This past year, Carmella has had the pleasure of helping revitalize the brand and marketing image for Baldy Mountain Resort in Oliver, BC. As the beginning of spring brought the end of a truly epic winter season we were asked to present at the Canada West Ski Areas Association Annual Spring Conference in Lake Louise in conjunction with Snow Seekers.
The Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA) is a not-for-profit trade association that represents the Ski Areas of Western Canada for our marketing work on Baldy Mountain Resort. We told the unhandled story of working from a distance with a time-strapped, dedicated staff from Baldy and how we drove impressions and record visitations to the largely undiscovered resort.
Top 3 wins and Top 3 fails for Baldy Mountain
Resort Marketing in 2016/2017
Gone are the days of generic ad buys and the ‘sprinkle’ approach. Now, you are able to review by IP address who visited your website and then target them using social media advertising. You can lead-capture using your website and re-market or, have them join an e-newsletter. We encourage all our clients to unshackle their minds from any current marketing strategy.
Fans of Baldy were in search of untracked powder at a resort within driving range. They wanted a unique experience at an uncrowded resort with a variety of terrain (think: sick of the big lines at the big resorts). We drilled way down into this audience, even going so far as to figure out what magazines they read [online], which blogs they follow and which social media platforms they were on. Through this focused approach, we found success for Baldy Mountain Resort.
We did something different for families. We attracted families through great snow, fantastic grooming, school programs and through family orientated events like our First Chair Festival; complete with sledding parties, fire pit, marshmallows, scavenger hunt, fireworks, live music, wine and beer tasting and more (BMR is in the heart of wine country, and we had to look after the parents too!)
You can see how operations and marketing can cross over a bit here.
1. Write a blog
As we’re often reminding all of our clients: stop selling and start telling stories; Baldy Mountain Resort listened. In the blogs, on social media, and in the newsletters ( BMR newsletter’s had an average sale of $41.95.) stories were told and the audience loved it.
Here are some examples of that storytelling at it’s best:
2. Use Video
We created one SnowSeekers promotional video and four content marketing videos with VM Creative. All together we had over 141,165 video views on our channels, that’s 3343 hours of Baldy Mountain Resort video consumed!
When combined with Seekers video on their channels, 4167 hours of video = that’s the equivalent of watching video for 173 days straight. We also used Facebook Live video for grooming reports, event reports, snow reports, snow school and to show off the scenery.
All of the videos were a success and drove engagement up across the board.
3. Create a media list and use it
In addition to sending a bi-weekly newsletter to our subscribers, we would sweeten the content and share it with some of our favorite media outlets, this is cheaper than advertising and often is more trustworthy. By feeding the content to the media – we appeared in the media 25 more times than we would have otherwise.
All that said, even when you win, sometimes you may fail; our team had it’s struggles, too!
1. No assets.
When we launched, on July 2nd, we had no assets, no video, no photos, no website, no social media. We’ve been scrambling to catch up all year and truthfully, it feels nice to have a chance to plan for 2017/2018!
2. Launching the website in a mere 12 days.
The current website is not custom and has limitations for even the most experienced coding professional. We run into road blocks with what we can and cannot do, sometimes. Our ticketing system requires a Ph.D. to edit it. But, this was the cost of having a website built in such a short amount of time – and so we did.
3. Engaging the staff in social media.
The clients are using this platform to share GOPRO videos and powder face selfies but finding content curators on the hill who work for the resort was extremely challenging. Finding talented journalists or writers to provide content was also a challenge. Our only solution was to ask a guest blogger and the resort manager to write blogs, do FB live video, and take the occasional picture. This meant that our team needed to help more on both the writing, editing and image focus – but again, we did what had to be done.
Aside: Baldy is still extremely unbalanced. This is a common characteristic of resorts like theirs. Huge capacity on the mountain ( 5,000 skiers per day), lift capacity of 1200 skiers per day, but a limited capacity in other areas: Day Lodge seats 205, kitchen 150 meals per hour, parking 220 spots, rental shop 250 units, and a garage that belongs in a backwoods camp somewhere.
Ultimately, Baldy Mountain is just one example in a world of extremely diverse and unique marketing challenges. We are proud of the momentum that we have and continue to help create for our Baldy and all of our valued clients – if you would like to discuss more, or have any questions – we are always here to chat!
Remember, the famous author Paulo Coelho once said, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
Fear not, friends!
– The Carmella Crew