Doubletree By Hilton Hotel Bay City-Riverfront

Doubletree Bay City Riverfront Hits The Target With Their Online Merchandising

Property Profile

Property Type

Chain Hotel

Number of Rooms



Bay City, MI

Customer Since

September 2011

Meet Leslie Thompson, Director of Sales and Marketing at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City Riverfront. She knows that staying ahead of her competition is key. And she’s doing so with a strong online presence using Vizlly. That makes her a Digital Marketing Hero!

Residing in the quaint little town of Bay City Michigan, this classy, downtown hotel is consistently ranked one of the five best DoubleTree hotels in the world. DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City Riverfront is known for its excellent staff and competitive price, which makes the property a favourite for corporate groups, business and leisure travelers, and weddings.

Leslie Thompson, Director of Sales and Marketing, at the property, received her degree in hospitality from Michigan State. She has been immersed in the hotel industry for 13 years, running the gamut of positions, including catering manager, sales manager, and director of sales. She believes a winning combination of passion for your product and creativity in delivering its message is a proven formula for sales success.

Thompson has a palpable desire to be the best in her field, and she is constantly looking for ways to stay ahead of her competition. “Online presence is more important than ever. Our local competition is not yet into social media or having an online presence, so right now that’s my competitive edge. I also feel like our competitors are just sitting back and waiting for people to come to them but I want to aggressively bring people in so I’m getting more business and achieving targets.”

Since the implementation of her Vizlly digital brochure, Thompson has been able to leverage her Multi-Media Player, to tell an engaging story about her hotel. Along with all the details that make her hotel unique, she’s also incorporated an “Explore” tab to highlight the many local attractions guests can enjoy when staying at her hotel.

With Vizlly, video and photos are combined in one easily accessible, interactive, highly produced package for the customer, telling a compelling story about our hotel and all that we have to offer.”

Leslie Thompson, Director of Sales and Marketing at DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City Riverfront

Because traditionally, a large percentage of business for the DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City Riverfront, comes from group travel, and weddings, Thompson has also added a “Meetings” and a “Weddings” tab to her digital brochure, to capture the attention of those target groups.

To further reach their wedding demographic, Thompson has also turned to Facebook where she finds many of her brides spend their time. Here she was able to leverage the Vizlly Facebook Events App to communicate with her brides.

“Facebook is an important part of our marketing strategy – we do 60-70 weddings a year and it’s clear that a lot of our brides are using Facebook. We load a lot of rich media on Facebook to showcase our event spaces and to create and communicate our image to potential customers.”

The ability to have a wedding tab on their Facebook page – devoted solely to brides – allows them to communicate their hotel story through visuals and text, on a channel their brides are already using. Thompson can show her prospective brides how her hotel can make their big day really special!

When asked what she hopes Vizlly will accomplish, Thompson has a clear goal. “Of course our ultimate goal is more sales. We see Vizlly as a great way to help speed up the decision making process for group sales. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I’m confident that being able to show travel shoppers all of the great things that our hotel has to offer and really convey our hotel story to them, will help speed up the decision making process and get them excited about coming to the area.”

It looks like Thompson’s online marketing strategy is right on target! Thompson quickly noticed an upswing in online traffic after implementing Vizlly. They had a strong quarter with bookings, and their online views through Facebook and TripAdvisor significantly increased too! Since they implemented Vizlly their content is receiving hundreds of views each month from their Facebook App alone, and all signs are pointing up.

Their success has prompted Thompson to share some advice for her peers looking to enhance their own online presence: “People want simple and easy – they don’t want to have to search a bunch of sites to learn about your hotel, or get confused when they see different information on different sites. Using Vizlly on OTA’s and on Facebook, is a great way to ensure a travel shopper gets a consistent impression of your property, plus they get all the information they need in one spot, so they don’t have to go searching. I would not want to not have this product!”

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