integrated marketing agency lure agency

7 Reasons an Integrated Marketing Agency Will Help You Crush Your Goals

The Secret Sauce to Digital Success Should Include a Valued Partner

In a world where everything is changing, the days of one-way communication are over. Today's successful business owners have to be creative and create deep connections with their customers if they want any chance in today’s marketplace. So what then? You might ask yourself... Enter the integrated marketing agency!

You may want to consider hiring an integrated marketing agency because they can use their cutting-edge technology and creativity in order to provide you with a well-thought-out, cohesive campaign for your business. This will make it easier for you so that all the hard work of converting leads into clients is done by professionals who have perfected this art form. It's the secret sauce of Science + Soul Marketing, just like we do here at Lure Agency.

Hiring an integrated marketing agency is the best way to get your brand the attention it deserves; because you're busy working in your business, your agency partner can get you new business with a marketing strategy and then execute it.

We will discuss seven reasons why you should choose such an agency for ultimate success, plus explore a few questions to ask and examples of other brands who have used them with successful results in this blog post.

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social selling with LinkedIn | lure agency

10 Quick & Dirty Skills You Need to Succeed with Social Selling

In this ongoing series on social selling, we cover topics designed to help you grow revenue through authentic connections, specifically using LinkedIn as your social platform.

In previous posts, we’ve talked about the importance of serving, understanding the concept of social selling, and how to grow your LinkedIn into a profit-generating machine. We took a deep dive into LinkedIn “Dos” and explored some LinkedIn Don'ts.

Today, we’re going to get to the point with some quick and actionable skills you'll want to succeed at social selling - best of all, and they're skills you already have! Score. Check them out!

Social Selling Tips Using LinkedIn

While our LinkedIn Do's & Don'ts covered a lot of essential information, there are some fundamental skills you likely learned in grade school that will keep your profile a lead-generating machine.

1. Use Your Manners - Just Like Mom Taught You!

Common sense and good manners will get you a long way. Show gratitude, say please and thank you, acknowledge folks who engage with your posts. In the era of online everything, it can be easy to forget that one fundamental rule. Remember, you want to treat people how you would in real life.

2. Step Slightly Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you were at a work networking event, you'd likely be sure to connect with at least one person you don't know. You'll want to do the same on LinkedIn because communication is KEY to relationship-building. It's ok - and encouraged! - to send personalized messages and connection requests to potential clients.

3. It's Ok to Make Mistakes 

Have you let your profile sit dormant because you're scared of making a mistake in a post, messaging, or otherwise? Don't let fear hold you back from being active! If you make a mistake, learn the lesson and move on, but you'll never know unless you post, test, engage, repeat.

4. Request Connection Requests

In other words, ask for help. Is there a connection you'd like to make and noticed they're in your extended network? It's OK to request a connection.

5. Be Respectful

LinkedIn is not the place to get into a heated debate on a sensitive topic. If you do find yourself in such a situation, it's best to be professional, polite, and respectful and move on.

6. Have a "Collaborative" Mentality

A powerful business-building strategy is collaborating with folks with complementary products and services. Be mindful of potential collaborative opportunities and open to ways to work with the people in your network.

7. Be Helpful

Nothing makes a stronger and more genuine impression on somebody than when you give selflessly, generously, and (most importantly) without expecting anything in return. This can be as simple as sharing a great piece of content produced by someone in your network.

8. Ask Questions and Express Curiosity

Be curious. Be interested. Asking questions or commenting on the posts and comments of your connections is vital to starting a conversation. This is where real relationship-building begins.

9. Share Ideas

LinkedIn Publisher is a fantastic way to establish your authority and expand your reach on LinkedIn. The ability to share information in a way that is easily understood or relatable is crucial when creating content on LinkedIn Publisher.

When you write, you need to make sure that you write your post from the point of view and at your audience's technical level (and potential customers).

10. Tell Stories

While it might not be appropriate to share a lot of personal information on LinkedIn, it is an excellent place to share professional or work-related stories and experiences.

Engaging storytelling makes people more interested and emotionally invested in what you are sharing. So, draw your readers in (if appropriate) with a funny, poignant, or thoughtful post that humanizes you and makes you more relatable and likable.

