App-etite: Mont Tremblant launches app

The ski resort has created a 360-degree experience for guests, extending its online digital strategy into the mobile realm.

Mont Tremblant Ski Resort in Quebec launched an app Thursday that utilizes augmented reality to help visitors find out about restaurants, bars, promotions, amenities and ski conditions while at the resort.

Developed by the Montreal office of global interactive media company Nurun, and with funding and content from Telus, the app is available for free at the iTunes app store and the Droid market.

The augmented reality feature on the app allows each user to hold his camera phone up to a building or section of the resort and see extra information, such as promotions, event information, links or photos.

MiC caught up with Radu Zmeureanu, interactive marketing manager for the Intrawest-owned resort, to find out why the resort jumped into the world of apps.

Why did you decide to develop an app?
At the resort, we have very little commercial signage and not very many directions indicating where restaurants lodging, boutiques, bars and restaurants are. We’ve come up a little short there. We realized that digital can really help in this respect both online and in the real world. We’ve been doing a lot, in terms of digital, with our advertising campaigns, with our email, and all that is great…but once they’re on the site, we needed a way to turn information into experience and really help them out on the resort.

What is the target demographic?
Right now we know that 98% of users on our resort actually consulted the website and have gone through a digital touchpoint. We don’t know that they’re all techno geeks, but we know they’re very familiar with [technology]…Of those 98%, we know a lot of them have access to a smartphone, so we know we’re not targeting to just technophiles, but the general market that is using digital media already.

How are you going to promote the app?
Via and through our email database. Telus is stepping up with a campaign to build the visibility for this application; they’re going to showcase the icon, the content and the application for Tremblant.

How does this fit in with your overall digital strategy?
It’s very user-centric. When we look at a lot of the initiatives we’ve done in digital, they are about business acquisition or advertising. This is really getting in touch with the user when he or she is planning and they are here…For us, the marketing usually stops when you click on ‘Buy Now’ and confirm. Now, once you’ve confirmed your reservation and you’re on your way here, this solidifies the relationship…this is the best way to thank your users, with a complete experience on the resort.

How do you see this evolving over time?
Social media is a no-brainer: telling people where you are at the resort, and finding out where your buddies are, that will have a huge impact on our next step. Second of all, everyone’s dreaming about combining mobile with transactions. If you’re in the parking lot and want to rent new skis or snowboards or want to take lessons, and you don’t want to wait in line or call, you want to book straight from your phone. Replacing physical media with digital platform, that’s a next step.