Company overview

HOCO Entertainment, Inc. is one of the largest tourism organizations in Canada. Based in Ontario, HOCO provides top-notch destinations, attractions, restaurants, accommodations, and retail stores to the numerous guests who make it to Niagara Falls.

HOCO runs Clifton Hill, which is fondly known as the “authority for FUN in Niagara Falls.” The park has attractions for kids and adults alike — like the Niagara Skywheel, as well as family activities like Dino Adventures Golf and Wizards Golf. The Clifton Hill district is also home to a variety of restaurants, including Boston Pizza, Kelsey’s Restaurant, Wendy’s, and Tim Hortons.

The challenge

Clifton Hill, one of HOCO’s key attractions, is a popular destination among tourists and drives a massive amount of visitors every year. There was just one problem: because the park was completely open and didn’t have any gates, HOCO had difficulties collecting visitor information and understanding their behaviors in the park, as they had only anecdotal information and no hard data.

And while HOCO already had a database of 200,000 email addresses, the company didn’t have any information on customers who just visited the park without staying at the property. HOCO also didn’t know anything about customer interactions with the park itself.

HOCO’s database was missing on-site behavioral data, which prevented the company from interacting with its customers in a relevant and targeted way. Customers who typically visit Clifton Hill lived 2 hours away and headed to the park 3 or 4 times a year. HOCO needed a solution that would enable it to identify, retarget, and communicate with these customers.

To address these issues, HOCO sought out a solution that would:

  • Offer easy-to-use WiFi at the park
  • Enable customer data collection while respecting privacy
  • Help the company grow its database so it can better perform retargeting

The solution

To implement the WiFi infrastructure, HOCO selected Extreme Networks (formerly Aerohive), a networking technology company that offers infrastructure solutions and applications to help businesses better connect with the customers they serve.
Extreme Networks introduced three options for the over-the-top solution, one of which was Cloud4Wi. HOCO ran pilot projects using the three solutions, and Cloud4Wi performed the best.

The company’s marketing and IT teams collaborated to select and implement Cloud4Wi. HOCO was extremely impressed with both Cloud4Wi’s application suite as well as the company’s hands-on approach in ensuring that HOCO’s WiFi efforts were successful.

HOCO was blown away with Cloud4Wi’s ability to extract actionable insights across the on-site customer journey. Cloud4Wi’s technology allowed the company to:

  • Collect customers’ phone number and email address when they opt-in
  • Discover on-site customer journeys, including the specific areas they visited and their dwell time.

Cloud4Wi is not just a tech supplier, it’s our partner. With Cloud4Wi and a data-driven approach, we have been able to transform one-time visitors into loyal customers: get people to come in, retarget customers and make them come back.

Joel Noden, Director of Marketing at HOCO

Results

HOCO deployed Cloud4Wi at Clifton Hill in the spring of 2017 by offering WiFi in outdoor areas, restaurants, and indoor attractions (e.g. the Wax Museum).

Cloud4Wi’s application suite made it easy to create a custom WiFi experience that was consistent with the look and feel of Clifton Hill’s website. The solution also supported two languages — English and French — to ensure that all customers were accommodated.

Logging into the WiFi network was a breeze for customers, who could sign in using their email and phone number, or their Facebook account. This flexibility made it easier for people to connect and subscribe to HOCO’s promotional communications — all while staying compliant with privacy regulations.

The customer details that HOCO collected were automatically fed into its CRM through APIs, making it easy for the company to grow its marketing database.

Thanks to Cloud4Wi, HOCO saw improvements in its data gathering and subscription metrics, including:

  • 781,000+ customer profiles collected
  • 71% subscribed to receive promotional communications
  • 79% down lift in bounce rate
  • 178% uplift in open rate in the first year

From an analytics standpoint, Cloud4Wi helped HOCO understand how customers behaved while in Clifton Hill. HOCO was able to glean insights like the customer’s entrance points, dwell time, popular areas, and visit frequency.

Cloud4Wi used powerful AI-driven algorithms to turn the vast amounts of data collected into actionable insights. In doing so, HOCO was able to boost its retargeting initiatives by only communicating with customers who recently visited the park. This highly data-driven approach improved conversion and engagement rates for the business.

Cloud4Wi also proved helpful during the pandemic. Using Cloud4Wi’s customizable splash pages, HOCO was able to provide customers with important COVID-19 updates and safety information before they logged into the WiFi network.

Next steps

In the future, HOCO intends to implement retargeting using WiFi and the Facebook pixel. A lot of the company’s customers live 2 hours away from the resort and visit Clifton Hill 3-4 times a year, and HOCO plans to engage these existing customers to maximize traffic and revenue.

It’s far easier to nurture current customers than it is to acquire new ones, and having a rich database containing each customer’s on-site behavior will enable HOCO to retarget customers more effectively. Rather than blanket messages, for example, HOCO can tap into its customers’ behavioral data to tailor its marketing initiatives and encourage customers to come back.

customer database enrichment hoco

781,000+

customer profiles collected

71%

subscribed to receive promotional communications

79%

down lift in bounce rate

178%

uplift in open rate in the first year