This list of LinkedIn best practices will provide you with a solid foundation and increase trust throughout your social selling activities.

Need help with your social selling strategies? Reach out! 


social selling | lure agency

Steer Clear of These LinkedIn No-No's

In this ongoing series on social selling, we are covering topics designed to help you grow revenue through authentic connections, specifically using LinkedIn as your social platform.

In previous posts we’ve talked about the importance of serving, then understanding the concept of social selling, how to grow your LinkedIn into a profit generating machine and most recently we took a deep dive into LinkedIn "Dos".

Today, we're going to the opposite end of the spectrum by sharing a few things you definitely do NOT want to do on LinkedIn. It's a find balance of utilizing LinkedIn as a prospecting resource and actually making valuable connections that will stick. This list
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linkedin marketing tips - social selling

Dive Deep Into These 11 LinkedIn "Do's" for Social Selling Success

In this ongoing series on social selling, we are covering topics designed to help you grow revenue through authentic connections, specifically using LinkedIn as your social platform.

In previous posts we’ve talked about the importance of serving, then understanding the concept of social selling, and how to grow your LinkedIn into a profit generating machine

Today, we’re going to focus on understanding the best business practices to follow when using LinkedIn to generate leads. You'll want to be sure to follow proper etiquette, otherwise you'll risk damaging your credibility, which could in turn drastically affect your social selling results. Read more


How to Grow Your LinkedIn Profile Into a Lead Generating Machine

Personal branding starts with LinkedIn.

If there's ever been a time in your career to think about personal branding, that time is now. With the rules of business shifting on a daily basis and world uncertainties, it's the personal relationships that will sustain us, no matter what your industry or career path. Building a compelling professional profile on LinkedIn is a key step to personal branding, social selling and lead generation.

In previous posts we've talked about the importance of serving, then understanding the concept of social selling. Today, we're going to focus on how to actually turn your LinkedIn profile into a lead generating machine.

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hotel marketing ideas

Hotel Marketing Ideas to Increase Bookings During the Slow Seasons

All hotel managers dread the slow season. As the 2020 slow season approaches, hotel owners need to be setting their sights on boosting online visibility.   

Just because the season is “slow” doesn’t mean that your bookings have to be. When there are more choices for customers, competition is even greater – so you need to be at the top of your game to win people over.

Did you know that the average customer will check out 38 different hotel accommodation websites before confirming a booking – typically 45 days before their reservation?

During these slower times of the year, customers will have more options than ever – as many hotels have the space.

So, how can you attract these precious guests and increase bookings during the off season? 

Here are some strategies to improve your hotel marketing and increase bookings all year long.

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Boost Hotel Sales with These Hot Marketing Automation Tips

The demand for consumer attention is at an all-time high. The catch-phrase for this might be “if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” Rather than “staying out,” let’s find a smarter way to withstand the heat.

You’re likely plagued by two main issues: you, or your team, spends exorbitant amounts of time dealing with routine menial hotel marketing tasks, and needs a more efficient way to send targeted message to various audiences.

Hotel marketing automation is the solution to both of those issues. Because of the constant battle to retain and increase your segment of the market, time is more important than ever. Without the aid of marketing tools it’ll be difficult to keep your head above water. Marketing automation will help you streamline the entire messaging process.

What is Hotel Marketing Automation?

Essentially what marketing automation does is allow you to send automated email campaigns – but not just any campaigns, these will be campaigns that your guests will be excited to get, they must be targeted. How? First develop your goals, and then automate different series of email follow-ups based on specific triggers. If a potential guest came close to purchasing a particular package offering, the automated system can send them a follow-up email with an alluring offer.

Around the holidays, for example, you can send an automated email to all those who’ve utilized the spa services before, offering a complimentary spa service along with their stay. For those readers that have never provided their email address to you, you’ll need a compelling offer or reason on your site to entice them to provide their email address.

Another opportunity for hotel marketing automation is with events and wedding planning. If a bride-to-be is researching venues and downloads a resource from your website, you can use the information provided to “drip” a series of nurturing emails that will entice them to consider your wedding destination and services.

