The Grafton Hotel Case Study

By Simon Geoghegan,

Core Optimisation & The Grafton Hotel – Tailored Segmentation

Core Optimisation aimed to enhance their marketing campaigns for the Grafton Hotel, targeting a year-over-year (YoY) growth goal of 15%.

For additional context, this is a 4* Dublin city centre property located just minutes from Grafton St. Following the pent-up demand post covid, the tourism & hospitality sector has faced many challenges.

For example, a decline in both international and domestic visitors to Dublin, increased competition in the accommodation sector, increase in VAT and the current cost of living crisis, which heavily effects disposable income.

Given these factors, the hotel industry in Dublin faces a more competitive and contentious market than ever before.

The properties key objective for 2023 was to grow revenue by +15% YoY, while maintaining a CPA goal ranging between 1.5% – 2.5%. (Which is below the industry standard of between 5%-10%) To achieve this growth and customer refining was vital objective to the overall strategy.

To effectively reach and engage with our audience, we implemented a multifaceted digital strategy, leveraging the power of google’s smart bidding and data-driven decision-making. Our approach was designed to maximise our reach, engagement, and conversion to capitalise on our results.

We focused audience groups using keywords that a centralised around terms related to:

  • 4 Star Hotels Dublin City
  • Competitor Keywords
  • Competitor URLs
  • Hotel Deals Dublin
  • Hotels Dublin 2
  • Hotels Dublin City Centre
  • Hotels Near Grafton Street
  • Hotels Near Stephen’s Green
  • Hotels Near Temple Bar
  • Winter Hotel Breaks

For our USA users specifically, we directed them on a specifically made US visitor landing page alluding to Ireland as a destination and more precisely Dublin as a must visit location. Highlighting the variety of attractions and the main USP of the property being it’s location.

Using these audience segments allowed us to ensure our ads reached the desired customer at the right time and across several Google inventory (Demand G, Display and P Max).

In addition to audience segmentation, we broke down the account and the feed in the main international split campaigns utilising the full functionality of the conversion funnel through campaigns such as:

  • Brand (focused on brand keywords)
  • Awareness (keywords surrounding the area and Dublin hotel searching) –Display campaigns utilising the visual strength of the upper funnel) Discovery and Demand Gen for lead capabilities building our customer base.
  • And Performance Max which incorporates all of the above.

Through the account we used both static and video content was used in tandem and was key in our ability to engage our audience and build upon brand awareness.

A particular challenge faced was growing the businesses ABV (average booking value) in order to scale our conversions in co-ordination with the 2.5% CPA goal.

To accomplish this we focused on promoting our longer/multi night stays to both the domestic and international audience.

  • We grew Revenue by 59% over the period of last year with conversions grown by 25%.
  • Grew overall conversions by 25% year over year.
  • Resulting in a 1.56% CPA, not only maintaining our CPA within that 2.5% but also improving upon our 2022 CPA of 1.96% which was an excellent result.

Facing the challenging scenario of generating more revenue within the struggling climate of Dublin hotel pricing, we believe this concept of growth would prove particularly challenging, especially with competitor hotel prices falling quite below.

In summary, what sets our campaign apart is our holistic approach which combined advanced smart bidding techniques with deep audience insights, and continuous optimisation. We created a campaign that not only achieved but exceeded our revenue objective.