For more than 50 years, Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs (PVCP) has built its growth on the synergies between real estate and tourism.
The travel market is unique due to its long window of reflection prior to decision-making: Internet users begin prospecting around 80 days before their vacations and book, on average, 55 days before departure. These time frames contrast with traditional digital immediacy. Campaign orchestration is, therefore, key to maximising conversion of prospects during the lengthy consideration process.
The PVCP group typically makes 54% of its total sales on the websites of the group’s brands. Therefore, several years ago, the company decided to internalise its procurement department for a more precise and complete overview of its SEA, display and social levers.
Today, PVCP wants to reinforce its technological expertise and develop its data-driven approach by attracting new talents while offering new challenges to existing PVCP employees. The group also wants to challenge how they pilot performances by fully exploiting their large data assets to maximise ROI and optimise the allocation of digital investments.
To help Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs, we needed to:
- Garner more leads while reducing media investments
- Reinforce PVCP’s data-driven approach to pilot performance using KPIs
- Inject new technological and analytical capabilities into the procurement team, and create synergies with the analytical department.
To address PVCP’s objectives, we used the SWAT approach. This agile consulting method enables rapid and efficient identification of creation and value optimisation levers.
Unlike classical approaches, the SWAT method ranks tasks by priority, allowing them to be addressed one by one, so the team shares a consistent vision. It incites participants to think outside of their usual parameters to free their creativity, reveal obstacles which wouldn’t have been otherwise identified, and propose new ways to generate business value.
Our dedicated team worked in commando mode to analyse, audit and develop working hypotheses. Working closely with PVCP’s teams, we broke our mission down into three phases:
1. Track down savings in tools
The PVCP group has a digital investment policy and seeks savings to reinvest them at a higher level of ROI. We audited their search, display, and social tools to identify eventual setup or methodological problems and optimise ROI of their media investment. This was the longest phase, as we explored a maximum number of hypotheses.
Artefact led the mission in an iterative manner with PVCP, offering their teams hypotheses (identified based on data analysis) on where savings could be made, followed by real-world testing to validate or amend them. We found new value in the very first week, with clear visibility on savings made during the course of the mission.
2. Increase ROI by generating new leads
After optimising the setup and methodology, we deployed new DCO (Dynamic Content Optimisation) tools to increase the efficiency of our targeting. We also recommended a new data gathering and managing infrastructure which is currently in deployment.
In partnership with Google, we worked on PVCP’s data architecture, showing them how to integrate their CRM data and automate and create audiences and segments in the Google environment. These audiences allow the client to push targeted messages via DCO, increase relevance and engagement on display, and change the bid strategy according to each buyer’s profile.
We are planning long-term support to successfully implement and sustain this vision. We also suggested using a Customer Data Platform (CDP), such as Tealium or Oracle CX Unity, to centralise and store all customer data in a single tool.
3. Rethink the organisation
Finally, after observing how the Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs teams interacted, we organised them by vertical (SEO, SEA, social, display) to avoid investment conflicts. The proposed reorganisation steers PVCP toward a matrix model, designed to foster continuous innovation on all channels thanks to a cross-department vision while retaining an excellent level of expertise.
We have now installed a “Champion” in charge of piloting the search for savings and new leads, challenging each channel to come up with ideas for budget and ROI optimisation. The Champion will also arbitrate on how to reinvest the budgets saved thanks to these new best practices.
For each project, we also assigned a data analyst, a media expert (specialised in travel), a data consultant, and a chief methodologist to offer an end-to-end vision, deploy SWAT, and find value. These four complementary profiles enabled an exhaustive examination of and approach to the problems of PVCP.
The initial savings objective was reached and tripled in only 10 weeks. This generated reinvestment possibilities to seek new leads and generate additional sales.
These excellent results were supported by optimisation rationales guaranteeing higher ROI. They demonstrate the efficiency of the SWAT approach, which brings creative new hypotheses to light by disrupting conventional thinking, freeing teams to discover opportunities that surpass predefined objectives.
Organising our agency into tightly-knit teams let us advance the work rapidly while promoting reliable and rapid actions for change with the client.