Setting Records For Lift Ticket Sales 6 Years In A Row
As Brian Head Resort’s out of company full service marketing department, we did everything from providing Exact Target Banners to on-site content gathering. Many mornings we started work for them at 4 a.m. We overcame Pandemic challenges, delivered 6 years of record setting lift ticket sales, managed a several hundred-thousand dollar marketing budget, built all print collateral, and ran all social media from 202 miles away.
Strap in!! We did it all for Brian Head!
Record Setting Sales For 6 Years
We were first brought on to support existing media plans and launch their first ever programmatic banner advertising campaign. As expected, we delivered trackable sales increases and earned more responsibilities year after year. As the partnership flourished Notice U Marketing took on more marketing tasks.
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We worked for Brian Head starting in 2016. Setting records both in terms of revenue and skier visits began the first year. Notice U Marketing was a key player, going from managing banners to, developing two new websites, taking over all digital marketing in year 3 and functioning as a full marketing department by year 6.
Paid Media Managed:
- Google Search Ads
- Facebook/Instagram Ads
- TikTok Ads
- Banner and Native Ads
- Device ID targeting of customer that frequent other ski resorts
- Video Streaming Ads
- Acoustic email system
- Broadcast Media
Notice U Services Used:
- Strategy and planning of all aspects of the Winter and Summer marketing plans.
- Placing, negotiating and purchasing all media.
- Production of all creative including email blasts, videos, static images, banners, Ad copy, landing pages, all purpose built by Notice U and all constantly optimized.
- Planning solutions to unique challenges. Example – Covid and midweek sales slumps.
- Radio remotes were planned and manned by our staff to insure they would feel like events.
- Two Instagram Channels, TikTok and Facebook were managed by our team.
- We wrote the press releases, delivered to media outlets and followed up to get to coverage of events.
- Web development, hosting and website management.
- We were present with a 5 person team for more than 48 hours of the opening weekend to ensure everything operated to plan, banners were hung, and we were able to gather several weeks worth of social media content.
Unique Challenges Met:
- Powder Alerts: 4 am snow measurements and social posts made it up on the website and social media every time they were needed.
- Two custom built, high converting websites in 6 years.
- A full custom info panel built into the website.
- Custom tools for opening and closing trails.
- A full custom lift management tool built into the website
- Managing a multi-market, monster of a segmented media plan as we also handled a large State of Utah Co-Op budget simultaneously.
- Implementing data tracking and data mining.
- Sale tracking implementation tied to marketing plans.
- Navigating the Covid closing and reopening to set sales records (more on that below).
- Tackling a midweek sales slump.
- Creating user generated content contests and other mechanisms to drive the highest social media engagement in Resort history.
- Taking over marketing work without question as staff reductions happened.
- Ownership changes created new policies and rules.
- Adding a whole new corporate marketing mandate, hitting deadlines and truly functioning as a member of the team.
- Maintaining In-house communication and high responsiveness though we were offsite.
- Gathering pictures and content from 200 miles away.
Notice U Marketing are Real Partners:
We take pride in the fact that from the time we were given the word go, we sprang into action working holidays, pressing each other to beat records, do our best work with a never say “die” attitude. We took on more and more responsibility rarely if ever renegotiating rates and were always a counted on to deliver for Brian Head Resort.
We did not count hours. We only counted the success.
Powder Alerts From Vegas: How To Be An Effective Offsite Marketing Department
Always On Call… we frequently responded seven days a week, including holidays, and started as early as 4 a.m. Success in the ski industry demanded that when big snow storms happened people knew about it right away. Weather conditions on the mountain change dramatically and rapidly. Brian Head Resort depended on Notice U Marketing to rapidly post and publish big snowfall numbers on their website homepage, in social media, and in other internet feeds.
We traveled when needed.
We responded fast.
The team at Brian Head felt like we were onsite every day.
Brian Head Resort Relied On Notice U Marketing
At various times during our 6+ years of service to Brian head Resort, Notice U Marketing has been responsible for these platforms and service:
- Managing the website, including developing special tools, managing messaging, updating all content, promoting sales and special events.
- Email outreach marketing.
- Social Media – all content production, posting and moderating.
- User Generated contests.
- Onsite signage and promotions.
- Broadcast media placement.
- Paid Media and sales funnels.
- Weather reporting, closures, ski cams, and other onsite reporting.
- Graphics production: From restaurant menus to printed trail maps, ski passes to signage, we built all of it.
- Emergency closures including the cancelling of the NYE fireworks display when the weather forced closure.
