Customer Story

Marston’s Grows On-Site Searches 260% and Click-Throughs 330% with Yext Answers

260% increase in site searches
96% of on site searches received structured information as a response
170K updates made to listings in 2020 alone
Industry
Hospitality
Size
950
Headquarters
Wolverhampton, UK
The Challenge
Beloved pub brand Marston’s works with Yext to answer 96% of customer questions with structured information and monitor over 400K reviews.
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Marston’s has been running pubs and brewing beer in one form or another for over 180 years. Today, its rich heritage lives on in a patchwork of venues, spanning traditional locals, family pub restaurants and fashionable town centre bars. But while pubs may have changed a lot over the years, the reasons people use them hasn’t – and the guest experience remains at the heart of Marston’s customer-obsessed offering.

One major difference, however, is the typical customer journey to arrive in a pub. Spurred in part by COVID-19, customers are increasingly using search to find destinations and then book online. Marston’s is not alone in this: in today’s digital age, almost every business has a strategy in place to drive online visibility via SEO. But what the team didn’t realise was just how much Yext Answers would revolutionise on-site search, to elevate the guest experience – and conversions.

On its impact, Becky Hargreaves, Digital Marketing Manager at Marston’s, said: “We’ve been completely blown away by our experience using Answers. It’s been so interesting to see the volume of searches being asked in the search bar and understanding the range of questions consumers are asking has helped to shape our strategy going forward. It’s opened up an exciting opportunity for us to really be giving guests what they want in a quick, simple and effective way.”

For Marston’s, this was just one piece of the digital puzzle Yext was able to help with. By combining the likes of Answers, Reviews and Listings, Yext has been able to drive footfall to Marston’s range of destinations, at the same time as bringing individual marketing teams closer to customers to enrich both physical and digital guest experiences. The Marston’s team has even been inspired to examine the rest of their martech stack, to assess whether it is working as efficiently and productively as the Yext solution.

‘Yext’s biggest impact for me is the fact its solutions now feed into our main business strategy and KPIs. It’s given us access to information that we wouldn’t have had otherwise, and we’re now much more data-driven as a result. It’s testament to how easy the Yext platform is to use, and how Yext understands the importance of different search endpoints and exactly how to maximise them’
Emma Place Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Marston’s

Elevating guest experiences and driving footfall with Answers

“Before Answers, we didn’t have a site search facility, so we’d be manually sifting through survey responses and other feedback, but nothing has been as rich, specific and easy to use” continued Place. And it’s for this reason Marston’s has been able to propel its guest experiences and footfall forward by using Yext to answer popular queries and inform marketing strategies. With the ability to freely update information for local destinations on everything from upcoming events, whether they’re dog-friendly, to changeable opening times during COVID-19.

Building a Knowledge Graph through the Yext platform has been an integral part of Marston’s success. “Yext has shown us just how vital that central source of truth is. Before, we’d update things manually, but it just wasn’t possible to keep on top of all of our locations. Now we have built a collection of accurate information in one central place, which is readily available. We can really see how much it can drive footfall and improve experiences for our guests” said Place.

‘Yext was so helpful in supporting us during the setup process. With the estate being so varied, getting the right information out there in the right way could have been a challenge, but they were flexible and invaluable in collating all of it together. So now it’s a simple process when we do want to update things’
Rebecca Hargreaves Digital Marketing Manager, Marston’s

Listening to, learning from and acting on guest insights with Reviews

For Marston’s, Answers has been just one of the ways it has leveraged Yext to support the business. In its quest to become yet more customer-obsessed, Yext Reviews has also played a pivotal role in enabling the brand to listen to, learn from and act on customer feedback. “Reviews are really important to us, because they give us an easy way to access vital information. And the easier it is to access, the more likely we are to use it to inform our strategies going forward” said Hargreaves.

“From an insights perspective, the Yext team has given us the ability to uncover granular details on specific topics, rather than just depending on guest surveys. From this, we’ve been able to really look deeply into various areas of the business and see first-hand the guest experience we’re delivering – and what their expectations are” added Place.

With Yext in its corner, Marston’s is poised to deliver yet more lasting experiences, and continue its rich hospitality heritage long into the future. 

 

 

Results
260% increase in site searches
96% of on site searches received structured information as a response
170K updates made to listings in 2020 alone

Since launching Yext Answers in October 2020, site searches have increased 260%. Click-throughs have also grown 330%. Between April and May 2021, 96% of questions posed to Marston’s on-site search received structured information as a response. Rising to 99% for popular queries, such as those pertaining to menus and booking tables, with a 60%+ click-through rate.

Since May 2018, Marston’s has monitored over 400K reviews with Yext. In this time, Marston’s has increased its monthly average star rating nearly half a star, from 3.9 to 4.3. In 2020, Marston’s also made 170K updates via Listings, which provided a lifeline to help its various destinations keep customers informed during COVID-19.

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