It’s now an ideal time to give your pub marketing strategy a revamp. Or if you don’t have one, create one from scratch to get your small business on the public’s radar.
This guide will explain why a pub marketing plan is so important, how to build a coherent strategy and tips on retaining customers.
Why is a marketing plan so important?
A marketing plan can have benefits for any business, helping you align your vision and business goals. Having key targets integrated within your pub marketing strategy can help you and your employees stay on track.
The hospitality sector in Ireland is saturated, with over 7,000 pubs and clubs, so, it’s essential for your small business to stand out.
Your pub marketing plan should outline how you plan on attracting customers and maintaining a relationship with them.
What to include in your marketing plan?
It’s vital to get each step in your marketing plan just right. You need to understand your competition, and your customers, inside out.
Your pub marketing plan should include:
Firstly, establish your small business goals. Do you want to increase footfall? Or build your social media presence? Having clear, measurable goals will help you and your employees stay focused.
Research your competitors. Observe what they do well, and make sure you implement this into your business plan. Is there something they’re missing, that your company could do better? Identify any customer pain points and see if you can rectify these in your own business.
Look for any gaps in the market that your company could fill. Perhaps there is a local whiskey not served yet in many pubs, or a lack of dog-friendly establishments in your area. Tapping into the needs of your local market is the best way to make your business relevant.
Observe your target customers and make a note of their preferences and spending habits. This will help you tailor your pub experience to your customer expectations. Do they opt for Irish whiskey or Guinness, or do they prefer specialised cocktails or wines?
Use competitor prices to help you form your pricing strategy and gain an understanding of what your target market are willing to pay. Consider your costs and overheads when finalising your prices.
Scheduling marketing activities can help you to stay organised and build awareness for your small business throughout the year. Plan social media posts to attract potential customers to your bar and host events to engage your regulars.
A timeline also helps you measure your goals – have you gained as many social media followers as you’d planned? If not, you may need to increase efforts in this area.
Building a social calendar
A busy and exciting events calendar is the cornerstone of a pub marketing strategy. Having events to attend and marketing these accordingly with a social media calendar can really help drum up business.
Schedule regular events, such as pub quizzes or live music, to keep your business relevant and stand out from competitors in your local area. You could advertise beer festivals in the summer or special drink prices for events such as St Patrick’s Day.
Social media is a great platform for gaining exposure to potential customers as well as letting your followers know what’s going on in your pub. Be sure to advertise all events to gain buzz around the occasion.
Stay competitive by branching out into new social media avenues, such as Instagram or TikTok. You could create videos of the setup of events to build excitement, or post fun meet the team reels to help build a community feel between customers and staff.
A social media calendar can help you manage your various social channels. Put together a plan of what you’re going to post and when. You can build your events into this, making sure you market them well ahead of time, as well as posting about seasonal topics, topical news and more.
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How to retain your customers
The key to any business plan is to retain customers, not just attract new ones. There are some simple ways your marketing strategy can keep your regulars engaged and coming back to your pub time and time again:
Introduce a loyalty scheme – having an incentive to return to your pub, such as having their tenth pint free, could encourage your customers to keep coming back.
These loyalty programmes thank your customers for their support and can help your business secure regular sales.
Create a welcoming atmosphere – personal touches, like remembering your regulars’ names and drinks order, can help your customers feel welcome.
Implement email marketing – inform your customers about upcoming events and special offers through email marketing.
Offer excellent customer service – having friendly, chatty staff can go a long way in retaining customers. Building personal connections and going above and beyond for every customer will make them more likely to come back in the future.
Plan events – hosting different events throughout the year is a great way for your bar to stay relevant. If a big game is playing – why not show it on your TV screen and offer some themed drinks or bar snacks?
While creating a pub marketing strategy can be time-consuming, the benefits can be extraordinary for your small business. Square can help your company retain customers with our various technological solutions.
Square POS can help to track your customer’s spending habits, helping you to understand their preferences so you can tailor your offering to suit them. It can help to streamline your service, with the ability to order repeats of drink rounds in just a few taps.
It’s important to have fast and efficient service in a busy pub, and Square Reader lets you do just that. With fast payment processing, keep your queue moving and minimise your customers wait time, while you focus on delivering excellent customer service.