Hotel X Supercharges Marketing with Automation and Dynamic Content

Apr 16, 2024

The 404-room resort in Toronto implemented Salesforce Sales and Marketing Cloud for rich guest profiles and personalized guest journeys, but needed Hapi’s experienced hospitality team to access the necessary data.

Located on Lake Ontario just five minutes from bustling Union Station in downtown Toronto, it’s hard to imagine there’s room for a full-service luxury resort. But stroll the 6-acre grounds of Hotel X, which opened in March 2018 as part of the Library Hotel Collection, and you’ll find multiple restaurants, a 90,000-square-foot fitness facility, a spa, a kids play center, cinema screening room, tennis, squash and pickleball courts, and more.

Each of those outlets serve as demand drivers for different segments of guests, and they also serve as touchpoints to collect guest data across the entire resort. By centralizing this data, marketing leaders at Hotel X can gain a more comprehensive view of guest behavior and use that data to inform more targeted and dynamic marketing offers. 

To implement dynamic automated marketing, leadership at Hotel X knew they needed to upgrade from their entry-level Customer Relationship Management system. After discussion with multiple hospitality-specific platforms, the team, led by Director of Marketing and Revenue Matt Black, chose to implement Salesforce because of its ability to centralize data across multiple properties and systems, as well as expand to meet the needs of the six-hotel Library Collection portfolio as its business requirements grow.

View from the 2nd floor, Hotel X Lobby

Implementing such a robust solution into a hotel ecosystem is no easy task. After failed attempts to  integrate directly, Black turned to Hapi, the industry’s leading platform for fast and cost-effective connectivity between systems, to successfully complete an integration that will power the future of data-driven marketing at Hotel X.

The Promise of Personalization

Dissatisfied with receiving limited data in batch files from Oracle OPERA PMS, Hotel X sought a solution that would provide real-time data delivery of all guest information centralized across all properties, establishing a single source of truth. This centralized, real-time approach would enable Hotel X to enhance guest experiences by accessing guest data and notes from various revenue outlets, facilitating more timely personalized interactions and marketing campaigns.

“Getting all of my transactional and promotional emails managed and sent from the same system was important – giving them the same high-quality look and feel,” Black says. “A big part of what I can do now is create dynamic content, adding images or other content based off of reservation data to make the messages more relevant to the guest.”

Solving Complex Integration Challenges

Despite skepticism about integration, Black and Hotel X chose to partner with Salesforce in May 2019. After building an integration with spa reservation software Book4Time, the team next focused on Oracle’s OPERA PMS, where challenges immediately arose. Further complicated by the onset of the COVID pandemic, CRM progress was halted.

In 2023, Hotel X resumed its CRM system overhaul, but this time they took a different approach: They turned to Hapi, an integration platform purposely built by hoteliers who understand the intricacies of hospitality technology. Hapi Guest utilizes two-way, real-time connectivity between Salesforce and the Hapi platform to deliver personalized guest experiences. Hapi’s expertise proved instrumental in navigating data integration hurdles, and one-to-one support facilitated the extraction of OPERA data and delivery into the Salesforce ecosystem. 

Black commends Hapi for their expertise, particularly in historical data extraction where Oracle fell short. Moving forward, he is optimistic about leveraging the new CRM system's capabilities to enhance customer interactions, recognizing the importance of ongoing collaboration and support in navigating technical complexities.

“We needed someone that was going to help on the implementation side with the connection – to get the data in. We basically gave Hapi the keys, and kudos to them for getting it done,” Black says.
Located on the 28th floor, rooftop heated pool and terrace

Successfully Streaming

Just a few months after contacting Hapi, data is now streaming from OPERA PMS into Salesforce in real time, and Black and the Hotel X team are preparing to realize the full potential they had envisioned with their CRM efforts. 

One immediate task is integrating all customer data into the preference center within Marketing Cloud to ensure compliance with Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) laws and enhance personalization. 

The ability to segment audiences based on various criteria enables Hotel X to optimize their marketing spend by targeting specific audience segments more effectively while excluding others, such as those with future reservations. For example, Black worked with Hapi to introduce a “lead time” field that allows for sophisticated analysis of booking patterns, enabling Hotel X to tailor campaigns to encourage early bookings, thereby securing a base occupancy level and optimizing room yield. 

Looking ahead, Hotel X anticipates unlocking innovative marketing opportunities with the enriched data now flowing into Salesforce. Dynamic content creation for targeted campaigns will become a cornerstone of their marketing strategy. Leveraging data such as lead time and pre-arrival information, Hotel X plans to deliver highly personalized content tailored to each guest's preferences and behaviors. 

“Now I can do really targeted dynamic content with my pre-arrival letters. For example, if the children's field that comes across from Hapi is greater than zero, then I can do a dynamic content block that says something like, ‘Hey, traveling with kids? Why not check out our kids play center or book a movie?’ Black says. “Now, I can leverage all of the data that's flowing through to create highly targeted and relevant information for travelers at the right time and on the right channel.”

Modern Hotel Marketing 

Hotel X has completed the first step of its strategic journey to overhaul its CRM system, centralizing data from the PMS to leverage marketing automation for personalized interactions. Hapi proved instrumental in overcoming data integration hurdles and extracting historical data, ultimately facilitating the flow of data into Salesforce.

Black and his team can now leverage enriched data to deliver highly targeted and relevant content to travelers at the right time and on the right channel, yielding significant results.

To understand more about accessing all of your data to power personalized guest journeys, connect with Hapi.

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