San Diego, CA -- (June 19, 2009) Primero Systems announced that Cruise Holidays has selected their webtreepro platform to power their brand’s online presence. Webtreepro’s franchise website builder and online content management system allows headquarters to provide each of their franchisee’s sites with regionalized and specialized content which bridges a critical gap in “one-size-fits-all” marketing. This, coupled with each franchisee’s ability to feature their own product offerings is key to delivering a better site visitor experience, more sales, and increased vendor co-op funding.
Unlike many franchises in which the product offerings are identical regardless of which store you visit, Cruise Holidays’ franchisees must be able to offer products that are both regionally and lifestyle appropriate. While a Cruise Holidays in the northeastern U.S. or eastern Canada may focus on Bermuda and the Caribbean, their counterparts in western North America are likely to feature Hawaii and Mexico itineraries.
“Beyond the need to differentiate by region, our Cruise Holidays franchisees customize their product mix based on variables such as client affluence or lifestyle,” said Mark Schiffner, Vice President and General Manager of Cruise Holidays. “The communities and markets served by each store will determine what cruise lines and destinations are appealing, and we can now easily provide web content for each franchisee that matches their profile. Our cruise line partners are delighted that we’re taking an intelligent approach to presenting their products and are committed to supporting us with more exclusive offers,” added Schiffner.
To fulfill this goal, Cruise Holidays had to switch from a legacy site management system that prevented them from having truly individualized sites, as well as from being able to quickly update content. “While consulting with Cruise Holidays, we learned that adding or editing offers could take hours, if not days, and frequently required intervention from the IT department,” stated Kevin Weisner, General Manager for Primero Systems. “We also learned that the complexity of their system had the practical effect of making it inaccessible to their franchisees, many of whom are building their own unique packages and want to be able to feature them online. For Cruise Holidays, we’re not simply a replacement for powering their online presence; we believe it’s a game-changer for them and we’ve added several new features to enable their specific needs.”
Among those enhancements is the ability for each franchisee’s site to belong to one or more groups. As headquarters adds pages and content, they can choose which groups will receive the content. A franchisee could be in a regional group (Eastern Canada), a vendor group (specific cruise line), or a segment group (luxury), or any combination. Content is selectively pushed from headquarters to the various groups, ensuring it shows up on the correct franchisee sites, while not appearing on sites where it would be irrelevant. “Our franchisees and their customers have no interest in seeing offers that have no appeal in their market and we can now control both where and when content appears across our network,” said Schiffner.
For headquarters, this automates what would otherwise be a very tedious, costly and potentially error-prone manual process of adding pages to each site. Modifications and deletions are equally simple because a change on the master is reflected everywhere the content appears. This also lowers their cost of delivery, as there is no longer a need for IT intervention or HTML specialists. According to Kevin Kimes, Director of Operations for Cruise Holidays, “With virtually no formal training, my staff and I were able to build out our entire web site program in about two weeks, including the creation of all the individual franchisee sites. And we can now turn our attention toward teaching our franchisees to do the same for content that’s unique to their sites.”
Another feature of the Cruise Holidays webtreepro franchise website builder is a custom integration with a third-party provided cruise booking tool. This allows site visitors to shop and book a cruise vacation on their own, with the appropriate Cruise Holidays franchise receiving notification of the booking so they can serve the customer and help them complete the planning process.
For the franchisees, they now have individualized sites which enable them to get in the local search game. This individualization of sites allows them to customize their Meta descriptions, keywords, page titles and other attributes to further localize each site from the SEO perspective.
Key to the success of such a program is the ability for the franchisees in their network to use webtreepro without a lot of support. After an initial period in which the headquarters personnel became familiar with webtreepro, they are now beginning to provide online training for their franchisees so they can also contribute their own content.