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Posadas, the largest hotel operator in Mexico, is a 50-year-old hospitality company with 180 properties under seven brands in its portfolio, including Live Aqua, Grand Fiesta Americana, Fiesta Americana, The Explorean, Fiesta Inn, Gamma, and One. The company recently underwent a massive overhaul of its marketing and technology platforms to create an innovative digital ecosystem. The goal was to get a single view of the customer, provide guests with a seamless digital experience, and double down on the Posadas loyalty program.
SkiftX caught up with Rodrigo Gonzalez Ovalle, marketing director at Posadas, about the digital ecosystem integration, the thinking behind it, and the goals the team set out to achieve.
SkiftX: Give us a general overview of Posadas’ recent marketing and technology investments.
Rodrigo Gonzalez Ovalle: We’ve recently made major investments in our distribution and revenue management platforms, specifically to update our infrastructure databases and various customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. In terms of marketing, we have acquired tools for social listening, centralized social media management, email marketing platforms, data analysis, and the talent needed to manage the integration of these tools.
SkiftX: What made you finally decide to make these changes?
Gonzalez Ovalle: We know that our customers aren’t comparing the digital experience we offer with those of other hotel brands — they’re comparing them with music and transportation apps, digital marketplaces, and offline experiences. They’re asking for more complex and seamless journeys that can recognize their needs. Frankly speaking, that was not covered by our previous platforms. Improving this became a major priority for us. It goes beyond having a great website — it’s about extending that personalized service and technology experience to each customer touchpoint, both online and offline.
SkiftX: What were the main goals of the overhaul?
Gonzalez Ovalle: The main goal was to provide our guests with a seamless navigation experience. We wanted to offer different journeys within the same structures across our sites. Another goal was to focus on our loyalty members before anything else. It’s important that we reward our frequent users and their love for our brands.
SkiftX: Posadas has a number of hospitality brands under its umbrella. How are you ensuring that each brand maintains its unique look and feel, but also offers a defined Posadas-like experience?
Gonzalez Ovalle: We developed very accurate user experience (UX) analysis, and with the help of user interface (UI) experts, we unified experiences for our animations, website structures, design milestones, images, and copy. Each reflect a very similar experience regardless of whether a guest is exploring one of our business or leisure brands. We also have structural elements that ensure our navigation patterns have an intuitive usability focused on the appropriate guest audience for each brand.
SkiftX: The website has an entirely new look and feel. How did you approach the redesign?
Gonzalez Ovalle: We had a creative workshop with all the business areas involved, from sales to technology. We combined their needs and ideas with results from our business intelligence and the needs of our guests. This way, we based our strategy not just on what we, the industry, or potential customers look for, but focused strongly on what our current guests and frequent users look for. We put a plan in place to be completed in phases, so that features would be released as we finished them. Everything we did was based on and inspired by not only brands in the hospitality industry, but in other industries, too. We no longer rely solely on what the tourism industry offers — we have to seek inspiration everywhere.
SkiftX: Talk to us about the approach to the customer relationship manager update. What was the reasoning behind it?
Gonzalez Ovalle: We already have a great tool in place that helps us understand customer needs. We know where they’ve stayed, what they like, how often they stay with us, and what they ordered from room service during each stay. This allows us to give them relevant offers. We’re now developing the capability to connect a user’s behavior to our customer’s journey, in order to reward them with special deals and services and experiences targeted to them.
SkiftX: How are you integrating these marketing and technology updates into Posadas’ loyalty program?
Gonzalez Ovalle: We are really focused on our Fiesta Rewards members in this new digital ecosystem, and we’re creating dedicated content, special benefits, and multiple experiences across our brands to better serve them.
SkiftX: These efforts clearly aim to improve customer experience. But how does all of this affect the user experience of Posadas staff?
Gonzalez Ovalle: It now takes the Posadas staff less time to complete an online sale and less time to develop the elements needed, since we now have insights that let us know what a user is looking for. We also spend less on email marketing because of the accurate segmentation we can now access. We’re also improving conversion through our websites based on look-alike audience personas. All of this means less time for operation and more time for analysis.