The Market

This study involves an operator that is an offsite airport parking company servicing St. Paul/Minneapolis International Airport (MSP). In business since 1997, this operator provides self-park services including covered, open lot, and oversize parking 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.

The Challenge

In 2000 parking industry was introduced to aggregators, or third-party websites offering reservation services in the markets of most U.S. airports. These aggregators multiplied by the hundreds with a sales pitch “let us help fill your empty spaces”.

Over the years, the client listed their company on several aggregator websites so they could compete against other offsite parking companies who were also listed on these websites. Even though the aggregators channeled reservations and helped fill some parking spaces, they charged anywhere from 20%-100% of the parking fare based on the length of stay. Most of the aggregators even charged the consumer a service fee to book online. The fees were excessive and the competition on such sites was based on “price” alone. Therefore, the customer had no loyalty to any one vendor. In effect, the aggregators were doing nothing more than hi-jacking the client’s customers and selling them back to them at a reduced rate. Ultimately, the client realized that their use of these third-party websites was completely counterproductive.

The Solution

At this point the operator came to Space Genius as a client and embedded a real-time online reservations system on their website. The company then re-evaluated its marketing strategy and implemented a strategic Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaign designed to reallocate funds and redirect customers from the aggregators to the company website. In doing so, the company would be able to track clicks, opens, conversions, and costs associated with various campaigns. It also enabled them to target specific communities, businesses, and travelers while gathering pertinent customer demographics and data for future marketing promotions.

The Results

The results were amazing. Simply ridding the company of aggregators eliminated their brand erosion and consumer confusion. Using direct customer contact via scheduled email campaigns, the client was able to maintain and strengthen their brand image and establish a loyal customer base.

In addition, Space Genius produced substantial savings by marketing a direct channel to their own website for online reservations and improved their search engine rankings on Goggle and Bing. By dropping their aggregator listings and employing a managed PPC campaign, the client increased its net revenues by 230% in less than 12 months and grew its customer email database by 130%.