Product Marketing with VRBO

Hello again ! I hope everyone’s week has been going well. This past week we had a wonderful guest from VRBO give a presentation about Product Marketing.

Who is Glenda Garcia ?

  • Senior Product Marketing Manager @ VRBO
  • UT Austin Alumni (BA in Communications and MBA in Marketing)
  • Texas AMA member during her Undergrad
  • Experience with big brands such as Neiman Marcus and PepsiCo

What is Expedia Group ?

  • Parent Company of VRBO
  • VRBO is a vacation rental booking site
  • Family of the world’s most beloved travel brands
  • Purpose: Power global travel for everyone, everywhere
  • Promote cultural awareness and connections as well as diversity

Glenda’s Journey to VRBO:

  • worked for jobs in PR and Brand Marketing before her MBA, but then pivoted to an interest in Product Marketing afterwards
  • Product Marketing focuses more on the consumer which she really liked
  • wanted to work for a company with good values + move back to Austin
  • VRBO marketing was at the top of her list because of their purpose and mission
  • Glenda’s Words of Wisdom: Pay attention to what a company stands for. The clearer the strategy and mission, the more successful the company is. Make sure the company you work for lines up with your beliefs.

What is Product Marketing ?

In short, Product Marketing is:

1. To be the voice of the customer to the product

2. To be the voice of the product to the customer

Important Aspects of Product Marketing:

The 6 Components To Product Marketing Responsibilities:

  1. Deeply knowing the customer and the market
  2. Create impactful messaging
  3. Product messaging strategy 
  4. Internal readiness and communications
  5. Marketing activation
  6. Achieve GTM objective

The Product Market Cycle:

Ideation and Market Research → Product and Market Strategy → Develop and Test →Internal and External Launch → Feedback Loop

VRBO Case Studies:

Case Study 1: VRBO x Affirm Launch

  1. Background
    1. See if a “Buy Now-Pay Later” approach would work in the company
    2. Has never been done in the travel industry
  2. Key Insights
    1. Millennials and non vacation people found “Buy Now-Pay Later” more appealing
    2. VRBO is skewed older than other places
  3. Customer Pain Points
    1. Vacation rentals are usually the most expensive point of a trip
    2. Most of these vacation places don’t allow multiple payments
    3. “Buy Now-Pay Later” allows more flexibility to extend a vacation or book more
  4. Success Metrics
    1. To increase booking value
  5. Execution
    1. Paid placement in travel and leisure magazines
    2. Social media influencers
    3. Affirm homepage feature
  6. Results
    1. Increased revenue 
    2. Plenty customers from Affirm went to VRBO
    3. Earned media impressions
Courtesy from Affirm Website

Case Study 2: Health and Safety GTM

  1. Background
    1. In April 2020, the government mandated a lockdown 
    2. Needed a health and safety strategy to navigate the pandemic
  2. Key Insights
    1. Need to keep customer front and center 
    2. PROPERTY CLEANLINESS is important
    3. Hard to mandate cleanliness with vacation rentals since each location had different standards and hosts
  3. Problem Points
    1. Clear strategy on company stance on COVID-19
    2. Improve brand sentiment
    3. Increase bookings 
    4. Ensure that travelers have a property that is clean and good
  4. Success Metrics
    1. Increase brand sentiment 
    2. Improve brand share value 
    3. Reduce negative reviews of cleanliness
  1. Execution
    1. Looked at competitors actions
    2. Created clear guidelines for booking
    3. Strategized how to capture bookings after COVID-19 bans were lifted
  2. Results
    1. Enhanced cleaning guidelines
    2. Increased social presence 
    3. Added a rating for cleanliness as a filter on their booking sites

I hope you we’re able to learn a little more about Product Marketing. I know I was thoroughly engaged in hearing about Glenda’s experiences working with VRBO !


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