You must save time, and you must stay targeted, both are possible with the utilization of marketing automation, here’s how:

Since We Don’t Have Personal Robots… Yet.

You can’t very well begin strategizing ways to attract new business when you spend every five minutes responding to one general lead after the next. Set up an automated email campaign that will track the data and respond for you. Because you didn’t have to hire an entire new team member to deal with email marketing, now you have more resources to devote to developing new strategies.

Remember all of those raving reviews, comments and complaints scattered across your social channels? Well now you’ve got time to respond to them and can continue to develop and nurture important relationships.

No need to reinvent the wheel, every few months you can simply repeat a campaign, or make quick and easy adjustments to it as you go. Since the automated program is tracking the data, you can see in real time which parts of your campaign are working, and which might need a few tweaks.

All it Takes is a Little Personalization.

Everyone wants to feel special. Nothing is less appealing to consumers than receiving a mass email targeted to no one in particular. You will lose retention if you lump everyone together and never look back. The simple act of segmenting your audiences and targeting campaigns that make sense depending on the viewers, will get you so much further than inefficient mass emails.

A devoted guests who has been to your property many times may not appreciate an introductory email meant for those who’ve never been. Tailor your messages to specific guest profiles and everyone wins. This is easily done with marketing automation.

Don’t forget! As your tailored messages are received, opened or not opened, you will be receiving the data and analytics, allowing further enhancements and changes to be made. By automating your marketing messages, your campaigns will drive much greater ROI, and increase retention.

Here’s the thing, you’re used to getting an overwhelming amount of “dirty” leads each day. You know, the ones sent to every hotel in the world. Hotel marketing automation will guide you to the “hot” leads, the people who have actually been on your site, and exhibited an actual interest in your event space(s). You will know who is interested because they’ve already “opted in” with their email due to your appealing offer. (should we link to a blog that explain about offers?)  With your campaign already set up, those folks will receive the proper incentivized email, and eventually, an email to schedule a face-to-face, or phone meeting. Simply put, this technology will revolutionize your time, sales techniques, and mentality. Do yourself a favor and ring in the new year with a strategy that will not only work, but it will win.


“Oh Snap” – Why the Hospitality Industry Needs to be on Snapchat

In the ever-changing world of social media there is a driving new force on the street that hoteliers shouldn’t ignore, and that platform is Snapchat. What began as the “picture disappearing app” in the summer of  2011 from three Stanford students, has quickly become one of the most unique forms of story-telling a brand can use.  In fact, that funny little yellow ghost icon is captivating millions of people every day, and is showing no signs of stopping.

Should your hotel be utilizing Snapchat? If you’ve been searching for methods to reach the millennials (and the growing demographics beyond), then the answer is yes.

From a marketing standpoint, you need to be where the audience is, and the millennials are on Snapchat, watching a whopping eight billion photos and videos a day.

Source: AdamPrzezdziek | Flickr

There are many reasons why a hotel should use Snapchat, here are a few compelling ones:

  • Your hotel can be an “early adopter” of this new platform, thus helping the hotel assert itself as trendy, young and vibrant.
  • Snapchat as a marketing tool offers the ability to stand out from the “noise” some of the other social media platforms have.
  • Creativity and authenticity are highly valued by the younger generations, and Snapchat is best used creatively.

Deciding whether or not to use Snapchat is the first step. Once you’ve decided to use it, you’re left to determine how to use it well.

How Does it Work For Hospitality?

Just like the average user, a hotel has the ability to create a profile. After the profile is set up, the hotel can send out “snaps,” add snaps to their stories, and all of the other fun stuff Snapchat does. So ultimately Snapchat works the same for brands as it does everybody else, but how brands should use it is the key to success.

Keep the Snapchat Tone, or Else.

Source: Snapchat.com

One of the reasons Snapchat users love to use Snapchat is because it’s different than the other channels. It’s more authentic, it’s in the moment, it’s not as edited, not as staged. Snapchat is personal, it’s private, and it’s compelling. Use it to tell your story, show off your city, take your followers on an adventure. Show them a day in the life at your hotel, the luxury they can experience, the sights they can see. If you’ve taken the time and resources to set up a Snapchat account, the last thing you want is to drive away followers by breaking the unspoken Snapchat rules!

