Boosting online ticket sales
To enter the next phase of growth, SparkOptimus accelerated marketing & sales performance while professionalizing the organization for Zoover, one of Europe’s main travel websites and market leader in Dutch online travel reviews.
Our digital acceleration projects typically follow a hands-on approach in which we identify key areas for improvement quickly and then execute quick wins immediately to show first successes. We simultaneously develop a 100-day plan and longer-term roadmap for larger improvements, which we implement during the next couple of months.
The core of our approach is to realize direct business impact, while simultaneously making structural improvements to the organization. We deliver operational support & results, while building the required capabilities and embedding other organizational enablers.
At Zoover, we started by looking at strengths & improvement opportunities across the main principles that form the basis of successful digital-first companies. From experience, we know that fast-growing digital-first companies often excel in a couple of principles and can improve in others. Focus on core competences has often enabled rapid growth in early years, with little urgency or capacity to address all.
We found that Zoover performed strongly on ‘Purpose driven’ and ‘Customer first’, with its complete business focused on continuously adapting to changing customer expectations. Around ‘Talent focus’, Zoover was actively running a program to improve the quality and fit of its employees. The biggest improvement opportunity was ‘Digital operational excellence’, specifically in the area of marketing & sales.
Our team immediately implemented quick wins to get an initial performance boost and create excitement in the organization. For example, website A|B testing was intensified and advertisement best-practices employed, which resulted in improved conversion rates in a matter of weeks. Also, SparkOptimus discovered large differences in the share of order rejections per travel organizer and took immediate action, improving overall conversion even more. We started the data-driven way of working by establishing a structured organization ‘heartbeat’:
In parallel with the implementation of quick wins, we developed a ‘100-day plan’ & longer-term backlog for larger initiatives that would take more time to implement and/ or prepare. For each of these initiatives, we determined activities and requirements in terms of: Organization (e.g., do we need to hire new people?), Technology (e.g., do we need to invest in new IT systems?), and Processes (e.g., do we need to add/ change any processes?). We established the required investments and calculated the expected impact on Zoover’s P&L. Next, we prioritized the initiatives and prepared the roll-out for the first 100 days. Remaining initiatives were put on the longer-term backlog for later implementation.
Head of Online Marketing & Business Intelligence (a.i.): As it took time to find a suitable candidate, we took on this role and gave shape to this part of the organization. For example, we installed data-driven decision making by implementing the right dashboards, based on which we rebuilt the campaign library (what campaigns to scale, what campaigns to stop, what campaign ideas to test), directly resulting in a lower cost per acquisition. We were also a driving factor in the recruitment of business intelligence talent (e.g., writing profiles, conducting interviews).
New pricing strategy: To accelerate sales and increase margins, we had to develop a new pricing model for Zoover’s key business customers (accommodation providers) that aligned incentives. After the design, we facilitated negotiations with Zoover’s customers, and implemented the new model. Switching to the new pricing model directly improved Zoover’s profitability in its key customer segments.
Through our results-driven approach, we realized direct business impact, while simultaneously making Zoover more fit for the future. We helped to quickly identify key improvement areas, accelerated growth by running online marketing, and implemented a new pricing model that generates significant additional bottom-line impact. On top of that, we built a company-wide foundation for performance-based and data-driven decision making.
SparkOptimus really helped us by providing excellent operational support and they have built the foundation for result-drivenness.
Philipp GoosCEO Zoover Meteovista