Marriott: Paradise

Turning an online hell into a digital paradise

You would think that online, resorts pretty much sell themselves, right? Especially the collection of nine properties across the Caribbean and Mexico that make up Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexican Resorts (or as they like to call themselves, MARCAM).

And because the resorts are incredibly beautiful and luxurious, they do sell themselves online. Or rather, they did, because by the time MARCAM came to Luckie, they didn’t anymore. The site, which hadn’t been redesigned in five years, was an unholy mess of patches and initiatives, and it crashed, hung up or froze half the time.

Not exactly the kind of behavior that inspires confidence that your vacation will be a paradise, is it?

So we started with a clean slate. And after extensive research, planning and thinking, we outlined six guiding principles for the site:

  • Make it simple and intuitive
  • Make it beautiful, but beautiful in a way that still drives users down specific, targeted paths where they can learn more about the things they want to learn more about
  • Make it flexible
  • Make it sharable, because an engaged and excited user is one who wants to spread the word – which extends acquisition and reach
  • Make it capable of growing the database, so we can learn more about the people we’re engaging as we engage them, but also so we can figure out how to most efficiently bring them back again
  • Make it drive bookings – because let’s face it, at the end of the day, sales are the name of every business’s game

And then we delivered on those principles.


With a home page that actually allowed the user to self-direct to generate personal and social sections. With three segment-specific microsite home pages (leisure, meeting planner, travel agency) that allowed us to deliver highly relevant, targeted information. With a streamlined navigation between home and microsite home pages that was highly intuitive and organized the user experience. With a “check availability” option on all leisure pages that drove bookings. And by adding wedding, group and agent “request for proposals” to generate leads that linked back to the MARCAM sales force.

No wonder booking transactions increased by 150%. And average nights per booking went up from 3.6 to 5.5. And average activity revenue increased from $772 to $1,000.

Those numbers sounded a lot like paradise to Marriott.

Key Results

  • $350,000 in direct booking DART revenue
  • Average monthly visits increased by 15%
  • Yearly visits increased by 20%
  • Page views increased by 20%
  • Average time spent increased by 20%
  • Total number of DART booking transactions increased by 150%
  • Average nights per booking went from an average of 3.6 to 5.5
  • Average activity revenue increased from $772.72 to $1,000
  • Organically increased database by 1,500 emails (1% of total active emails)
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