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Sitecore Symposium 2017: Atlantis The Palm and 5-Star Experiences

Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai strives to deliver its guest an endless array of bucket-list experiences with a huge amount of rooms, more than 20 restaurants, and other resort options. Of course, they need a platform to match and to provide a personalized omnichannel experience.
Hershna Langworth, Director, Online Marketing, Christopher Pascoe, Manager, Online Marketing, and Ravini Perera, Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing & PR, of Atlantis The Palm spoke at Sitecore Symposium about what they are doing to deliver the digital experience. The following are my notes from the presentation, “Atlantis The Palm: How to Create Five-Star Omnichannel Experiences.”
Note: This presentation has a LOT of information on their journey and the results. Read the entire thing to get to the final results based on their logical and disciplined approach.
Shawn from Sitecore Professional Services focused on business optimization kicked it off.  He notes it was all about the optimization of the site rather than just WCM.

The Brand

“A world away from your everyday.” The Palm is different from the Bahamas resort. The Palm has people from more than 220 countries in their database. Their brand focuses on the hotel as an icon. Famous people visit and rave about it. (I mean LOTS of famous people). It seems half of them were willing to take a video or post on social media to rave about their experience. Even Gordon Ramsey raved about the food and the atmosphere.
This hotel has 1,539 rooms, the #1 water park in the region, and 65,000 fish.
Vision: enrich the lives of people all over the world by creating amazing experience and everlasting memories
Core Values

  • Blow away the customer
  • Develop passionate and committed people

What We Planned

Are we moving away from wholesale to direct purchasing? The hotel markets to a multi-national audience. They need to get the right audience despite the many challenge.
Solution: Scalable and powerful marketing experience that personally services multiple audiences managed and executed by a single agile team.

Context Marketing Methodology, Their Road Map

Theme: Mirror Atlantis’ current on-property experience with a digital marketing experience that will increase acquisition and further improve loyalty.

  • Acquisition: drive new hotel, water park, and other new bookings


  • Assess
    • Analysis and scope
  • Align
    • Analytics and configuration
    • Use the analytics to gain the insight
  • Optimize
    • Be strategic. Don’t boil the ocean
    • optimize key experiences

Shawn used a 3-day workshop to:

  1. create the theme
  2. Define strategic objectives
  3. Create marketing obojectives
  4. Work on digital goals
    1. room booking, dolphin bay purchase, restaurant booking, registration, repeat booking, wifi login, click to call, chat bot, newsletter signup, etc.
    2. All had value points assigned to the goals

Personalization used a segmentation approach to the journey:

  1. Prospect
  2. Pre-stay
  3. On-Property
  4. Post-Stay

So then they needed to understand the context:

  • Are they global?
  • Do they want a room?
  • Do they want to dine?
  • Are they using mobile?
  • Did they use or come from social?

Next step: Prioritize the segments, journey, and the context.
That’s where the goals came from when looking at these items with a business value and volume charted.

The Profile and Data

They didn’t capture every single piece of data but they did gather a lot of information on the customer and booking.

  1. When do they arrive?
  2. What did they book?
  3. What did they leave out?
  4. How many are coming (adults and kids)?
  5. Note: this involved development to put data into the profile.

The Road Map

Used the CXIQ Maturity as the approach. Wanted to go from Radiate phase (early maturity) to Optimize and Nurture (Convert)
Phase 1

  • Context marketing planning
  • identify what you want to do
  • technical dependencies
  • roadmap

Phase 2

  • Quick wins configuration and business case
  • datapoint implementation
  • Personalization
  • etc.

Guiding Principles

  1. Get executive level sponsorship: this is the biggest piece of the puzzle. Someone needs to break down the barriers.
  2. Quick wins approach to execution. What can you reuse?
  3. Personalized creative strategy
  4. Do the rules / scenario and complexity management.  What’s a top priority and what’s below that
    1. Prioritize it
  5. Objective measurement criteria
  6. Program Management: You need to track this. You need to manage it
    1. What scenarios are live?
    2. How are they performing?


  • Various components on five pages deliver this personalization
    • Homepage
    • Special offers
    • Marine and water park
    • Things to do
    • Restaurants
  • Tested it
    • took a group and did an A/B test
    • A= default with no pzn
    • B = the personalized
    • Now you know if it actually delivered value
    • Key metric: trailing value per visit

Personalization scenarios today include:

  1. Acquisition through member registration. Want to capture basic user information without a logged in section.
    1. Register and get 10% off
    2. Personalized if they return and haven’t become a member
    3. Got an 8% conversion rate
  2. Using site interest for predictive profiling (pattern match)
    1. Challenge; lack a lot of explicit data from online audience including those who weren’t guests but did visit the water park and restaurants
    2. Solution: changed pattern cards based on where they were.
    3. Almost 800% uplift on purchases
    4. Special offers gave offers depending on the areas of the site they visited
      1. Water park 200% uplift
      2. Restaurant 1,500% uplift on purchases
  3. Using xDB facets for cross-sell opportunities
    1. Challenge: when they make a booking, how do you get them to the other activities?
    2. Solution: create custom facets down to the product level.
      1. captured the booking facets to do the cross sell
      2. Personalized the top banner in the waterpark
    3. Results: 75% uplift for waterpark. 74% for dolphin bay
  4. Upsell on property guests
    1. Used wifi login for a chance to personalize
    2. Offer on redirect to website
    3. Results; 15% uplift in on-property bookings

Overall business results

  • 46% increase in value per visit
  • Lowered bounce rate by 35%
  • increased page time and pages visited

Road Map ahead

Now it will be about optimization and enhancement. This includes additional testing, and personalization
Phase 4 will include concierge selling within the resort and other channels.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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