How Vail Resorts creates epic experiences


Marketers all focus on what we think our customers will like.  We analyze mountains of data, look at what our competition is doing, ask our staff for ideas, look at past year's marketing campaigns, look at our facilties/products, hire outside consultants......and the list goes on and on.  But with all this analysis going on, one angle we may risk not taking into account is that of our customer - more importantly, through the lens of customer experience. 

What is the customer experiencing?  Is the customer experience fantastic and enjoyable?   Are they so estatic about the customer experience that they will tell, tweet, post on Facebook, share a video on YouTube on how excited they are?  Will they come back and be wowed every time?  Will happy customers be turned into brand ambassadors? In the always-on, hyper-connected world we live in, those are very important questions to ask.

With those questions in mind, I ran across a white paper that describes how Vail Resorts has transformed their ski business into the customer experience business by asking those very questions.  What jumped out at me from this paper are the changes that put Vail on the forefront of building amazing customer experiences:

  1. Linking Customer Information
    Vail Resorts consolidated and integrated all of its data sources out of IT, pushing the data and campaign management functions into the marketing group.  They created a strong customer intelligence foundation to utilize every piece of its rich customer information.  Now the marketers have the data and an automated campaign managment process they control, which they've used to speed up the rate of customer interaction across many customer touch points.
  2. Empowering Customers
    Vail Resorts enables happy customers to become brand ambassadors with a groundbreaking and successful online/mobile application called EpicMix.  EpicMix lets the skiers capture and share their mountain experiences with friends, family and the rest of the world.  It tracks vertical feet, number of lifts ridden and days skied and it awards digital pins for mountain exploration.   In the first season of the online/mobile app, nearly 100,000 guests activated an accont, 40% downloaded the mobile app, 6 million digital pins were awarded, 45% of the users shared accomplishments on Facebook and Twitter and 35 million social impressions resulted.

Now that is customer experience focused! And talk about great marketing! Don't we wish we all were getting these types of results?  Get the details behind all this epic marketing in the white paper, "Vail Resorts Creates Epic Experiences with Customer Intelligence," and it's a great read. Click here to register for the paper.

I welcome your thoughts and ideas by commenting below.  As always, you for following!




About Author

Jim Hiepler-Hartwig

Senior Marketing Specialist

I am a senior field marketer for Customer Intelligence at SAS, and I am excited to be a part of marketing’s evolution from primarily an art form to a mix of art & science. My experience spans outside sales, sales management and marketing so I share perspectives from both sides of the fence. I also worked for other major software companies throughout my career. I feel that there is no better time to be in Marketing! It is so dynamic and ever changing making it the best place to be in a career. I make it a point to learn something new every day! I live, work, and play as a native of Chicago so you can call me a “City Boy” anytime. I enjoy camping, church leadership, community work, dogs, exercise, music, nurturing our youth, traveling and volunteering. I live by the FISH philosophy- Be There; Make Their Day; Play; and Choose Your Attitude. I strive to make this world a better place for generations to come. Thanks for following me! You can also find me on Twitter at @jfhartwig or LinkedIn at .

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