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Villa Plus boosts online sales with IBM marketing software

Smarter Commerce offering helps holiday homes rental company meet customer demands

LONDON, U.K. - 15 Nov 2011: IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced that independent holiday rentals company Villa Plus is using IBM Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) software to reduce unsold inventory and maximise average booking value on its website. By accurately tracking visitor booking behaviours and trends the software allows Villa Plus to align its marketing campaigns to market conditions.

Villa Plus Athina Pool Ext View395

Villa Plus is one of the largest villa tour operators in the UK, covering 11 destinations in 4 countries. In response to growing customer demand it plans to increase its property inventory by over 40 percent over the next two years. Villa Plus had previously used Google Analytics, but as the company grew so did the requirement for more accurate data on both the bookers and potential customers visiting the website.

The IBM EMM software IBM Coremetrics Analytics™ and Coremetrics Explore™  helps Villa Plus respond to customer expectations by tracking how users arrive at its website and navigate around it; and by analysing why they make purchases or abandon their current visit to the site. Villa Plus can now also quickly and easily analyse the performance of a holiday package and create strategies for cross-selling separate elements, such as car hire, transfers, starter packs and insurance, based on how visitors behave on the site.

In addition, the IBM marketing software enables Villa Plus to optimise the merchandising of properties, from the search results listings to the property pages. For example, being able to measure villa conversion according to the position the villa appeared in the property listings allows Villa Plus to identify whether a lack of site exposure is causing low interest in a given property.

“IBM is of the few companies that has dedicated marketing expertise for the travel sector so it made perfect sense to enlist their help both prior to and following the implementation process,” said Simon Lifford, business manager at Villa Plus. “With the flexible Smarter Commerce software we now have the ability to anticipate where demand will come from, and the insight to construct a solid business case for particular marketing or expansion activities.”

Villa Plus Athina Bedroom Balcony Terrace530

By tracking the physical location of visitors to the website, Villa Plus can measure the impact in regional offline marketing campaigns such as local radio, billboard advertising and direct mail campaigns: “Using IBM marketing software we can annotate the exact time and date of any offline activity and assess regional activity as we see a lift in web traffic – this is a giant leap for a sector which traditionally is catalogue based,” said Lifford.

“In today’s highly demanding and consumer-driven travel market operators are forced to put customers at the centre of their operations,´´ said Andrew Jackson-Proes, Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) leader for UK & Ireland, IBM. “By gaining a deep insight into what its customers require Villa Plus will see its sales grow. Its original offering of villas can be dynamically packaged with elements such as flights, car hire and other holiday extras. This not only offers maximum flexibility to customers in being able to create their own holiday that meets their specific needs, but will also increase the average value of bookings made via Villa Plus.”

About IBM Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) and Smarter Commerce

Through its IBM® Unica® and IBM Core metrics® offerings, IBM Enterprise EMM is the recognised leader for marketing software solutions. More than 2,500 organisations worldwide depend on IBM EMM solutions to help manage the pressures of increasing marketing complexity while delivering improved revenue. As part of the IBM Smarter Commerce initiative, designed to help companies swiftly adapt to rising customer demands in today's digitally transformed marketplace, EMM combines analytics and campaign management with deep customer insight, to enable marketers to understand what makes customers tick and use that understanding to engage buyers in highly relevant, interactive dialogues across digital, social, mobile, and traditional marketing channels.

Contact(s) information

Sally Forge
UK External Relations
+44(0)208 867 8086
sally.forge@uk.ibm.com

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