The Merging of Mountains: How Squaw Alpine Dramatically Enhanced Its Persona-Targeting and Digital Marketing

 Achieved Nearly 50% Increase in Conversions

In 2011, two major Lake Tahoe resorts, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, merged. In 2013, the resorts proceeded to integrate their Websites, branding, messaging, and overall marketing efforts. During this time, the team revisited the marketing strategy and worked with an agency to improve persona-targeting as well.

The Squaw Alpine Team identified four personas – Beginners, Family, Destination Travelers, and Passholders – and brought these personas to life with a very personalized, improved Website experience. Users are identified through three different ways: self identification, web behavior and CRM capabilities. They are then served relevant content throughout their web experience, and that shows the relevant benefits of visiting the resort.

Last year, Squaw Alpine began to work with Evergage, a Website personalization tool. Within a few weeks, they were able to fully realize these very personalized experiences for online visitors, and even greet Passholders by first name on the Website.

Home Page for the Family Persona

The improved, personalized Website in conjunction with other marketing efforts has resulted in significantly higher revenue and conversion rates compared to the earlier siloed Website experience:

  • 83% lift in revenue and a 47% lift in conversions (online purchases) for Destination Travelers;
  • 41% lift in revenue and a 38% lift in conversions for Families; and
  • 45% lift in goal completion (renew season pass) for Passholders.

Squaw Alpine has leveraged specialized marketing technology and approaches in other ways to grow their unique, weather-dependent business. They work with an agency on display ads and media. The agency supports very flexible media spending, so Squaw Alpine can postpone any ad campaigns until there is a snow event.

Squaw Alpine has pulled live Webcam feeds into their Web banners and email campaigns. Webcam-based creatives have driven 92% more in direct revenue versus a standard “new snow” banner ad. The team has also set up a weather trigger campaign in Evergage. After a Web visitor views the snow report page two or more times, they are offered an opportunity to subscribe to a daily snow report, sent directly to their email inbox every morning. The team also set up a “Powder alert” email campaign that automatically runs when the resort receives four or more inches of snow. These data capture campaigns with weather triggers, has lead to a 40.2% increase in Web email subscribers.

One of Squaw-Alpine’s Webcams

The team is also very excited about the launch of their new mobile application available for iPhone, Android and wearable devices. The new Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows app will let users do everything from finding friends on the mountain, to seeing which lifts have the shortest wait times, to calculating a user’s entire ski season’s worth of vertical feet skied. You can also view the resort’s Webcams in this app.

The New Mobile App

The merger of Squaw and Alpine’s brand, combined with the persona-based communications and investments in MarTech, have enabled the team to successfully maximize KPIs such as increases in revenue, engagement and retention. The Squaw Alpine marketing team is truly shredding it.

Jackie Megnin is the Web and Social Media Manager at Squaw Alpine. James Riseman is a Principal at MarTech Review.

2 thoughts on “The Merging of Mountains: How Squaw Alpine Dramatically Enhanced Its Persona-Targeting and Digital Marketing”

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