The Strathcona Hotel Downtown Toronto

March 24, 2009 10:48 ET

Toronto's Strathcona Hotel Wins 2008 eMarketer of the Year Award

Increases revenue by 285% from website bookings to net a 36 to 1 return on investment

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 24, 2009) -

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this Press Release

Using social networking sites and a new integrated on-line marketing strategy to drive demand and convert on-line bookings earned The Strathcona Hotel the title of TravelCLICK 2008eMarketer of the Year in the global world of hospitality and marketing.

The 194-room downtown Toronto hotel won the international award, beating out high profile international brands by delivering a 36-to-1 return on investment. The winning combination was using the right balance of on-line marketing strategies including social networking sites, segment specific sites, focused search optimization, and a high-conversation booking platform, that helped attract new 18-34 year old clients with spillover into older more affluent shoppers who also use these networks.

" With 50% of overall revenue generated from the web." says Robert A. Gilbert, President and CEO, of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International," The Strathcona Hotel in Toronto has generated impressive results and outstanding eMarketing savvy."

"Social networking communities on the web are fast becoming the standard for connecting online." says Ashok Narula, General Manager of The Strathcona Hotel,

"It was vital for us to understand how to leverage that channel for capturing profitable and repeatable business especially in the new 18-34 year old category and react quickly to web marketing opportunities in the Toronto area."

The 2008 e Marketer of the Year award was given by The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) which represents the tourism, travel and hospitality industry in 35 countries around the world and TravelCLICK, an interactive and web marketing distribution company.

The Strathcona Hotel's 5 Top Winning Tips for successful on-line marketing.

Focused Search Engine Optimization:

Optimize your website with keywords, meta-tags, alt tags, link exchanges, pictures and sitemaps in order to increase organic search results which compliments paid advertising to effectively increase exposure on search engines. It is vital to keep the site relevant and dynamic.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Understand how people search and what key words are used to find your product on search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.

The Strathcona uses key words such as 'hotels in financial district' or the 'theater district' to attract consumers. Once the key words are trialed, set a realistic budget to capture the traffic, if you need to bid higher to get the business, think about what it would cost if you lost the business. New words are always popping us depending on the circumstances, so to keep an eye on your market and customer interests.

Segment Specific Promotions

One of the most cost effective ways to advertise today is on the web. The Strathcona looks at ways to create specific promotions tied to events e.g. concerts, sporting events, conferences, that are coming to Toronto and advertise on search engines and social networking sites as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

High-Conversion Booking Platform

Converting an offer into a booking should take no more than a couple of clicks or you could loose potential customer interest. The Strathcona Hotel shortened its reservation process to two clicks. You can actually see room availability in one click and then move to the second click to reserve the room. Very efficient and hassle free for our customers.

Targeted Social Networking Strategy

Keep on top of what's happening in the social networking space like Facebook and Twitter. Understand how your clientele uses social networking and respond appropriately.

About The Strathcona Hotel

The Strathcona Hotel is located in heart of Toronto's financial, entertainment and sports districts. The 194-room hotel has recently undergone a renovation to all its hotel rooms using a contemporary urban design offering the latest in comfort and amenities including WIFI and a 24-hour business centre.

The Strathcona Hotel is owned by Silver Hotel Group and Northampton Hotel Group. Both are Mississauga based hotel groups which own a portfolio comprising the Four Point Sheratons, Holiday Inns & Holiday Inn Express, The Loft, Choice Hotels, Best Westerns, Country Inns and Travelodge. www.nhgi.com and www.silverhotel.ca.

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