Twiddy & Company: Bringing North Carolina hospitality to vacationers

About Twiddy & Company

Based in North Carolina, Twiddy & Company is a vacation rental agency that helps connect visitors to rental locations throughout the Outer Banks region. Founded in 1978, Twiddy is a family-owned business and maintains more than 1,000 properties.

Industries: Travel & Hospitality
Location: United States

About Analytics Pros

Google Cloud Premier Partner Analytics Pros provides consulting and deployment services to companies interested in leveraging analytics for their teams.

With BigQuery and other Google Cloud Platform solutions, Twiddy & Company can better analyze visitor data to improve how it identifies, connects with, and converts potential customers for its vacation rentals.

Google Cloud Results

  • Reinvigorates Twiddy marketing engagement through advanced data analytics and better understanding of customers
  • Facilitates 31% year-over-year campaign revenue jump using BigQuery analytics
  • Increases ecommerce customer conversion rates by 76% in a campaign
  • Creates 36% yearly campaign increase in customer transactions

Increases sales close rate by more than 200%

Since its start in 1978, Twiddy & Company has provided visitors to North Carolina's Outer Banks with a personal slice of classic southern hospitality. The family-owned vacation group offers more than 1,000 rental homes throughout the area to vacationers and manages the entire rental process from routine property upkeep to greeting guests during check-in.

From fishing and camping to barbequing on miles of beaches, the Outer Banks has remained a popular tourist destination in the southern United States for decades thanks to its scenic views and natural oceanfront beauty. Located on North Carolina's eastern coast, the region features more than 200 miles of islands along the Atlantic Ocean.

After more than 40 years in business, the Twiddy recipe of regional knowledge combined with premium customer service had already produced a lot of success for the company, but the Twiddy team knew they could take the business further. The company had always maintained a sizable database that included years' worth of past customer bookings, but only kept this information around in archival storage that was rarely accessed.

"We've always been collecting this data, but it's been locked away," says Shelley Tolbert, Marketing Manager at Twiddy & Company. "Pulling insights would be a great way to use the data, but we needed to figure out an approach that made sense for us."

"Thanks to Google, our marketing team has the tools to create better one-on-one relationships with customers. We can listen to their story and know when to reach out to them with the right message at the right time. That's really the holy grail in this business, and we've got it."

Ross Twiddy, Chief Executive Officer, Twiddy & Company

With Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Google Cloud Premier Partner Analytics Pros, Twiddy now has the resources to fully harness its data. Twiddy can expand its analytics exponentially with GCP, using its internal data to revamp engagement with customers and drive growth.

"Google Cloud Platform allows an established company like Twiddy to enter a new period of growth," says Ross Twiddy, Chief Executive Officer at Twiddy & Company. "We can integrate analytics across the company and become data-driven in an exciting way not possible without Google."

Building a better data warehouse

For Twiddy, any customer engagement on its site comes with countless data points: How many people have viewed a home? Has a customer typically rented smaller properties or do they prefer larger homes? Were they on a computer or mobile device? Previously, all of this information would have been of little use to the Twiddy team. With GCP and Analytics Pros, the company now has a powerful platform that connects these data points with offline information such as phone bookings and call times to unlock in-depth marketing insights on customer behavior that drive growth.

BigQuery supports the company's efforts, as the data warehouse provides a highly secure hub for the platform's analytics processing needs. Twiddy only needs a single developer to run the platform and can even have non-IT staff pull data directly from the warehouse when needed, producing additional time and cost savings. Google Apps Script helps automate web query sourcing for BigQuery, while Data Studio powers data visualization for the platform, allowing property owners to better understand data such as listing traffic and conversion rates. This also gives Twiddy team members a real-time look at which homes and weeks are converting.

Apps Script automatically generates Sheets files that guest services members use to directly contact potential customers interested in properties. For example, Twiddy identifies users that have started a booking but did not complete it, favorited a home, interacted with social media ads, or previously received a pre-booking email.

