Company overview

The Cordish Companies is a leading real estate development and operating firm that’s based in Baltimore, Maryland. It has tremendous expertise in various areas of commercial real estate, including Mixed-Use Developments, Lifestyle & Retail Centers and Corporate Offices.

As a winner of 7 Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence (more than any other developer in the world), The Cordish Companies is known for revitalizing unique and significant properties across the US. CNN commended the company for reshaping Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and also recognized it as one of the most acclaimed developers in the United States.

The challenge

The Cordish Companies was keenly aware of the changing behaviors of guests at the entertainment districts. With online and mobile commerce making it easy for people to buy what they need from anywhere, The Cordish Companies knew that it needed to provide rich physical experiences to compel guests to visit its properties.

Part of doing that involved offering free WiFi. Providing Internet access would help make visits to The Cordish Companies’ properties much more pleasant, thus enticing guests to visit and stay longer at the entertainment district.

The Cordish Companies also wanted to boost real-time guest engagement and it knew that having an in-depth knowledge of on-site behavior was the first step to doing that.

The solution

The Cordish Companies looked into various solutions and ultimately decided to go with Cloud4Wi.

The company liked the fact that Cloud4Wi’s application suite integrated seamlessly with various hardware manufacturers, as its network infrastructure was heterogeneous. All this made launching and optimizing new WiFi networks a breeze.

Regarding guest insights and engagement, The Cordish Companies was impressed with Cloud4Wi’s ability to collect guest data — including traditional demographics and location-based behavioral characteristics — by using WiFi as a touchpoint in the guest visitation journey.

The company also loved the fact that Cloud4Wi had out-of-the-box engagement tools that would allow the brand to connect with guests in real-time, based on their behavior on The Cordish Companies’ properties.

By embracing Cloud4Wi, we were able to turn WiFi from an amenity into a powerful business tool that allowed us to gather actionable insights into who guests are and how they behave in our properties. The customer data that Cloud4Wi offered served as the missing piece that other sources couldn’t provide.

Paul Weil, Director of Information Services at The Cordish Companies

Results

The Cordish Companies deployed Cloud4Wi starting from the Spring of 2018. The project consisted of implementing Cloud4Wi in 8 entertainment districts. Promoting free WiFi involved the use of digital signage in common areas, as well as window stickers and table signs at restaurants. Since every property was unique, the company gave the managers in each location the ability to decide how to sponsor the WiFi initiatives.

The Cordish Companies created splash pages that made it easy for guests to log in. The pages contained various signup options — including email and Facebook — with additional fields, such as full name and phone number. This gave guests the flexibility to log in using the method they’re comfortable with, while allowing the brand to maximize data collection.

Best of all, The Cordish Companies’ WiFi was set up with privacy in mind, so guests can rest easy knowing that their information is safe.

Speaking of data, Cloud4Wi gave The Cordish Companies insights into each guest’s visitation journey. When a person opts in, Cloud4Wi assigns a digital identity to that person’s device, so the company can “remember” the guest when they return. This enabled The Cordish Companies to understand the on-site behavior of its guests — while respecting their privacy.

By integrating Cloud4Wi with its CRM (Microsoft Dynamics 365), The Cordish Companies was able to gain a 360-degree view of the guests who visit its entertainment district. That profile contains the person’s location-based behavior, as well as data from online sources and ticket sales.

Having comprehensive guest profiles (including guest demographics plus online and offline behavior) enables The Cordish Companies’ marketing team to craft highly-targeted campaigns that contain messages and offers relevant to each guest’s visitation journey.

All that data not only helped The Cordish Companies get to know its guests better, but it gave the brand the ability to enhance each guest’s experience and create long-lasting one-to-one relationships.

Before the pandemic, for instance, guests could receive different offers, depending on their behavior and history with the brand. Some of these offers included:

  • A “Thank You Email” with a $10 food credit for the guests who sign-in to free WiFi
  • A “Welcome Back Email” with a $10 credit for loyal guests
  • Text messages to promote events (e.g. Summer Fest Live! 2019) including $5 off ticket purchases


During and after the pandemic, guests could receive updates about COVID-19 countermeasures and even invites to exclusive events taking place at The Cordish Companies’ properties.

the cordish companies logo

6,500
guest profiles collected per month

84%
opt-in ratio