Partner With Influencers

Partnering with influences is rapidly becoming a huge part of hotel marketing on all platforms, and it’s no different where Snapchat is concerned. Hotels have an advantage when it comes to Snapchat – travel. Many people love to travel and see new places, this provides you with the perfect opportunity to show off your property and surrounding landscape or city! Send out a proposal to social media influencers inviting them to come stay on the basis that they tell their story on Snapchat. Thousands, or more, individuals – millennials – can see your property through the lens and creativity of the influencer.

Add a Personalized Touch

One of the most fun and downright useful aspects of Snapchat are its Geofilters. Essentially, you can create your very own Snapchat filter. The filter will pop up with a Snapchatter is within range, and they can use it on their Snap. It’s sort of like a tag or postage stamp – showing their Snapchat friends where they are. Since you’re able to design it, you can use the hotel’s logo or anything else that works in line with your hotel’s brand. Even here there is an opportunity to create a geofilter that stands out – a filter that will “brand” its image in the viewer’s mind. You can also set up a “Geofence” for exact targeting of users, making it simple to engage views with promotional opportunities.

Snapchat is still trendy. It’s still new, exciting, and not yet crowded. Do your hotel a favor by helping it to be trendy and asserting it as welcoming and encouraging of millennials. This is a way to stand out among the crowd. Snapchat also provides an opportunity for your hotel to build strong and long-lasting relationships. Encourage guests to Snap while staying at the property. Build a community around your story, and use Snapchat as the headquarters.


Lookin’ for Love? Maybe It’s Time to Explore Loyalty Programs

If there’s one thing we marketers love it’s, well, love. A way to find that secret sauce of connecting with people and keeping them coming back for more. We wordsmith articles for websites, create fun tidbits for social media channels, crunch open rates and, oh, so much more. That magic we’re hoping to create all comes down to love. A love between a person and your brand that’s so deep and special there is nothing that can take it away.

For anyone in the hospitality industry, there’s one sure-fire way we’ve discovered to create a spark, and it’s through a well thought-out loyalty program. If you’re also looking for that love connection, we think this could be the answer.

Loyalty Programs for Hotels

A guest loyalty program is a rewards program offered by a hotels – and other companies – as a way to reward purchasing behavior. A loyalty program may give a customer advanced access special offers, promotions, and perks. And, believe it or not, is not exclusive to big brand hotels.

Seeking unique stay experiences, millennial travelers are leading a hospitality revolution. Millennials and Gen Xer’s alike are armed with more information than ever and bring an online savviness not seen in travel generations of the past. These travelers are rejecting stiff, big-box loyalty programs in favor of the dynamic and agile programs independent properties can offer.

Why It’s Time to Implement a Loyalty Program for Your Hotel

The Center for Hospitality Research at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration published a study in 2014 showing that loyalty programs encourage frequent guests to stay even more frequently and with an average 50-percent increase in revenue for independent hotels. Even the elusive millennial is showing brand loyalty and increased spend when offered a loyalty program.

The best part? They’re not just great for your hotel business either. Guests like loyalty programs, too. According to Hubspot, “76% of consumers think that loyalty programs are a part of their relationship with brands — and 83% said loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with certain companies.”

The fact of the matter is, loyalty programs work for both guest and brand. Now that’s what we call a win-win!

RELATED: Is Your Hotel Marketing Strategy More Like Tinder or Match.com?

How to Get a Loyalty Program Started

The good news is, as an independent property, you have more flexibility and freedom than a chain property program may be able to offer, and guests happen to love that. But, how do you get started? These tips may help:

Sign Everyone Up

There’s no better way to start building that relationship than by simply signing up your guests.  This will give you the opportunity for regular communication, gives them a chance to promote your brand, and prompts the guest to go directly to your website for information and potential bookings.

Rethink Rewards

If you think travelers these days are excited about the same old point-based reward programs, think again. Organizations are finding they have to differentiate by offering personalized experiences. Rather than free rooms, consider free upgrades. Offer VIP, behind-the-scenes, or exclusive experiences. Experiential travel is trending, and you can be ahead of the curve by incorporating that concept into your rewards program.

