Data-Driven Marketing in the Ski Industry

Skier visits

Skier visits are reaching all-time highs though growth rates are modest. National visits increased 3.7 percent, yet failed to hit the 20-year average. Utah skier visits increased 2.8 percent and Colorado visitation dipped slightly. Last winter is being described as warm to start and slow to finish with abundant snow in between. The industry is competitive as ever.

Align with your visitors

Successful ski resorts achieve robust growth rates by effectively targeting new visitors. Research and data analysis are the sights. Your customer is the person who visits your resort, especially year-after-year. This may seems obvious. My point is that a resort’s customer profiles are the people who currently enjoy the experience and not the people choosing to vacation elsewhere. In other words, resorts need to align with and get to know their visitors.

Transform data into information

Most ski resorts have access to more data and information about their guests than they realize. The information potential in rental liability forms, lodging reservations and web analytics is significant. The latest Big Data technique involves taking an email address list and finding look-a-likes based on social media site attributes associated with the original email list. Knowing your customers and what they value about the experience you offer is essential for effectively communicating with them.

Ask Why?

Transaction data such as rental forms and lodging reservations will tell you a lot about your customers. You will learn where they are from, what they bought, when they traveled and be able to develop detailed characterizations. Surveying your customers allows you to ask the why questions. Why did they choose your destination? Why will they return?


Knowing who your customer is and why they choose to visit your resort takes the guess work out of selling vacation experiences to them in the future. If you offer “your customer” what they want to buy, when they want to buy it, your sales will increase.

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