hospitality tech trends to watch

3 Hospitality Tech Companies to Watch in 2020

Ready to get a leg up on your competitors and turn your marketing and sales strategies into one well oiled machine? Hospitality tech companies have been keeping their ears to the ground, and are ready to address the woes of hoteliers who find themselves with stale lead lists and piles of data that need decoding. Even the savviest hotels can benefit from a boost when it comes to the latest in lead generation and data analytics. Today we’re taking a look at some of the hottest new companies to keep on your radar.

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hotel marketing

Hotel Marketing: The Best SEO Keyword Research Tips for 2020

Need all the help you can get right now? Tighten up your keyword strategy for some quick wins.

Are we being a little too obvious when we say that hotels and tourism businesses need all the help they can get right now? Probably, but it’s true. A sound hospitality/hotel marketing strategy is more important than ever these days – and this process begins with keyword research.

COVID-19 has caused the hospitality industry’s estimated global revenue to decrease by around 34.7 percent compared to last year. Restaurants are closed. Hotels are shut down indefinitely. Tours, excursions, and fun activities have been put on pause.

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Voice Search: Create A More Personalized Hospitality Experience

By the end of this year, experts have estimated that 50 percent of all searches across the internet will be voice-based. The popularity of smartphones, Google devices, Amazon’s Alexa, and other digital assistant technologies have led us to rely on voice search more than ever before, and it’s impacting industries across the board. 

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programmatic advertising

Why Programmatic Ads Are a Vital Step to Your 2020 Hotel Strategy

Advertising is an essential factor when it comes to creating a marketing plan to successfully promote your brand. In today’s technology-driven world, there are always new methods of garnering more brand recognition and exposure. Some of the heavy hitters include word of mouth, native advertising, SEO, Pay Per Click (PPC), display advertising, retargeting, and more. In recent years one type of advertising has been getting a lot of buzz, and for good reason—programmatic advertising. Without going too deep into the technical nitty-gritty, we wanted to give you an overview of this type of advertising so you can understand why it’s so popular, and start implementing it in your own marketing strategy. 

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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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lure agency digital marketing agency

Your Hotel Is Great. So, Why Aren’t You Booking Like You Should Be?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re great. Your rooms just got remodeled, you just hired a hot new chef and the views at sunrise and sunset– you just got to see them to believe them. Guess what? There are 10,000 properties that are talking about all those same things that you love so much about yourself. And, in today’s consumer-powered world, they do a quick search on the things they love, and if they do match what you love, you don’t come up on the first page. And, if you’re not on the first page, you’re not in cyberspace –you might as well be in outer space.
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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.


Here’s How AI is Changing The Face of Hotel Marketing

It’s game over for “spray and pray” marketing. The consumer is on to us and we better wise up.

If you’re still annoying your prospects with repetitive retargeting ads, it’s time to step up your game and get personal with AI and Identity Resolution.

Don’t take our word for it. Check out this recent survey.

U.S. digital shoppers and retailers conducted by Nanigans, 77% of consumers say they receive too many retargeting ads and 88% complain they still receive retargeting ads for products they’ve already bought. Not surprisingly, 57% claim retargeting ads do not persuade them to buy.

Thanks to Amazon, personalized marketing isn’t just useful, it ’s critical for marketing success in 2019 and beyond.

Remember this: Personalization just a few years ago (a name in the subject line of an email, perhaps) is a far cry from what we consider effective personalization today. Moving forward, the ideal state of personalization will continue to change as consumers’ expectations of how they should be nurtured will increase dramatically.

You better know your consumers and what motivates them or suffer the consequences.

It’s not that retargeting can’t be effective, it’s more important to understand poor retargeting is no more effective than 83% of retail marketers said they believe they would achieve the same sales results organically, without retargeting.

To make matter worse, poor retargeting can do more harm than good by driving prospects away with repetitive and disconnected messaging.

Gone are the days of relying on third-party cookies to inform retargeting efforts. Our ever-evolving multi-device, channel-hopping behaviors have rendered these temporary, browser-based data files relatively useless for targeting customers with timely and meaningful messages along buyer journeys.

Fear not. Help is here.

Enter Artificial Intelligence and Identity Resolution.

Thanks to advances in tech, hotel marketers now have opportunities to build customer profiles via their first-party data, including email addresses, device IDs and buyer behavior. By definition, these deterministic identifiers persist across any touchpoint whenever a customer logs in or authenticates via some transaction.

By leveraging this data, marketers can reach prospects at any moment of the buyer’s journey, across any device.

This simple, yet powerful element will unleash the real power of retargeting once again since the consumer will experience the right message at this right time. It’s the single and most potent strategy that is responsible for Amazon’s incredible growth.

Amazon knows what customers are looking for and what they’ve already bought, and it can retarget shoppers with messages that add value to their experiences, instead of annoying their prospects with annoying messages that are not relevant.

Marketers chasing personalization with cookies instead of establishing identity will only set themselves up for failure as omnichannel personalization becomes the new standard.

Are You Ready to Build a Personalization Strategy?

You first need to know your prospects are.

Armed with “the identity,” hotel marketers can recognize known customers throughout all stages of the purchase funnel and beyond — from awareness to consideration, to purchase, to loyalty — and retarget them with personal and relevant messaging that drives the ultimate ROI: high customer lifetime values.

The critical marketing element for 2019 and beyond is: IDENTITY

Without identity, you’ll miss vital parts of buyer journeys, resulting in imprecise targeting and irrelevant, disconnected and annoying messaging — all of which adds up to a colossal waste of ad dollars and a further decline in conversion.

NOW is the time to change that and here’s how.

Identity Resolution can help build your personalization strategy.

Quite simply, Identity Resolution allows you to resolve the identity of over half your visitors, without a form fill. This is the same (secret sauce) strategy Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook have all used to scale so quickly.

Best of all, it’s considered first-party data.

Here’s how it works.

When a visitor lands on your website, the technology can match that visitor with information we have in our consumer database. This allows us to resolve the identity of that visitor and place them on a list that is unique to you.

Some benefits include:

  • Full & permanent control over your prospects
  • Collect and analyze the behavior of your site’s visitors pre- and post-click
  • Convert your hard-earned SEO rank to a permanent
  • Retarget across platforms without relying on siloed pixels or expiring cookies
  •  Increased conversion and decrease costs by 25 – 50%

Bringing it home

Having a deep understanding of your website visitors – your hottest prospects! – Using identity resolution is going to propel your profits. With the demand for attention at an all-time high, you need to meet people at the moment with personalized messages. Identity Resolution today is what SEO was 10-15 years ago, it’s a real game changer.