5 Great Tips a Denver FCMO Uses To Increase Ski Resort Business
Denverites love the outdoors, and nothing exemplifies the Colorado outdoor experience like the cold, crisp air at the top of a Rocky Mountain ski slope before the exhilarating slide down.
With the right marketing, a successful ski resort has the potential to be a cash cow for its owners and investors, as well as a fixture of the business landscape and a source of considerable community pride.
A Denver fractional CMO has a robust toolbelt of tips and tricks to drive more business to a Denver ski resort, including:
- Seasonal Marketing Campaigns
- Enhanced Digital Presence and Online Booking Systems
- Influencer Collaborations
- Targeted Local and Tourist Marketing Strategies
- Events and Partnerships
Ready to see how they do it? Let’s go!
Wondering what a Fractional CMO can do for your business? Watch this video below.
The Competitive Denver Ski Resort Landscape
Last year was a record year for the Colorado ski industry, with 14.8 million visitors (up 18% compared to the five-year average) and $4.4 billion in revenue generated.
That is both a booming industry and a competitive one. Major resort labels duke it out with boutique brands for market share. Popular resorts rest on their laurels, while newcomers make noisy bids for attention.
It takes strategy and experience to stand out in this competitive landscape — exactly the kind of strategy and experience a Denver fractional CMO can furnish.
The Role of a Fractional CMO For a Denver Ski Resort
Many Denver ski resorts lack marketing leadership. They depend on inexperienced professionals, outsourced agencies, or a different executive forced to wear multiple hats that don’t always fit.
A chief marketing officer (CMO) is an upper manager accountable for the success of all marketing efforts. A fractional CMO (or FCMO) takes on this role with companies like Denver ski resorts on a part-time contract basis rather than full-time employment.
A Denver fractional CMO can unite silos, contractors, and inexperienced team members under a proven, data-driven strategy and provide the kind of operational leadership that leads to success.
Tips a Denver FCMO Might Employ to Grow Your Ski Resort
What strategies is a fractional CMO likely to put in place to drive more business to a Denver ski resort? Here are five of the most effective tips they use:
1. Seasonal Marketing Campaigns
Hospitality is a seasonal business, especially on Rocky Mountain ski slopes. A Denver fractional CMO will naturally spearhead campaigns around the November-to-February high season.
But other opportunities for seasonal marketing exist, including holidays and school-year milestones:
- Thanksgiving (“Opening Weekend”)
- Christmas and New Years
- Spring Break
- Valentine’s Day
- Fall Foliage
- Summer Vacation
The Rocky Mountains are beautiful in any season, and seasonal campaigns enable them to capitalize on their strengths and drive revenue all year round.
2. Enhanced Digital Presence and Online Booking Systems
Many Denver ski resorts have not updated their digital presence in years. Some may still rely on outdated, clunky, or failure-prone online booking systems. Even worse, some may not have online booking options at all.
One of the easiest tips a Denver FCMO can employ is to give the ski resort the digital revamp it so desperately needs.
This might include a refresh and redesign of the website, redesign or creation of a dedicated mobile app, update of social media profiles, and update of listings on third-party booking or promotion sites.
Ski resorts must also pay careful attention to ADA compliance in their digital experience. The hospitality industry has been the target of many ADA compliance lawsuits due to non-accessible websites and booking experiences. An FCMO can help with this too.
Online booking systems are more than just a convenience — customers expect them, and they expect them to be excellent. A streamlined online booking system, paired with beautiful photography, videography, and copy, can work wonders for filing the calendar with bookings.
3. Influencer Collaborations
Many consumers depend on the opinions of influencers to make their buying decisions. An influencer is anyone who commands influence with the public. This could include:
- Local or national TV or radio personalities.
- Local or national artists, authors, musicians, and performers.
- Sports stars.
- Internet or social media content creators or bloggers.
- Politicians and community leaders.
- Just about anyone that community members admire.
The keys to a successful influencer collaboration are:
- The influencer must align, thematically and ideologically, with your brand.
