Two Seattle startup companies are rolling out a new online advertising program today designed to help small hotels attract new customers and drive more brand awareness. Buuteeq plans to integrate the online ad platform from AdReady into its digital marketing system for hotels, the first of many new marketing services that Buuteeq CEO Forest Key says they plan to offer to customers.

Buuteeq is powering the Web sites of more than 1,500 hotels in 30 countries, including the Li-An Lodge in China and Tierra Atacama in Chile. As part of the new offering with AdReady, hotel customers of Buuteeq now will be able to buy “retargeting” advertisements for as little as a few hundred dollars per month.

Forest Key

Retargeting campaigns allow advertisers to continue to show their messages to potential customers even after they’ve left the site. For example, a person who visited a Web site of a small boutique hotel in Chile would then start to see ads appear for that very hotel as they cruised to various sites around the Internet.

“With retargeting, it is about taking the value of the traffic that you already generated somehow … and getting that traffic … to come back again,” said Buuteeq CEO Forest Key. “It is a highly effective way to increase the conversion rates on the traffic that has wandered off and say: ‘Hey, come back.’”

The end result is that a hotel that seems “bigger and larger than life” since the ads follow the user to so many other Web sites.

In early tests with four luxury hotels last year, Key said that the campaigns worked extremely well in driving more customers. Buuteeq itself uses the technique to drive customers to its own Web site, targeting hoteliers who’ve visited the company’s site in the past.

AdReady CEO Karl Siebrecht said that the new effort will allow hotels to get “big results from small advertising budgets.”

Buuteeq’s Key estimates that hotels will spend up to $1,000 dollars per month on the retargeting campaigns. He said it will take just one or two bookings per month for most hotels to see a return on the investment, adding that hotels like the concept since it is amplifying a message to visitors who’ve already stumbled onto their sites through other marketing efforts.

Buuteeq raised $3.5 million from Seattle angel investors last year. AdReady — backed by Bain Capital, Khosla Ventures, Madrona Venture Group and others — has run more than 560,000 ads across about 150,000 sites since it was started.

[Editor's note: GeekWire subleases office space from Buuteeq].

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