The incredibly saturated smorgasbord of food, drink, and services that make up the hospitality industry is a tough field for a business to thrive in. And with so much competition rising to domination, the space is becoming a business battlefield. And you stand no chance of surviving it without a clear marketing strategy.
Like with all successful strategies, the winning formula needs to be a blend of what’s unique to your business, and what you’re able to make work. Sorting out the best way to reach your customers is the key here, and for hospitality marketing, that means infusing business smarts with an authentic customer relationship. Above all, your efforts should inspire loyalty, and give customers an experience they want to keep coming back to (not to mention one they’d be happy to flaunt to friends).
Doing all this means opting for multi-channel efforts, though. From anything between handing out print collateral to having customers feast their eyes on value-driven social media content. You’ll probably find that your success here pops up in the form of physical and digital tactics.
And to help you kick it all off, we’re breaking down the elements to give you a juicy marketing strategy for your hospitality venue’s doors.
Base your strategy around the 7 Ps of Marketing
Marketers have long known the magic “marketing mix”, comprised around:
And in essence, consumers are turning a blind eye to marketing that either doesn’t feature any of these or focuses far too hard on it. This causes disease for marketers who don’t know how to tackle this fine line, but there’s a simple way to combat this imbalance. Marketing has now essentially expanded out to a model of 7 principles, with the 3 additional elements being:
- People (unsurprisingly)
With these 7 indispensable ingredients, you’ve got the perfect recipe to create majorly explosive hospitality-driven content – and it definitely won’t go unnoticed by your customers and competition alike.
To start with: pitch your product right
The way you pitch your product speaks volumes about your brand. Customers can form their view of your brand through just one interaction with your offering, so it’s important to get it right from the get-go.
- How the product benefits the buyer.
- What you’re selling past the product. Think about the experience, the possibilities your product offers consumers, and the way it might work into their lifestyle.
- All of the features, components, and elements that make the product what it is – especially if it’s something unique.
Here’s a simple secret that’ll unlock many doors for your marketing mission: people identify with products. When they see aspects of themselves in aspects of your product, they’re more likely to buy.
So, if you’re selling something weird, and wackily wonderful, you might get a younger, adventurous demographic, whereas a luxuriously classic item might magnetise an older generation to it instead.
It’s all about testing the ground and understanding identity. From there, you’ll know exactly how to pitch your product with marketing and ads that speak to your ideal audience.
Price your products and services for your people
Price can be a major factor for your customers and is definitely a big one for your business. To have your venture flourishing, you’ll need to factor in a few elements that hit the right price spot for you and your audience.
Make sure you:
- Do your homework on your demographic’s budget and what they’re willing to spend, and price your food and catering services within their reach.
- Leave room in your prices for overhead costs, staff wages, discounts, and any other overall expenses that you might have.
That way, you’ll make sure you stay afloat and available for the loyal following of hungry customers that want your wares.
Promote, promote, promote
People’s attention naturally gravitates to flashy things, and most of the time, these have the word “free” in them. So, go with the flow and orchestrate a spectacularly eye-catching promotion that shows off your brand personality, and grabs attention like no other.
If you go down the route of freebies with “buy 1 get 1 free” offerings, get creative and make something limited edition that gets people lining up at the door. Alternatively, use fortune and fame through influencers, foodies or celebrities on social media to turn heads.
Be the place to see
Your branding oozes into every pore of your business, and your physical location is no exception. The vibe your venture gives off is everything in the hospitality space, so be bold and get creative to grab attention.
However, don’t go so overboard that you seem out of place in the neighbourhood, though – people do have their cliques, after all. The aim is to fit in enough with the surrounding atmosphere, in order to belong there. You could be situated anywhere from the main street to a back alleyway somewhere in Melbourne. You could even be down a flight of stairs or somewhere that’s totally out of sight. With the right marketing, decor, and demographics in tow, you can use all of this to your advantage. After all, the best gems are hidden away but are so alluring that they can’t help but be (positively) gossiped about.
Hospitality is all about people, so make sure they have a good experience
Life is all about the little moments and experiences. The good ones create recollections that you travel to every now and then in your mind. The bad experiences, however, never leave your memory.
So, in such a field as hospitality, it’s crucial to keep your customers coming back with positively reinforced memories of your place. That means having a great pool of staff that are friendly, people-smart and are able to provide great service. They should be able to form beneficial bonds with regulars or turn here-and-there customers into loyal ones.
Get physical with packaging
Packaging leaves an unmistakable physical trace of your brand, no matter what kind of hospitality business you are. Whether that’s a brown paper bag stamped with your logo, or a serviette featuring your branding, it all contributes to spreading the word or triggering a memory.
Treat your entire place as a package in itself, and make sure there’s something memorable your visitors can take home with them. The more your branding is seen around the place, the more awareness you’ll have in action.
Position with pride
The highly saturated hospitality market has many entrances and exits. Positioning is your key to getting yourself into the door and carving out your own niche in the market. Knowing your demographic and what they’re interested in is absolutely essential to your success here – and it’s not always about price. If you’re competing for, say, burgers, then it’s hard to beat the already well-established fast food giants like McDonald’s. You might instead decide to ride the health wave, and be an alternative burger option, or even open up a vegan-focused venue.
With the rising demand of dietary requirements, it’s worth doing your research and catering to the niche customer. It could just be the ticket that turns heads and makes you a soaring success.
Want to kickstart your business’s branding or digital strategy? Get in touch with the Content Marketing Agency’s experts on 1300 662 225.