A Marketing Overhaul Increases Bookings for a Luxury Cruise Line

Gerent Makes a Massive Data Merge Easy with Salesforce CRM

Client Success Snapshot

Client Profile:

  • Overview: A prominent luxury cruise line
  • Industry: Travel and Hospitality
  • Team Size: 1,500
  • Annual Revenue: US$ 421.8 million
  • Headquarters: Miami, FL
  • Markets: Global

The Challenge

A luxury cruise line wanted to regain the top spot in the cruise industry and disrupt the river cruising market. The company was looking to organize scattered customer data and automate its sales and marketing functions. The marketing plan needed to account for the rapidly aging demographic while reaching the younger population more typical of river cruising.

Gerent's Approach

Gerent got the green light to implement Marketing Cloud, thereby providing the company with the technology, systems, and processes it needed to launch an effective marketing push. Gerent also implemented Community Cloud, creating a new, efficient portal for travel agents to use. At the same time, Gerent combined Community Cloud with Marketing Cloud, eliminating the need to use Excel spreadsheets to track contacts and leads.

Key Outcomes

The cruise line now possesses sales and marketing power it never had before. Thanks to Marketing Cloud, the company has an accurate and clear view of its contacts, leads, and customers in one place. In addition, the cruise line was able to automate and drive effective marketing messaging. This, in turn, allowed it to secure more conversions. 


Client Success Story

A luxury cruise line that had been a long-standing Gerent customer was planning to regain the top spot in the cruise industry. After enjoying the incredible status for over a quarter-century, the cruise line was suddenly knocked off its perch. This loss didn’t go over well with the cruise line’s new corporate owner, an ocean shipping conglomerate.

The first step back to the top was to bring in a new CEO and under his leadership, the cruise line decided on a two-pronged strategy. While working to regain the number one spot in ocean cruising, the company also wanted to disrupt the river cruising market. This meant building more ships capable of handling the narrow confines of European river cruising.

The company does an exceptional job of creating and maintaining close personal relationships with its customers, but its customer data was scattered and many sales and marketing tasks were manual or ad hoc. The cruise provider’s marketing plan needed to account for the rapidly aging demographic among well-heeled ocean cruising guests while simultaneously reaching the younger demographic more typical of river cruising.


Implementing the Right Technology

The company lacked a technology base from which it could launch effective marketing strategies. When Gerent first met with the client, we learned the company had originally opted for Adobe Campaign. However, Adobe didn’t work out because it couldn’t integrate with the company’s other software without huge expense and pain. 

The cruise line gave Gerent the green light to implement Marketing Cloud, providing it with the technology, systems, and processes with which to launch an effective marketing push. Tom Harding, V.P. of Sales at Gerent, worked closely with the company and saw the benefits they enjoyed first-hand, “the cruise line was able to find new levels of customer intimacy that had never existed on the marketing side of its business before.”

New Portals and New Opportunities

The company had established excellent relations with travel agencies around the world. These entities are extremely important to its business. 

“The last thing high-net-worth guests want to do is sit in front of a computer and try to figure out the best cruise, the best destination and so on. They just call a travel agent to do it for them,” Tom explains.

So, the company rolled out the red carpet for travel agencies by implementing Community Cloud. Gerent created a new, efficient portal for travel agents to use — encouraging them to book with the cruise line more often. Gerent also combined Community Cloud with Marketing Cloud, eliminating the need to chart contacts and leads in Excel. Post-implementation, both marketing and sales teams could instantly tell how often a lead had been contacted, when, and what the messaging was.

Taking an Email Journey

Valentine Christopher was Gerent’s Project Manager on the Marketing Cloud implementation. In an interview, he explains how the cruise line needed to go beyond simply sending out ad hoc emails. 

“The company needed to track its leads and contacts as part of its customer journey, up to the point where customers completed their bookings. The journey could take a week, a month or a year between first contact and booking,” Christopher said.

Because email is such an important sales and marketing element for the cruise line, the company opted for Email Studio — which is specifically designed to streamline various marketing functions. Email Studio centralized customer data from each area of the company, allowing marketers to segment a mailing list and target custom messaging, based on a customer’s profile. From Email Studio, the cruise line filtered thousands of profiles in seconds, employing Einstein Analytics to create specific, meaningful messaging and automate the email process.

Gerent also implemented Journey Builder to work in conjunction with Email Studio. Specific events — such as a prospect downloading cruise content from an app — trigger Journey Builder to deliver the right message at the right moment. With Journey Builder, the company built custom milestones that triggered automated email campaigns. All teams within the cruise line (marketing, sales, and service) had a full view of each customer journey.

Marketing With Power

Christopher believes the cruise line now possesses the sales and marketing power it never had before. As it moves forward with its two-pronged marketing strategy — to re-acquire the number one status in luxury ocean cruises and make strong inroads into the river cruising market — it remains confident in its ability to reach its goals. 

Thanks to Marketing Cloud, the company has an accurate and clear view of its contacts, leads, and customers. In addition, Marketing Cloud helps the cruise line drive effective marketing messaging, allowing it to secure more conversions.

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