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In conversation with Erwin Berger, Feuerberg Mountain Resort in Carinthia, Austria

Interview 6 Minutes
If you really want to do effective, targeted marketing, automation of marketing and communication is essential.
The Feuerberg Mountain Resort is located at an altitude of 1.800 meters on the Gerlitzen Alpe in Carinthia. In a spectacular panoramic location amidst meadows and alpine pastures, resort guests on the plateau enjoy views across Carinthia and, in winter, proximity to ski slopes and lifts. In October 2023, the Feuerberg Mountain Resort was honored with the Carinthian Business Award Primus.

Erwin Berger, host of the 4*s Feuerberg Mountain Resort, talks with ADDITIVE about marketing challenges, our cooperation in digital hotel marketing and the use of ADDITIVE+ MARKETING AUTOMATION in the field of guest communication and digital marketing automation.
Mr. Berger, you built the Feuerberg Mountain Resort on the Gerlitzen Alpe and reopened it in September 2007 after extensive renovations. What marketing challenges did you face?

Our marketing challenges stem from the richness of our offerings and the unique location of our resort, coupled with the fact that the resort offers a lot. We basically have three seasons: summer, fall and winter. I would almost say three main seasons for our resort.

And along those seasons, we have very different audiences. During the holiday season, it's more families with children, and during other times, in what we call the wellness season, it's couples, and singles who are looking for tranquility and relaxation. So, different offers, different target groups, all of which need to be addressed with specific messages.

This makes it a real challenge to target the right message and determine the best message for each type of guest.
So, we're talking about a highly targeted approach in online marketing. What goals are you aiming to achieve with this?

When asked what we want to achieve with targeted online marketing for our hotel resort, we can perhaps sum it up as follows: We have developed very dynamically over the last few years and have invested a lot. This has been achieved by carefully nurturing and keeping in touch with our regular guests and, through this development, creating space for new guest stories.

We have now reached a very high level in terms of what we have to offer, and we are trying to attract new guests through targeted online marketing and by reaching out to new target groups. Occupancy at Feuerberg Mountain Resort is already at a very good level, so we don't need to move incredibly large volumes, but rather target new guests who are a good fit for us.

But we also want to continually engage guests with whom we already have one or more touch points, or who may have had a brief contact with us. Our goal is to communicate content on an emotional level so that an emotional guest journey begins at the inquiry stage. With targeted and emotional marketing messages, we want to bring joy and inspire people. This is how we want to build a relationship with our resort.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for targeted guest communication in marketing?

Targeted and specific communication in online marketing means different messages for different segments and audiences, but also different times and places or channels where we interact with our guests.

Doing all this manually would be very difficult, especially given the size of our resort. If you really want to do effective, targeted marketing, automation of marketing and communications for hotels is essential. The key to this is having a solid data foundation within the organization. Only then will you be able to meet the challenge of personalized communication and work in an automated way. Of course, the interface to the hotel's PMS (Property Management System) also plays an important role.
Mr. Berger, you just mentioned our marketing automation software as a measure in your online marketing. Could you tell us more about it?

In general, we try to take a more holistic approach to our marketing. Along the guest journey there are numerous touch points that a guest has with us. That could be social media marketing, Google Ads, email marketing - and in marketing we try to cover all of those as best we can.

We use ADDITIVE's online marketing system, which essentially combines marketing activities with a software solution, such as marketing automation software - and I think that is the USP. This combination allows us to achieve really good results with minimal effort. And the most important thing is that we are moving away from manual extra effort.

With ADDITIVE's online marketing system, we try to emphasize different features for different target groups and ensure with precise targeting that we attract the right desired guests. In a second step, further highly targeted communication measures follow, most of which come directly from the automation.

In this way, we continuously provide impulses to connect interested parties and potential guests very intensively with the resort, so that they actually become our guests in the future and spend their vacation at Feuerberg Mountain.
Are there any specific measures for your existing or regular guests?

Of course, we do not only focus on acquiring new guests, but we also continuously implement marketing measures for our regular guests.

For the marketing of regular guests, we mainly rely on marketing automation. This is where the interface to the hotel's PMS comes into play again, as it is crucial to be able to access the existing data for personalized communication. You need to know: What did the guest inquire about, when did they book, what are their preferences and interests? Marketing automation pulls this data from the hotel PMS through the interface and uses it for automated communications.

This way, we can stay in touch with our guests throughout the year and automatically send them messages that are relevant to them. This builds a good relationship and ultimately drives future actions, such as reservation requests and bookings.
Mr. Berger, what are the biggest advantages of our online marketing system for you?

Looking at the advantages of the ADDITIVE online marketing system, I would say the first benefit is that the interface between ADDITIVE+ APPS and the hotel PMS leverages our data for marketing.

The second point is that we have achieved a high level of measurability. This means that we can see what inquiries and bookings are coming in and how much revenue we have generated through marketing. This allows us to measure success perfectly.

And that leads to the fact that we can evaluate all actions very well - that is the third advantage for me. We can evaluate the profitability of marketing, make adjustments on an ongoing basis, learn from experience, and continue to develop.

In addition, when I look at the cooperation with ADDITIVE in general, there are a few points that we really like: First of all, we feel that we are in good hands because we are dealing with professionals who know what they are doing. That's one thing. The other is that we always want to try out and develop things together, and at ADDITIVE we've always found an open ear - all in a very pleasant atmosphere of working well together.
More about the interview with Erwin Berger will be available soon in our "Customer Success Videos" series.