Say hello to Jim Makitalo, Hotel Manager at Fitger’s Inn. His implementation of Leonardo’s VBrochure has helped this small 62 room hotel increase bookings. For his efforts, we call Jim a Merchandising Hero.
Fitger’s Inn is a unique hotel, some rooms having sky lights, some with balconies, and some with multiple levels. Located directly on the shore of Lake Superior, in a 150 year old renovated brewery, the Fitger’s Inn building also houses retail stores, several restaurants and nightclubs, and a microbrewery.
The Merchandising Hero
Jim Makitalo is an industry-educated manager who feels that by learning from both positive and negative experiences throughout his 30 years in the industry, he understands what works and what doesn’t.
Getting the Big Bang for Their Marketing Buck
Jim admits that most of Fitger’s Inn’s marketing efforts have been trial-and-error. Being a small hotel, Fitger’s Inn has to make due with its small marketing budget. “We manage from the front door as the saying goes.” states Jim. “Our biggest concern is making sure we get the expected return from the marketing dollars spent.”
Fitger’s Inn’s owners decided to get more involved in social media, specifically increasing their Facebook presence as a means of promoting the hotel. “Frankly, I was tearing my hair out,” admitted Jim, who didn’t really know how to go about it. Luckily, Jim found the VBrochure Facebook Apps Suite which he customized, and installed on Fitger’s Facebook page. “It turned out better than I could have imagined,” remarked Jim.
After exploring the other features beyond the Facebook apps, Jim realized that there was much more to VBrochure that could help him with his marketing challenges. “With everything else that you have included for us in the package, we have realized that there are so many other areas that we need to be a part of and would never have thought of before.” As a result, Jim implemented the mobile-optimized smartphone and tablet websites, included with his VBrochure subscription. “The mobile sites are giving us tremendous exposure”
Size Doesn’t Matter
Fitger’s Inn is proof that a big budget and a dedicated marketing team aren’t always necessary to successfully market a hotel. “VBrochure has been a really positive thing for us.” states Jim.
For Fitger’s Inn nearly 30% of travel shoppers viewing their VBrochure Facebook apps and Smartphone Website result in booking referrals (when shoppers click on the Check Availability or Book Now buttons in the app and on the website. More than 50% of shoppers viewing the Fitger’s Inn VPowered Tablet Website click on the Book Now button! Jim adds, “Our measure of success is if we sell rooms, and we know that VBrochure is producing.”
When asked what advice Jim would give to other hotel marketers struggling with a tiny marketing budget he replied, “Purchase VBrochure. Literally, it has made it so easy for us!
Experience the VBrochure Difference
To learn how VBrochure™ can help maximize your property’s visibility across multiple channels with engaging multimedia and video, book a Web demo with Leonardo today and become a Merchandising Hero.