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Roomex,, Travelport Digital,, PSI Mobile,, On Line Computing,, Linked Finance,, Wellington IT,, Gaina Software,, Origina.
Inbound Marketing Campaign for Hotel Booking Site
"They’re very personable, willing, and engaging."
Squaredot conducts ongoing marketing services for lead generation, creating social ad campaigns, animating videos, and publishing blog content to drive new business in the international travel sector.
"They’re very personable, willing, and engaging."
May 17, 2017
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m the sales director for Roomex.com. We are an online hotel booking service for business travel. We work with medium to large-sized companies to help them save time and money on their business-related hotel expenses.
What challenge were you trying to address with Squaredot?
We have a field sales team, and they currently are largely self-generating leads, which is not the best use of their time. We wanted to open an inbound stream that would create and generate leads for these people to work with.
What was the scope of their involvement?
One of the key things they did was they created and published a series of blog posts and content that subtly promoted the Roomex brand and, within the business travel community, would have begun the process of placing Roomex as a leader in that sector. Initially, we did a series of city guides for business travelers. From Boston to Berlin, they wrote several excellent blog posts for us, which we posted on our website. We then started targeting the two key buyers of our service, the office manager or personal assistant and the financial controller or director, through Facebook and LinkedIn advertising. Squaredot created two videos for us to target those people, explaining the benefits of using Roomex. For the office manager, it’s about time savings and reliability, making their life easier. For the financial person, it’s about visibility and cost savings. Both animation videos are on our website at the moment, and we are very happy with them. We’ve used those repeatedly to target our buying groups.
The blogs were straightforward. We agreed on the cities we would focus on, and we wrote the pros and cons of staying in a chain hotel versus an independent property. They have an international network of writers they were able to tap into. For the Boston guide, for example, they had someone from Boston who gave us a real insight into the city. I would sign off on each one for approval.
The videos, however, really required a lot of effort from our side because the messaging must be correct. We went through dozens of versions before we got to one with which we were happy.
How did you come to work with Squaredot?
We found them through a personal contact. We sat down and told them what we were trying to do. From day one, they have shown flexibility. We couldn’t give them a sole spec as to exactly what we were going to need. We knew we would have to try things, and if something worked, then we would focus on that; if not, then we would stop it. We were doing monthly plans, but often in week two, something would land on my desk. We might be nominated for an award, or an article may have been published in a trade journal. We would have to jump on that quickly and start promoting it. They did that really well; they were always available and willing to be flexible.
How much have you invested with Squaredot?
We have a retainer with them of €3,000 [$3,370] a month. On top of that, based on their recommendations, each month we give them what they require for social advertising or whatever we need. It’s probably around an additional €4,000–€5,000 [$4,500-$5,620] a month.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working with them in March or April of 2016, and the projects are ongoing.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?
In very broad terms, in the first six months that we worked together, the investment that we made was repaid 1.5 times. That’s recurring revenue, so when we stop working with them, those clients will hopefully stick with us. The longer we go into the future, the better that ratio is going to look.
The content of the videos has been widely shared and liked. I’m positive about that. They have done a great job on the content. The actual paid social bit is probably more on us than them. We haven’t always given them the budget they wanted. It can be a bit of a black hole where you just keep pouring money into it. So, we are a bit nervous about fully going for that, to be honest. Any restrictions or under-delivery there would be on us rather than on them.
How did Squaredot perform from a project management standpoint?
We have a weekly call with the CEO, Ian, who is my contact there as well. He’ll do that call with our project manager, who looks after the activities. We will agree on the activities that day for the next seven days, then they’ll go off and do that stuff. The following week, we look at what we’ve done that week and plan for the next week.
They’re very hands-on. If something comes up over the next seven days that we want to feature, they’ll find a way of putting that in. They have a monthly schedule of main activities, and we have some scope around that to add new stuff as it comes up. They come into the office quarterly for a bigger-scale review. We have the weekly phone call, and we share documents, projects, and things like that through Google Docs.
What did you find most impressive about Squaredot?
The main benefit is that they’re flexible. They’re quick to change track if we think that something isn’t working. Also, they’re a HubSpot partner, which is useful. We publish our blog through HubSpot, and I believe the campaign they ran with us through HubSpot won an award at the HubSpot Awards last year. We got some secondary promotion from that as well. They’re a good value for the money. They’re currently a smaller agency, so we still get contact with Ian and Sean, the CEO and the co-founder, which always makes you feel good. They’re very personable, willing, and engaging.
Are there any areas Squaredot could improve?
They could work on longer-term planning. This could be mostly due to us because we’ve been working with them on a rolling monthly contract for over a year now. If we had a long-term planning relationship, they could plan further down the road than we’re doing at the moment, primarily around growth. We’re fast-growing company, but we want to grow faster. Because it’s an agency, we could probably do things quicker or more efficiently if we had the internal resources ourselves. I think that would apply across any agency; it’s not specific to Squaredot.
Within the first 6 months of the collaboration, new lead streams more than repaid the initial cost of Squaredot’s services. The team’s flexibility, adaptability, and relevant industry knowledge promote efficiency and growth.