Listen to Your Guests

Like, really listen. Administer polls, engage on social media, follow up stays with a survey – and be sure to offer them the option to fill in their own answer. Discover ways in which to set your property apart, then consider that feedback when setting up your loyalty program.

Pick Partners

Partner up with local businesses to offer gift bags or local experiences. This will really give your guest a local experience and highlight the unique offerings of your property.

Don’t Forget the Business Traveler

Business traveler trends are showing an increase in “bleisure” travel bookings. So, even though on-the-whole corporate travelers tend to be loyal to the point programs of chain hotels, independent hotels are starting to win over this typically hard-won segment as they can appeal to both ends of their travel needs more efficiently.

Brand love doesn’t come easy. But, once you’ve won over your guest they can be your greatest advocates. Robust and unique loyalty programs could be the key to your success! ~Click to Tweet

Is your independent hotel looking for an out-of-the-box way to connect with guests and make them raving fans? Contact us to learn more about our effective programs for properties just like yours!


Susan Tucker, Director of Digital Strategy

Susan brings her experience and enthusiasm as Director of Digital Strategy. A certified Inbound Marketing professional, she believes consumers should not be “sold to” but that they should find value in brands that are providing the products and services they are seeking. Outside of work, you can find her chasing her boys on the ski slopes or watching them on the sidelines of the soccer field.

Have a pressing digital marketing question for Susan? Contact her here.


What if Darth Vader Was Your VIP Guest?

Our Team consisting of Cory Falter, Michael Duffy and myself recently offered the following content as a presentation at a conference. Want the slides? Let me know! 

In a galaxy not so far, far, far away…  a brave leader is trying to grow the outpost he and his followers believe so deeply in. But their methods, although historic and heroic, are no match for the new world. All of a sudden, inbound out of the sky, comes a prophet in white – who promises a connection that could grow their outpost beyond their wildest imaginations. But, before he can share his secrets, a test will prove the worthiness of the outposters…

The Force of Inbound Marketing for Hotels

Darth Vader is our VIP guest, and we know that we need to learn a little more in order to attract, convert and delight him. Here are some questions (and answers) we’d ask in order to better understand the needs, goals and desires of this targeted potential guest. Let’s get started.

Q: Darth Vader is a semi-fictional character based on a representation of an ideal customer. What is Darth Vader?

A: A Guest Persona

A guest persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data about your existing customers and market research. While it helps marketers like you define a target audience, it can also help sales teams qualify leads. When you have a defined set of guest personas, you can then create content to attract them, through blogging, email, and social media channels. Basically, understanding who you are targeting can help you “speak their language” (even if it is dark and disturbing).

So, What is the Guest Persona for Darth Vader, anyway? What are his…

  • Demographics – Age, Gender, Married? 45-5400, Male, Married to his job
  • Values? Power and family legacy
  • Goals & Challenges? Balancing the dark side with the light side
  • Fears? Objections to purchase? Time away from work, appropriate business/leisure attire

HOMEWORK: How many Guest Personas would your property appeal to? Can you put a personality and name to each? Ex., Engaged Eva, Business Bill. 

Q: Darth has been invited to speak at a conference on the Death Star, and he has decided to turn his business trip into a “bleisure” trip. He knows it’s time to book, but hasn’t decided where to stay just yet. What would a marketer call where he is in his process?

A: Lifecycle Stage or Buyer’s Journey

The stages a prospect goes through from thought to purchase are called Lifestyle Stages and can generally be broken down into three stages: awareness,  evaluation, and purchase. What’s important to understand about each of these stages is that not every piece of content you create is appropriate, depending on what stage your audience might fall in at that moment.

Examples of Content Ideas for each phase of Darth Vader’s Buyer’s Journey.

AWARENESS: The buyer realizes they have a problem.

Blog Post – Three Easy Reasons Why the Death Star Will Seamlessly Turn Your Business Trip Into a Bleisure Trip

CONSIDERATION: The buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it.

Blog Post – Hotel Rooms Vs. Residential Suites – Which Will Best Fit Your Personal Clan of Storm Troopers

DECISION: The buyer chooses a solution.

