Commercial Transformation for Exit – Hospitality
Travelodge commercial transformation

“DWG enabled a rapid maturity of our digital capabilities in product, insight, marketing and organisation.”

Sales & Marketing Director, Travelodge

Travelodge is a leading chain of budget hotels in the UK, owned by GoldenTree Asset Management.

It acquires a high percentage (75%+) of its bookings through its website and mobile application, with visitors to the site attracted by compelling digital (SEO & PPC) and above-the-line marketing investment. A direct-to-customer strategy that is protective of margins versus client-acquisition via online travel agents (OTAs).

In late 2015 a commercial transformation began with an objective to deliver stronger revenues, better conversion, faster delivery, and greater return-on-investment (ROI). Ensuring Travelodge was well-positioned for a transaction from its owner GoldenTree Asset Management.

While the existing website performed well in terms of conversion, a historical lack of investment had begun to compromise the quality of the customer experience. Travelodge started to shed market share, compared to more digitally advanced competition.

The website was serviced by old technology, leading to difficulties in updating and eroding the organisation’s ability to adapt to changing marketing needs quickly. This situation was further impacted because of the poor mobile application – just as visitor preference began to dictate the importance of mobile.

As well as the suboptimal digital assets, the size of the small in-house digital team – supported by a fragmented agency portfolio – was leading to impacts on the effectiveness of the digital marketing investment and its return-on-investment (ROI).

Finally, organisational issues persisted between the commercial function and technology, compounded by the reliance on a Waterfall delivery approach and an unclear delivery roadmap across the organisation.

The requirement was to make rapid improvements in all areas to positively boost the commercial performance of the function and grow the digital maturity of the business within 12 months.

With rapid change required, DWG built and executed a five-step digital maturity plan:

  • A clear and achievable digital strategy was developed to support the overall business plan. This included the development of a twenty-four-month digital roadmap focused on improving the performance of the website, mobile application, digital marketing and organisation.

  • Restructuring the digital team and enabling rapid talent growth to conduct the transformation quickly and successfully. Reducing reliance on its fragmented agency network and improving the return-on-investment of its digital marketing.

  • Working closely with Salmon Consulting to deliver improvements to the website, mobile application and the underlying technical platform. Improving customer experience, conversion, and cost of operations.

  • Enhancing the breadth and performance of Travelodge’s digital marketing approaches through all parts of the acquisition and retention cycle. While also developing and maturing its digital analytics and insight function to help measurement and optimisation.

  • Working with technology and other adjacent teams to mature internal working practices, including the move from a Waterfall to a Hybrid Agile approach, suitable to the needs and practices of Travelodge.

Successfully delivered in 12 months.

Our assistance ultimately helped Travelodge to grow its digital maturity, demonstrate successful performance, and provide clarity on how it was going to continue to grow its digital capabilities during its ‘exit’ discussions.

“DWG has helped us strengthen our foundations for ongoing success.”

Sales & Marketing Director, Travelodge

Service

Exit Preparation – Digital Positioning

Will Barribal

Partner
Private Equity Relationships

Call +44 (0)7584 205613

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