Case Study: Success of Estrella del Mar’s Revamped Marketing Campaign

THE CHALLENGE: Estrella del Mar, a 900-acre gated beach and golf resort and community in Mazatlan, Mexico, recently underwent new ownership after sitting idle for eight years after the real estate market collapsed in 2008.  
When the new owner took over the resort, the website for Estrella del Mar was difficult to navigate, the information was poorly presented and contained numerous typos, the photography was of poor quality and there was no capability of making a room reservation. The challenge was to build Estrella del Mar’s brand awareness, and also to create a much needed new source of revenue through an additional vehicle for reservations.


THE SOLUTION: The new owner of Estrella del Mar wanted to put his own stamp on the resort. Because of that and because Estrella del Mar had fallen off the radar screen over the past eight years of marginal marketing, we focused on developing a defining brand concept to distinctly position and differentiate the resort. With changes to the logo, the Estrella Del Mar Resort brand would be vastly improved. We developed the brand concept and brought it to life through a powerful system of brand expression. The system included a messaging platform and a versatile toolkit of visual brand elements.  To reach this point in the design process, research was conducted on other visual identities of destinations, and a number of brand identity concepts were explored, presented and evaluated. With input from those creative strategies options were developed and presented. The new logo is now approved and being widely implemented.


The new brand concept informed the subsequent projects, including the new website and all marketing and communication for the resort. The result has been a powerfully desirable impression of the Estrella Del Mar Resort in the minds of all audiences.


We then developed strategic digital marketing programs that encourage interest and online awareness for the Estrella del Mar brand. A thorough Website Analysis was conducted that looked at general design elements as well as the website's Internet Marketing effectiveness. The Estrella del Mar website was rewritten and redesigned so that the new site was now attractive, efficient and easy to use. Other initiatives included getting linked to content-rich sites that drive targeted, qualified traffic to the site and also to get ranked and listed with major search engines. Other significant efforts included creating an online booking function for both the hotel and to book golf tee times to generate revenues through reservations and golf and also to develop and maintain a series of online databases for additional marketing efforts.


In addition, we launched an aggressive and targeted public relations campaign focused on markets where there is airlift to the destination to build awareness for the resort.


THE RESULTS: Estrella del Mar is now averaging 20,000 user sessions (total number of users who have visited the site for the month), 30,000 page views (#of pages viewed on the site), over 700 user sessions per day, the average user stays on the site for an average of 7 minutes and the resort has so far built a database of over 3,000 e-mail addresses to use and to supplement with opt-in email addresses for targeted email campaigns for special offers. Search engine productivity has grown by over 200% since the start of the plan, and user sessions increased 400% in the first four months of the program. Also, the new booking engine is creating a new source of reservations and is generating more and more incremental revenue for the resort.


The public relations campaign for the resort resulted in $1.8 million dollars of exposure.