In the 10/1 installment of This Week in Marketing, Sam and I welcome Cory Falter from LURE Agency in San Diego.
LURE specializes in creating strong digital strategies for brands in the travel + hospitality space. Cory firmly stands by the philosophy that strong relationships are the key to revenue in this uber-personal industry.
We kick off the 10/1 show by getting Cory’s take on how the very concept of marketing in the hospitality agency has changed throughout the years. Cory then gives us his expert take on the most important factors in how travel + hospitality companies present themselves (both online and offline).
The most important piece of the puzzle is creating an emotional appeal – as many of these purchasing decisions are based in deep, personal connection to places and experiences.
Cory also gives us a few of the major challenges travel + hospitality companies make in marketing themselves. This commonly includes missing the emotional mark in their storytelling abilities, or in Cory’s words, missing “The Big Why”. Additionally, Cory discusses the importance of creating a cohesive online and offline experience – as well as how easy it is for the smaller details to get lost…
We wrap up segment one by talking about some of the big trends currently taking place in the T + H industry, including a heightened focus on the conversion, voice search, and identity resolution.
Segment two is all about websites in the T + H industry. Cory gives us a few of his favorite websites in the field and why they work so well.
Cory tells us which components are most vital to today’s T + H websites. In Cory’s words, this includes:
- Exceptional creative
- Foundational SEO
- Unifying and simplifying the user experience
One of the most interesting tidbits from this segment was learning that the homepage tends to be the most overlooked aspect of T + H websites!
As the segment continues, Cory gives us some expert tips on how T + H websites can compete with the giant booking engines like Expedia, Kayak, Travelocity, etc. – as well as how startups should go about getting their website off the ground.
Segment three gets into the specifics of marketing a website in the T + H industry. As you could imagine, the space is pretty competitive…
Cory discusses the importance of being versatile in how content appeals to different demographics. For example, your business might need to appeal to couples, families, professionals, and so on. That said, the content strategy cannot be one-dimensional.
Cory goes into detail about building a strong brand identity in this industry, as well as how to get customers involved in the story!
As many people will attest, the travel and hospitality industry is extremely personal – more so than most industries. Cory gives his expert take on this and how companies can play to it as the online trend of hyper-personalization continues to advance.
We end the segment by getting Cory’s opinion about which channels are most important, as well as how to allocate a marketing budget. Here was his response:
- SEO/SEM – 35%
- Meta Search and Dynamic – 10%
- Local Search – 5%
- Email – 5%
- Display – 10%
- Social Media – 10%
- Paid links – 5%
- Seasonal and Testing – 14%
We start the final segment by talking about reviews in the travel industry. Cory recommends using platforms like Flip.to to promote positive experiences in a genuine way. Additionally, you can incentivize guests to share those experiences.
The next part is all about how startups can break into the T + H industry and make a name for themselves. Cory talks about the importance of seeking out a mentor or trained support during the launch phase – for there are a million things that can go wrong!
Cory then shares his insight on how existing companies can manage through tough times when their site isn’t converting. Spoiler: You probably don’t need a new website. Just some adjustments!
As the show comes to a close, we get Cory’s hot take on the current status of the T + H industry, and where he believes it will be in 5, 10, and 20 years down the road!
If you are in the travel or hospitality industry, listening to this episode of This Week in Marketing is a MUST!
Listen to the full show here!
About the Hosts:
Kevin Svec – Host & Travel Writing Expert
In addition to being the host of This Week in Marketing, Kevin is the Chief Content Strategist at E2M Solutions Inc. When he isn’t writing, editing, or planning out content strategies for clients, he is working on his travel recommendations website, Impulsive Wanderlust. Impulsive Wanderlust gets deep into important travel considerations. For example, his most recent article is on choosing the right climbing harness.
Sam Wheeler – AMA San Diego President-Elect
No matter the size of the company, Sam always demonstrates an admirable level of commitment with results to back it up! His latest endeavors have connected him and enabled him to boost the online presence of growing brands such as Azuga.