- The influencer must like your brand and give it a genuine endorsement.
Once the influencer is on board, you can co-host events, do content collaborations, and cross-promote on ads or social media posts, among other strategies.
Fruitful influencer partners for a ski lodge might include:
- Outdoor Adventure Travel Bloggers
- Family Travel Bloggers
- Travel and Lifestyle Influencers
- Luxury Travel Influencers
- Action Sports Filmmakers
- Professional Skiers and Snowboarders
- Local Franchise Athletes (Broncos, Rockies, etc.)
- Winter Sports YouTubers
- Fitness and Wellness Coaches
- Nature and Wildlife Photographers
- Eco-Tourism Advocates
4. Targeted Local and Tourist Marketing Strategies
Search engine and social media ads can use geotargeting to present advertising messages only to people in a certain geography — Denver city limits, perhaps, or the Denver metro, even a specific zip code or suburb.
Denver ski resorts, however, serve a national and even international market. An FCMO can still help your team target a worldwide online audience that might be warm customers for a Denver ski lodge.
Interest- or behavior-based targeting might zero in on people who like skiing and snowboarding, for example, or people who like to travel and have even regularly traveled to Colorado or other mountainous regions.
5. Events and Partnerships
Hosting events and partnering with other popular brands is a great way to get new guests into rooms and on the slopes, possibly forming lifelong customer relationships.
The ski lodge itself may make a good venue for seasonal parties, conventions, seminars, workshops, expositions, festivals, and concerts.
However, since many ski lodges are actually 100+ miles away from central Denver, it may be productive to partner with a business in the city and co-sponsor an event at their venue. Representatives can then promote the ski lodge in person without requiring prospects to drive hours into the mountains.
As with influencer partnerships, make sure there is strong alignment between the ski lodge and the cross-promotional partner. It has to make sense that these two brands would want to work together. Ideally, a fan of one brand would be a warm lead for the other.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) To Measure Success
A Denver fractional CMO can do more than just crafting the strategy and guiding operations. An important measure of campaign success is in the data. KPIs can track the progress of marketing campaigns and improve them over time.
KPIs an FCMO may suggest that a ski resort keep track of include:
- Website Traffic
- Booking Rate
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
- Return Visitor Rate
- Social Media Engagement and Mentions (“Social Listening”)
- Email Marketing Open Rate and Click-Through Rate (CTR)
- Online Reputation and Customer Satisfaction Scores
Cost-Effectiveness of Fractional CMOs for Denver Ski Resorts
If a ski resort can’t afford the $170k+ salary requirement of an experienced Denver CMO, a fractional CMO may be the perfect solution. FCMOs sign temporary contracts and charge hourly rates, often for less than 40 hours a week. This makes them a far more affordable solution for many ski resorts.
Considerations for Denver Ski Resorts Exploring Fractional CMOs
Special considerations for ski resorts considering a Denver FCMO include:
- Unique Marketing Needs and Challenges. The right FCMO must understand how to work with weather dependency, geographical limitations, and customer relationships that ski lodges must contend with.
- Ski Resort Industry Expertise. The ski hospitality industry is a unique niche beneath the hospitality umbrella. Ideally the chosen FCMO has experience with this specific submarket.
- Clear Communication and Collaboration Protocols. A fractional CMO is a highly collaborative leadership position. The communication and collaboration protocols used by the FCMO must align with the needs of the ski resort.
- Seasonal Trends and Market Dynamics. The right FCMO must have strategies to deal with seasonal trends and changing market dynamics, including finding ways to drive revenue even in down economies.
Ski lodges face unique marketing challenges, but with more and more skiers flocking to the Rockies, they stand on the brink of significant opportunities as well.
A Denver fractional CMO can help a ski lodge tap into that potential through seasonal campaigns, digital transformation, events, partnerships, and much more.
Still curious about the cost-effectiveness and efficacy of a Denver fractional CMO? Digital Authority Partners can help! Contact us today and we can match you with top Denver marketing talent capable of navigating a ski lodge to the peaks of profitability.
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