When Elizabeth Anne Brooke and Elizabeth G. Brooke contacted us, I was very concerned. Their website must have been as old as the hills – possibly older and they seemed to really love it. But, they also knew they were losing ground and were quite willing to hear what I had to say. I didn’t mince words and they weren’t offended. We were off to a great start! However, the road before us was to be a very long and difficult one due to circumstances none of us could foresee. Before long, our team realized that a complete rebranding of the Gabriel’s Inn at the Ashbrooke was needed. Their property could be a hotel, a bed and breakfast, an inn, a motel, a vacation rental, anything really. But, they were stuck in the bed and breakfast mode and their Provincetown Hotel property really could not be pigeon-holed in that way. It was time for a drastic change! Revenues were diminishing year over year, their online presence was slipping, and their website didn’t reflect any of what the amazing property truly was about. The E’s, as we affectionately call them, wanted to market themselves as the friendliest, most welcoming property in Provincetown.
They are pet friendly, family friendly, straight friendly and gay friendly. Essentially, they are just friendly and they wanted the world to know! They really love people and animals and have hearts bigger than the state of Texas! We had to share them with the world. It felt like a calling in an odd sort of way…
The solution came about in a step by step process. We knew we had to get Mark and Matthew of Jumping Rocks Photography to meet us in Provincetown to conduct a full 4 day, comprehensive consulting and photo shoot session. I would act as Mark’s “design assistant” while Matthew set up all the brilliant shots. Scott would consult with the owners on how to repurpose the property. Putting all our heads together during the intense, 4 day shoot resulted in the decision to rebrand as the Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s and market them as a hotel in every venue possible. The E’s took every necessary step to embark on the long process of converting while our team put together the many hours needed to design a custom WordPress responsive website design. Everything had to be redone – the logo, the photos, the colors, the concept! To their credit, the E’s trusted us and we trusted them. Our collaborative design energies really synced as we pushed our way to the end goal of this spectacular design. Of course…the proof is in the pudding – just take a look at these numbers. Please take a moment to read their inspiring testimonial as it will encourage even the most down-trodden of innkeepers! There is always hope!
Cliff Diving or How Two Exhausted Innkeepers Threw Caution to the Wind, and Found Happiness
“A bit about us: we’ve had our business in Provincetown, Massachusetts for over 35 years as the owners of Gabriel’s at the Ashbrooke Inn. In that time we have witnessed a 360 degree turn around in how inns are run, advertised and marketed. As we all agree, this is mostly due to the dramatic influence of the internet and how the traveler researches and decides where to lay their head.
In the spring of 2013, we found ourselves frustrated and overwhelmed. There was just too much to do between running our inn, property upkeep, and the demand of time that getting the word out about us took. How could we fit in social media posts, tracking of referrals, deciding which travel site to list with, NAP consistency, keeping our descriptions current, Google analytics, updating our website, writing blogs, uploading relevant photos, etc. and still be innkeepers?
“We needed help if we were to stay relevant and on top of the pack – a position we had become accustomed to, but were losing ground in.
Fortunately, a trusted industry expert told us to contact White Stone Marketing. They said Allison and Scott were the best in the industry. The phone call was made.
From the first moment we spoke with Allison, we knew we were in the right hands. Allison listened to us and understood exactly what we were going though and what we needed. We cautiously agreed to form a partnership with White Stone to help us with our marketing. Kelly Garbarino, Katie French and Tiffany Kluck went to work on our placements, ads, listings and social media. Then along came Scott, who knew everything about anything having to do with our industry, cutting edge marketing, positioning, analytics, IT and then some. This team, along with Chris Kelly, formerly of Google, analyzed our business which included an onsite visit.
They proposed something radical: completely change our 35 year old business and reinvent ourselves as a boutique hotel with a new name, look and operations.
What the heck, we thought, why not jump? We wanted a big change and, although daunting at first, that is exactly what we got. Along the way, we realized that with this radical new strategy, we needed to create a completely new website with new photography. White Stone sent us to Mark and Mathew of Jumping Rocks who also happen to be the best in the industry. Then, under the amazing creative direction of Liz Hamilton, Kim Spangle and their team, we launched our new site in April 2014.
Well what happened, you ask?
We became The Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s. We have the best website in the entire universe. Our organic placement on Google rose to page 1. Our ranking in TripAdvisor went to number 1. We received one of “The 10 Best Inns in America 2013” award. Our inquiries and website visitors increased 1000%. And most importantly, our return on our financial investment and leap of faith paid off, many, many times over. To quote from Scott Marketing is the art of spending a dime to make a dollar. The more dimes you wisely spend the more dollars you will make. When you nickel and dime all you get is small change and what’s often really needed is big change.
We have found happiness. We can spend time doing what we do best; running our inn and taking care of our guests. We are so happy to have partnered with this smart and talented group of people who make up White Stone Marketing. And as an added bonus, we are happy to call them our friends.”
Elizabeth Anne Brooke & Elizabeth G. Brooke, The Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s
In the first year since the site launched the following increases occurred: