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Marketing firm nabs global hotels contract

Sincerity, flexibility, a passion for design and a sense of fun have combined to make a winning formula for Sault Ste. Marie -based marketing firm Lucidia.
Lucidia in Sault Ste. Marie has just landed a global contract with the Fairmont chain of hotels. Staff include (from left) Tony Bitonti, director of creative services; J.R. Pierman, president/partner; Laura Disano, account co-ordinator/copywriter; Marla Guzzo, account supervisor; Adriana Borrelli, media strategist/account co-ordinator; and Kimberly Elkas, account co-ordinator.

Sincerity, flexibility, a passion for design and a sense of fun have combined to make a winning formula for Sault Ste. Marie-based marketing firm Lucidia. Now that blueprint has earned the agency a contract with the Fairmont chain of hotels, a luxury brand with locations around the globe.

Under the contract, the firm will oversee Fairmont’s email program, its customer relationship management and its direct marketing communications for all four of its brands: Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Raffles Hotels and Resorts, Swissôtel Hotels and Resorts, and the corporate brand, Fairmont Raffle Hotels International.

Though Lucidia has had a strong working relationship with Fairmont for the last nine years, this is the largest contract for which Lucidia has actively competed, said J.R. Pierman, a partner with Lucidia.

Emerging as Fairmont’s firm of choice from a pool of larger Canadian firms hearkens back to a core principle of Lucidia’s approach to business: integrity.

“Being up here in Northern Ontario, your word and your reputation and how you deliver work for clients is so important, because it’s not like someone is going to forget about it if you do a bad job, so you really have to stand behind what you do,” Pierman said. “We feel that that’s helped us differentiate ourselves in southern Ontario; when we go and say what we’re going to do for a client, we deliver.”

Starting out as a web development firm, Lucidia has, in just over a decade, expanded to provide a range of integrated services, in traditional, interactive and broadcast avenues.

Since its inception in 2001, Lucidia’s staff has grown alongside its impressive portfolio. It counts Meridian Credit Union, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, McDougall Energy and Ontario Lottery and Gaming amongst its clients. Lucidia is also working on the Northern Ontario portion of the Ontario Tourism campaign.

With the expansion of the Fairmont account, Lucidia extended its staff to include 20 employees at its Sault office and 11 at its Toronto office, which underwent its own expansion in October after the swelling staff outgrew its former space.

The two locations work in tandem to provide seamless service for their clients, Pierman said. Yet southern Ontario is where Lucidia is experiencing the bulk of the growth.

“We still have lots of great clients in Sault Ste. Marie and we still actively pursue business here and in Northern Ontario, but there’s definitely lots of growth in the southern Ontario market and we’re working with some of the larger clients,” Pierman said.

Finding the right clients is a priority for the agency, which seeks out those whose objectives and personalities match its own, rather than focus on revenue or profit, he said. “We find those things come out of finding the right client fit.”

As the agency matures, it continues to look for “solutions without limits,” an early mantra that has helped Lucidia find its niche in a sea of advertising and marketing agencies.

“One of things we’ve learned is that the business has ebbs and flows,” he said, “but as long as you have that path and that vision of where you want to be, and you hold true to those values that you have as a business, those are the most important things because it really does guide you.”  

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