Video – 10 Reasons Hotel Death Star Appeals to Your Dark Side  (Plus an intro offer for you!)

HOMEWORK: Think about the three phases of the Buyer’s Journey.  What type of content ideas can you come up with to fit into each bucket? Use this Buyer’s Journey Worksheet as a prompt.

Q:  You’ve gathered that Darth has chosen to turn his “bleisure” trip into an opportunity to reconnect with his son and daughter. Your follow-up to provide drip emails that are relevant and timely based on this information is called what?

A: Contextual Marketing

Contextual Marketing is a set of best practices designed to amplify the value of your content to your prospects and customers. More specifically, it’s about using known qualities of your prospect to present your content in a natural, noteworthy and useful frame of reference.

Drip nurturing emails are one of the strongest – and earliest – examples of the strategy’s success.

Here are some examples of contextual follow-up email subject lines that Darth Vader may respond to:

  • How was your bleisure trip, Darth?
  • 5 Ways to re-live your bleisure trip with your family
  • Darth, Need a “Real” Vacation After Your Family Trip?

Some additional examples of contextual marketing include triggering an email based on a page visited on your website (an email once the wedding page is visited for example), a Birthday or Anniversary email or an Abandoned Cart email.

RELATED: Stop the Madness: Is Your Hospitality Email Marketing a Complete Waste of Time?

Q: While staying at the Death Star Hotel with his family, Darth posted a picture of the pool on the social media site, FaceClone. His ‘friends’ commented, liked and shared the post. How does this benefit the brand?

A: Social Proof

Social Proof is the idea that consumers will adapt their behavior according to what other people are doing. In social media, Social Proof can be qualified by the number of interactions a piece of content receives or the number of followers you have. The idea is that if others are sharing something or following someone, it must be good.

Study after study show, consumer are 10x more likely to purchase from a third-party referral.

In addition to sharing their own content (UGC) in relation to a brand through their social media channels, examples of Social Proof also include:

    • Customer reviews and testimonials
    • Blog posts, quotes, or photographs by influencers, thought leaders, celebrities and/or experts
    • – FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – When lots of people are using or buying a product, others want to follow suit.

HOMEWORK: Explore ways you can set up opportunities for guests to excitedly share the experiential nature the property. Some examples could be Snapchat filters, Share to Win, or Photo Booths (with logo, shareable directly from the booth to social channels).

Q: Still a-buzz from his amazing stay at the Death Star Hotel, Darth decides to visit the hotel website for a trip down memory lane. Before he realizes it, he’s spent nearly an hour browsing. His browsing behavior is contributing to what?

A: Lead Score

Lead scoring is a methodology used by sales and marketing departments to determine the worthiness of a potential customer, or lead, by attaching values to them based on their online behavior relating to their interest in products or services.

Scores can be set based on:

  • Number of Web Pages Viewed and Duration
  • The Types of Pages Viewed (Reservations, Meetings, Events, etc.)
  • Number of Forms Completed (Content Downloaded or Inquiries Made)
  • The Typical Sales Cycle (How long before a lead will never buy?)

HOMEWORK: Determine what score would make a lead sales-ready. Set a point value for each digital engagement and “keep score.”

Now, the Force (of Inbound Marketing!) saved the galaxy, once again.

You, our valiant leaders, in your hero’s journey, have gone through this right of passage and embraced the power of the force to connect with even your most challenging guest: Darth Vader, by creating communications and an experience relevant to his needs.

Darth Vader hosted an awesome presentation and was also able to reconnect with Luke and Leia. He chose the Death Star Hotel for eternity for his business and leisure trips….

Remember… DO or DO NOT, there is not try.

Is your independent hotel looking for an out-of-the-box way to connect with guests and make them raving fans? Contact us to learn more about our effective programs for properties just like yours!


Susan Tucker, Director of Digital Strategy

Susan brings her experience and enthusiasm as Director of Digital Strategy. A certified Inbound Marketing professional, she believes consumers should not be “sold to” but that they should find value in brands that are providing the products and services they are seeking. Outside of work, you can find her chasing her boys on the ski slopes or watching them on the sidelines of the soccer field.

Have a pressing digital marketing question for Susan? Contact her here.