Brian Head was able to effectively maintain all marketing functions as well as or better than on site personnel who proceeded Notice U Marketing. When personnel left, Notice U Marketing often stepped up delivering “gap insurance” in the Marketing Department that lasted from days to years.
Serving as an effective Marketing Department from 200+ miles away required a lot of trust and know how. Our phones were never off and we never failed to respond to the needs of the Management and ownership of Brian Head Resort.
Some other solutions we implemented:
- Real time communication through purpose-built chat tools.
- Daily check-ins.
- Organizing and preparing content and materials ahead of time.
- Paying attention to the weather makes it easy to forecast when we are likely to be needed at 4 a.m.
- Consistent strategy and communication.
- Willingness to travel at our time and expense and working at the Resort as needed.
- A solid team of 5 people at Notice U Marketing paying attention, thinking, and working together with Brian Head owners and Management.
A New Website Drove A 174% Year Over Year Sales Increase
Custom Solutions & Industry Leading Design Make A Website That Sets Sales Records.
Over 6 years and two full websites later, Notice U Marketing built a myriad of custom website solutions, and managed, optimized, improved, and maximized the full sales funnel for Brian Head Resort.
The Big Highlights:
- We built a split summer and a winter website that were swapped without losing Google search ranking. We were able to keep growing winter site search ranking while showing users summer mountain biking.
- We custom coded multiple tools to notify people about opened and closed lifts, trails, and other property amenities when conditions like weather and seasonal change demanded.
- We incorporated their POS system sales window into the website to make sales transactions faster and easier.
- We custom coded an info-panel into the website header that allowed people to quickly get the most sought after information from any device.
- Our reworking of the sales funnel, the search ranking gains, the better marketing landing pages contributed to a 174% year over year increase in sales and conversions the year the website launched!
Covid 19: Problems Becoming Opportunities
They focused on safe operations while we set a record revenue year.
In hind sight it seems like a foregone conclusion that people confined in their homes, wearing masks, flush with cash, and having tons of free time would be more than eager to get away to the mountains. It wasn’t. Entering the 2020/2021 ski season was fraught with landmines. Public safety was at stake and we were dealing with extremely uncertain times. Policies were changing frequently and no one was sure that people would leave safety for recreation.
Notice U Marketing focused on Brian Head Resort’s marketing so their Management and Staff could focus on the very real operational challenges facing them during the Pandemic. Policies, rules, distance requirements, and genuine concerns for Staff and Customer safety were top of mind for them, while we focused on getting customers on the mountain.
When it came to marketing, lest we all forget, people were stir crazy and options were limited. Notice U Marketing took advantage of that fact in messaging, media, and other ways.
Prolonged Ski Resort Closures In Southern California Became An Opportunity
Arguably, Southern California’s top of mind ski and stay destination within reasonable driving distance is Mammoth Mountain. It is just six hours from LA and boasts the best snowfall in the region. During the 2020/2021 ski season it was completely closed down for overnight visitors which created an opportunity for Brian Head. Fortunately, Brian Head is also only 6 hour drive away from most parts of Southern California. We had been marketing the Best Snow on Earth there for years. We were open and were allowing overnight stays. We strategized how to most effectively deliver this message to Southern California skiers & snowboarders. Click Read more for the details.
A difference maker was Device ID targeting Look Back data. Having access to specific Device data tracked at Mammoth and other So Cal ski resorts during 2019/2020 ski season, we set about to target those devices with our message:
This data segment was the top of the funnel but also integrated into other marketing tactics. It fed social media custom audiences, properly placed Google search, and other platforms. We tightened up messaging, landing pages and employed heavy remarketing. We tracked and optimized, turning awareness and consideration into purchases.
Some Other Opportunities We Recognized & Capitalized On:
- Lower ad rates due to less competition for impressions, searches and clicks.
- Less competition for attention overall.
- An audience spending more time online and in social media than ever.
- 19% year over year sales.
- The most effective ad campaigns ran in years.
- Easily the biggest year on record for Brian head Ski Resort.
The Rubber Band Effect (2021/2022 Ski Season):
2021/2022 was the first year that Notice U Marketing missed setting records for Brian Head Resort in 6 straight years of working for them. 🙁
The rubber band effect of Covid: When the competition came back, they came back with a vengeance and were well funded. Also, people had quite a Pandemic Hangover.
- Brian Head cut ad budgets.
- Social Media advertising rates went up 30% across the board.
- Google click rates doubled.
- That audience that had been chained to their phones the year prior, were now back to work, and busy.
- All that free time was GONE and they were much more selective on where they spent their time and money.
The Result was sales dropped. But even with these drops sales and visitor volume beat 2019/2020 (pre-Covid) numbers.