That information is automatically sent to the guest services team and provides the insights necessary to focus on specific time frames and properties in outreach to potential customers. This helps to at once save guest services members time on data entry and analysis and provides them with real-time information that better informs customer interactions, subsequently improving customer experiences.

"The benefits we've seen are directly attributable to Google and Analytics Pros. We're not in the server or cloud computing business. We're in the hospitality business, and Google allows us to focus on doing what we know best: providing stellar southern hospitality."

Ross Twiddy, Chief Executive Officer, Twiddy & Company

Analytics Pros played a pivotal role in developing this platform for Twiddy, as the company assisted the marketing team with tasks ranging from BigQuery training to program configuration. Twiddy credits Analytics Pros with laying the groundwork for its push into analytics.

"This launch wouldn't have been feasible without the experience of Analytics Pros," says Shelley. "Our contacts at Analytics Pros — most importantly our favorite data scientist, Luka Cempre — guided the Twiddy marketing team along through every step of the deployment process, regularly meets with us, and always helps us find a better way to do things. It's amazing that they're able to so fully understand our business and the relationship has been a huge win for us."

Customer growth through smarter engagement

By building its analytics strategy on GCP with Analytics Pros, Twiddy has transformed how it understands and reaches out to customers. Previously, Twiddy relied on calling customers based on collected rental histories, but by using its data warehouse, the company can better understand a customer's specific interests and show them vacation properties that fit their exact needs.

For instance, one targeted landing page that sent exclusive deals to site visitors who searched for properties in a specific price range produced a 17% percent jump in email click-throughs compared to standard Twiddy marketing emails. Informed experimentation like this also yielded success across other campaigns thanks to the enhanced accessibility of data related to countless variables.

Web user behavior data from Google Analytics, as well as offline data, is imported into BigQuery, where it is stored and processed. All of this vital information further informs Twiddy's various approaches to marketing and guest services.

With intelligent campaigns and other new analytics capabilities powered by Analytics Pros and Google Cloud Platform, Twiddy also saw a 36 percent year-over-year increase in transactions and site browsing session length, along with a conversation rate boost of 76 percent and 31 percent higher revenues, within campaigns.

"Twiddy has experienced a big transformation using Google solutions. We've seen gains including a 200 percent increase in close rate thanks to Google Cloud Platform and we're confident they'll continue to make us a vital part of the Outer Banks for years to come."

Ross Twiddy, Chief Executive Officer, Twiddy & Company

"Thanks to Google, our marketing team has the tools to create better one-on-one relationships with customers," says Ross. "We can listen to their story and know when to reach out to them with the right message at the right time. That's really the holy grail in this business, and we've got it."

Future development avenues for Twiddy include exploring Google Kubernetes Engine and machine learning integrations to further analyze and predict guest activity. With sales that can reach tens of thousands of dollars per transaction, GCP and its resulting efficiency gains have been a boon for Twiddy and its customers.

"The benefits we've seen are directly attributable to Google and Analytics Pros," says Ross. "We're not in the server or cloud computing business. We're in the hospitality business, and Google allows us to focus on doing what we know best: providing stellar southern hospitality."

Showcasing the Outer Banks

When founder Doug Twiddy first started Twiddy & Company, his business was built around two simple goals: highlighting the best of the Outer Banks to the world and providing the best experience for customers. With Google, Twiddy is better equipped to help those visiting the Outer Banks create vacations that are best suited to their interests and preferences.

"Twiddy has experienced a big transformation using Google solutions," says Ross. "We've seen gains including a 200 percent increase in close rate thanks to Google Cloud Platform and we're confident they'll continue to make us a vital part of the Outer Banks for years to come."

About Twiddy & Company

Based in North Carolina, Twiddy & Company is a vacation rental agency that helps connect visitors to rental locations throughout the Outer Banks region. Founded in 1978, Twiddy is a family-owned business and maintains more than 1,000 properties.

Industries: Travel & Hospitality
Location: United States

About Analytics Pros

Google Cloud Premier Partner Analytics Pros provides consulting and deployment services to companies interested in leveraging analytics for their teams.

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Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

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