While the traditional wedding gifts for a fifth anniversary are silver and wood, as The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas approaches its fifth anniversary, gifts of a laptop computer or mobile phone would be more appropriate as the resort rolls out an new digital communications strategy in preparation for 2016.
“Our new owners (well-known New York-based private equity fund Blackstone Group) are investing in our resort, our people and building enthusiasm by investing and accelerating our digital presence,” says Mamie Peers, senior director of digital, social and e-commerce for Cosmopolitan.
“Our goal is to create a more cosmopolitan and compelling experience on all level. Now that we are five years old we have done enough of the proper research to learn how to connect to our guests in a more meaningful way, and in 2016 we will have quite the story to tell.”
New story for 2016
Cosmopolitan’s story for 2016, much like its digital communications strategy, involves a lot of new rollouts and openings that have been in development for most of 2015. Early next year Cosmopolitan will be unveiling a new high-limit slot machine playing area, joined on the casino floor by CliQue, a stylish cocktail lounge with food service.
“These new attractions on our casino floor allow us the opportunity to create a completely new level of social engagement with our guests both physically and digitally,” says Peers.
The new food and beverage attractions definitely do not stop at CliQue, as Cosmopolitan is adding Juice Standard, a popular Las Vegas woman-owned business that will bring diversity to a hotel that features several national dining and retail chains. Zuma, a popular Japanese-style restaurant headquartered in London with locations in Dubai, Hong Kong, Miami and New York City, will be opening 2016. Also opening in 2016 is Egg Slut, a restaurant that will offer popular and versatile egg dishes on its menu.
“In 2016 our physical space will definitely reflect a more cosmopolitan experience,” says Peers. “And we are making sure that experience begins on our website and at check-in.”
The digital dynamic
A new Cosmopolitan website will also be rolled out in 2016, with the hope of dramatically increasing hotel reservations and entertainment options from mobile phones.
As part of the website redesign, Cosmopolitan performed in-depth statistical analysis of its guests from its first five years, and identified several themes that may come to a shock to the general public and Las Vegas hotel industry.
“We have a reputation for being a younger property when it comes to our hotel guests, but we are not nearly as young as people think and we like that,” says Peers. “Our resort feels more alive with constant energy and 2016 will be the year that energy is transferred over to our digital space, as well.”
Cosmopolitan markets to a demographic they call ‘the curious class,’ defined by the willingness to be involved in new experiences each time they visit Cosmopolitan instead of repeating the same trip over and over again. Their research found that this ‘curious class’ has an even higher than normal tendency to share their experiences via digital and social media, thus signaling an even more urgent need to enhance and revamp Cosmopolitan’s digital and social media platforms.
“We have developed a base of loyal guests over the past five years and now we are going to reward them with a more accessible digital experience,” says Peer. “It is an experience that cuts across borders and will definitely benefit our international guests, too.”
It is no secret that Cosmopolitan has become a favorite hotel resort destination for international tourists, especially ones from Asia, Eastern Europe and South America.
“Our research found that certain countries are even more dependent on mobile platforms than the United States, so we had to evolve so booking a room or show through us is an even easier process,” says Peers. “The goal is to provide a seamless digital experience that elevates the value of the Cosmopolitan brand.”
Guidance from guests
A lot of Cosmopolitan’s new digital and social media initiatives for 2016 are based on research from its guests, giving the resort a guide for a more efficient communication process and platforms.
“We listened to our guests and what they are interested in,” says Peers. “We want to apply what they are most interested in to the appropriate channels to keep them engaged long past their visit to Cosmopolitan.”
The one social media channel that will have a dramatic increase in content develop in 2016 is Instagram. The dozens of stunning visuals at Cosmopolitan, from the popular Chandelier Bar to the new digital columns in the lobby at hotel check-in, make Instagram a natural fit for content development.
“Our new chief executive officer (William McBeath) wants to make sure the Cosmopolitan experience on social media is the same experience that our guests have as soon as they arrive,” says Peers. “This means starting that engagement long before they enter our property so they know what to expect. Competition is always tight in Las Vegas and we know it is all about how we present ourselves to current and prospective guests.”
Involving the employees
Before her position leading Cosmopolitan’s digital communication efforts, Peers was the hotel’s senior director of identify membership and internal communications, so, like new ownership, she takes employee involvement and awareness of the new digital campaign seriously.
“Our employees are the face of the hotel and their energy has to match the experience our guests see on social media,” says Peers. “We make sure our new employees feel excited about the property by celebrating their arrival and educating them on what resources and venues we are actively marketing to our guests.”
The Cosmopolitan expects a busy year on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.
“As each venue gets closer to opening, our guests will see a dramatic increase in content about it through our digital communications,” says Peers. “We are going to have a new and interesting restaurant experience on the third floor, and that will spread throughout our entire property in 2016.”