sustainable, and organized approach to quarterly sales, so they began launching new membership offers on a quarterly cycle. They also invested in smart, consistent branded lead generation materials with a “try it out!” message. Sales teams were also advised to talk about price integrity and offer a complimentary premium trip to new members.
As a result of these strategies, Inspirato’s sales evened out and became highly predictable and sustainable.
Takeaway: A consistent sales process can create a predictable rhythm for your pipeline.
Lesson #4: Driving Better In-Market Development with Data
There was once a time when Inspirato’s approach to in-market development was fairly inefficient. They were having trouble identifying new market segments and weren’t sure which geographic areas they needed to focus their marketing spend on.
The answer? Data science and marketing automation. Using these tools, Inspirato was able to zero in on the most potentially lucrative markets for their service offering. Data even allowed them to identify which townships and neighborhoods to focus on.
For example, once learning that Chicago was a key market, they could pinpoint suburbs like Lake Forest and Hinsdale as areas with top prospects — and then send marketing emails (personalized via variable fields) to those prospects.
This new data-driven in-market development approach yielded a 25% increase in year-over-year net sales revenue and a 25% increase in overall profitability.
Takeaway: Data and marketing automation can help you identify the best potential new customers.
Lesson #5: Delivering Authentic Experiences to Customers
In any industry, the true key to success is knowing your customers. If you really understand your customers and what they want, you’ll be able to deliver branded experiences that are authentic to their identities and values.
As Inspirato is a luxury brand, the expectations of their customer base are extremely high. This customer segment is, in many ways, different than mass-market customers. They demand a higher level of quality and consistency. Brands must be able to match and exceed their expectations, or luxury customers will simply look elsewhere.
In the luxury vacation rental industry, the winning companies are those that invest in fundamentally authentic branded experiences for their customers. It all starts with being able to fully manage and control your services and experiences.
To provide the most personalized and sophisticated experiences possible, Inspirato made sure to invest in cloud-connected customer service, onsite concierge, hospitality package, branded design, and safety and security systems. All of these different functions are connected throughout Salesforce CRM and Marketing Cloud, giving Inspirato a 360-degree view of customers and the ability to leverage data to deliver even better customer experiences.
As a result of this investment, Inspirato has reported an average guest satisfaction rating of 68, and a customer retention rate of 85%.
The Takeaway: No matter what your brand does, understanding your customers’ authentic selves will help you market successfully.
Data Drives Success in Modern Marketing
In all industries and in all marketing, companies’ actions should revolve around customers’ needs and interests. Data can help you find and understand those customers, and today’s technology can help you engage them with authentic, relevant experiences like never before.
Learn more about how marketers can respond to the changing landscape in this Trends & Tactics Driving Marketing ROI report.