During lockdown, I started a podcast (like everyone else) with local businesses in the South East of England.
The podcast spoke to different business owners across Sussex, and how they have had to pivot their business during the coronavirus pandemic.
I spoke to 6 businesses in different sectors, and this case study will focus on one of them.
If you want to check out the podcast, it’s called Chalk Talks, and you can check it out here.
This case study will focus on a holiday property management company called Exclusively Eastbourne.
If it’s not clear from the name, the company promotes holiday rentals to the public on behalf of property owners.
Exclusively Eastbourne manage the listings, bookings and cleaning for the property owners, and most of the properties are based in Eastbourne.
Supposedly the sunniest place in the UK?
Their main customers are people seeking holiday lets in Eastbourne from around the UK. Their clients are the landlords themselves, making sure they fill their properties with customers.
This case study will look at their marketing strategy across social media, content and partnerships that Exclusively Eastbourne have, and how they can fill holiday lets for their clients.
Exclusively Eastbourne are not selling to locals. They are selling to national visitors throughout the UK and international visitors.
As well as showcasing some beautiful holiday lets, Exclusively Eastbourne are also brand ambassadors for the town of Eastbourne itself.
They have to sell the town to visitors, because ultimately if the visitors want to stay in the town, they will chose Exclusively Eastbourne.
Every town across the UK has some type of tourism organisation. Most are run by local councils.
If you are working with a holiday let client, it is good to get in bed with them, like Exclusively Eastbourne has.
The tourism organisation (Visit Eastbourne in this case), has a larger audience than the small business, and so it is smart for Exclusively Eastbourne to partner with them.
The tourism organisation can share content and run competitions on behalf of the small business, like the post below.
The link leads to a lead capturing form which the tourism organisation and small business can use for future email marketing.
Eastbourne Hospitality Association.
Yes, this is a real thing.
They are a group of accommodation businesses locally in Eastbourne who work together to market Eastbourne to a wider UK audience.
By being part of this association, Exclusively Eastbourne get to promote their business as part of wider marketing campaigns.
Cool, popular Airbnb.
Or big bad scary Airbnb, depending on how you look at it.
Exclusively Eastbourne use Airbnb to their advantage. They know Airbnb have a huge audience, and they would be stupid to ignore it.
They list some of their holiday lets on Airbnb which proves to be incredibly popular.
The fees for listing are then passed onto the property owner.
He mentions the company name “Exclusively Eastbourne” in the posting, which is very easy for customers to copy and paste.
When I spoke to him about this, he said Airbnb is good for two things:
Exclusively Eastbourne act as the marketing agency for their properties and landlords, and so the costs of listing and doing business on these platforms are passed onto the landlords.
Exclusively Eastbourne have Facebook, that’s it.
I think they are missing a trick by not having Instagram, but Carl said the majority of his customers are families and 50+.
On Facebook, he shares Eastbourne related content from partners. This includes pretty sunset photos, showing of the attractions in the area and of course sharing details about the beautiful properties.
Well, it’s been up and down.
At the start of lockdown, Exclusively Eastbourne had a huge amount of cancellations and refunds.
Then, as people craved a break and international holidays were cancelled, they had a mass influx of bookings.
Carl told me that by being in partnership with Visit Eastbourne, they were always up to date and able to position themselves well for staycations (which is a horrible word and I really hate it).
Partnerships are important.
You want to find organisations, businesses or groups with a similar audiences to your own, like Exclusively Eastbourne and Visit Eastbourne.
You can share their audience and be part of their marketing campaigns, without having to fund organise the whole campaign on your own.
I also like that Exclusively Eastbourne do not ignore the incredibly popular sites like Airbnb. They know these sites increase traffic and bookings dramatically, and so work out the cost of these platforms and pass it on to their clients.