Maybourne Hotel Group owns and manages three of the most renowned luxury hotels in London: Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley.
Verb Brands has been Maybourne Hotel Group’s digital partner since 2013. Over the years, we have worked together to help them maintain a strong digital presence across all three properties and brought innovation into their digital strategy to bring the brands closer to their clients and potential clients.
We knew we had to elevate the brand above the background noise of last minute deals & pushes to buy immediately and understood the high competition in the hospitality market due to players like Expedia and Booking.com. We therefore needed to focus on our brand and look into other potential markets where the competition was not so high and did so by using GA to find where revenue was being generated on the site but we were not currently targeting.
- Content Strategy
Finding themselves in a digital age and at a stage where millennial-minded consumers are dominating the luxury market, they decided they needed new acquisition channels, such as SEO and PPC, that would allow them to reach new target audiences.
The travel & hospitality market is an increasingly competitive space in Paid Search. Whilst still comparatively low when looking at other industries, CPCs have been rising over the last few years as both brands and aggregators trying to out bid each other for the top slots. With some estimates putting Expedia Inc and Priceline Group Inc (owners of booking.com) at 5% of total Google revenue, and Priceline spending $3.5billion on performance marketing in 2016, we knew we would not have the budgets to out-bid them and that we would need to be creative with our strategy to win over market share.
To achieve a positive return we would have to identify new markets where competition was not as high and be clever with our paid search ads so they would stand out from the background noise of the cheapest possible deal.
Our objective for the Maybourne group was to drive incremental value from Paid Search and generate as much revenue as possible whilst maintaining a 9% cost of sale (spend/revenue).
At the same time, as with many of our clients, a core focus on brand identity and values must be maintained at all times.
We realised that we had to approach a different strategy if we wanted to battle Booking.com and Expedia. Instead of blindly increasing bids, we worked with the Maybourne team to share information and appear below competitors during times of high occupancy rates (rooms sold out), allowing us to cut any wasted spend when customers would not be able to book.
Verb not only run Paid Media for Maybourne but we also lead their SEO and we’re big believers of harnessing the power of both channels together. We knew from our SEO team that focusing on the brand story and heritage had seen great results and allowed our ranking for terms such as “luxury suites london” to move from outside the top 10 to within the top 5 in under a year.
Looking at all website data in Analytics, we could see that Maybourne received a lot of interest from outside the UK, but this is where all of their Paid Search was focused. Using this data we expanded our PPC campaigns to target countries which were consistently generating revenue for each of the hotel brands.
Today, Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley have one of the strongest digital presence in the luxury hospitality sector. Since the launch of our international campaigns we have generated over £2 million in revenue and achieved an ROI of 1:20.