The PortoBay Group is a hotel chain of 13 luxury hotels located in Portugal and Brazil, representing 3,200 beds. Each of PortoBay’s hotels has a unique concept, but the hotels share a high level of quality and are backed by the guarantee of the PortoBay brand.
Guided by PortoBay’s philosophy cornerstones of product, promotion and people, PortoBay’s staff members endeavor to provide their guests with the best service and experience, truly listening to their guests to anticipate their every need and live up to their expectations.
Marketing for PortoBay’s entire portfolio of properties is handled by an internal marketing team, with communications and marketing strategies tailored to each group property. The marketing team consists of content, design, and digital distribution teams.
As a highly effective visual medium, video has long been a big component of PortoBay’s marketing strategy. “We launched our YouTube channel in 2010 to showcase our properties,” says Marta Uceda, Marketing Assistant at PortoBay Hotels and Resorts.
“We have an official video for each of our hotels and then each hotel has an events playlist, showcasing specific activities hosted by the property through the year. For instance, our Madeira property hosts PortoBay Flower Week each April/May offering guest experiences during that week from flower arranging to workshops. These events provide a differentiated experience and, as a result, we have many return visitors to our properties. We use video to promote these events on our website, our YouTube channel, and to our customer database through our email campaigns.”
In April 2016, the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introducing new restrictions on data privacy. GDPR requires organizations who regularly use email to market to their customer database to obtain explicit permission from individuals to continue to communicate with them electronically.
With a final deadline of May 2018 looming, the PortoBay marketing team needed to mount a creative campaign to reach out to individuals in their database and secure their consent—all while avoiding getting lost in a sea of similar outreach from other organizations around the world.
“We knew we had a very big challenge surrounding GDPR legislation and we wanted to do something different to make sure our message not only reached our target audience but stood out against the flurry of GDPR messages people would be receiving,” says Marta.
“A large percentage of our guests are repeat visitors and others are members of our loyalty club. Many want to communicate with us by email. We wanted to make sure they understood how they would be missing out if they did not give us the authorization to continue to communicate with them electronically.”
PortoBay’s marketing team first began looking at the Vidyard platform back in February 2017, after the team’s marketing manager received a personal video message from one of Vidyard’s sales reps. Initially, the team thought they might experiment with Vidyard for a guest birthday campaign, but soon shifted gears, deciding Vidyard would be best used for the group’s GDPR campaign.
The “Say I Do” GDPR campaign was built around a video ‘starring’ António Trindade, Executive President and CEO of PortoBay Hotels and Resorts, featuring footage of properties and staff members from across the organization.
Each video was personalized for the recipient. The example below was personalized for Marta from the brand’s marketing team.
“We wanted to send a special video message to our guests and wanted it to have a very personal feel. The main goal was to tell them ‘you mean a lot to us,’ and to help them understand what we could do with their data to create a better, more personalized guest experience,” explains Marta.
“So we wanted to use faces of staff our repeat guests would recognize. The video was fronted by a personal message from the CEO and recorded in Portuguese, German, French, and English—the four official languages of PortoBay’s hotel communications.”
See below the storyboard the PortoBay team put together when they were planning their personalized video.
The GDPR “Say I Do” campaign, anchored by the CEO’s personal video message was pushed to 90,000 individuals in the PortoBay customer relationship management database in April 2018 to coincide with the legislation deadline.
The email received a 28% open rate, an 11% click-through rate, and resulted in 22,000 authorizations—just shy of the campaign goal of 23,000 authorizations, or 65% of PortoBay’s active customer database. The personalized video from PortoBay’s CEO also had an average viewer retention rate of 70% across the four languages produced.
To supplement the digital campaign, the marketing team also sent a physical mail-back postcard to 40,000 homes, which resulted in another 5,000 authorizations.
Feedback from guests on the campaign was extremely positive, with guests going out of their way to respond, commenting on PortoBay’s innovative, friendly, and ‘touching’ approach.
Some of the feedback included: