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Made for Marketing by EXP101: Thoughts and tips from hospitality marketing experts

07/04/2022 Kieron Bailey Comments Off

How do you acquire new customers? How do you retain them? On Wednesday, April 6th, the Otolo team went to a compelling event to learn about digital and growth in hospitality, an event organised by Exp101 which took place at the incredible Amazing Grace London venue. The lineup included experts in behavioural marketing, data analytics, CRM, email automation, paid ads, and SEO and here are some of their tips and insights to help you put your business in front of the right audience, and rock your digital strategy!

“Marketing isn’t taken seriously by most boards because the first person brought on board is usually finance. Marketing is nowhere near the board. You can’t sit on a board if you don’t have strong #KPIs, you have to know and show that your marketing strategy will deliver. Board members want the figures, the facts. Think: targets. Don’t accept that you can’t have them, and then you’ll have a voice on the board.” – Ann Elliott, Co-Founder at Plan B 

“Twenty years ago data wasn’t a thing, and to say I’ve always been a data fanatic isn’t true. It all kinda started with a reservation platform. Having a good experience is key if you have relevant data points. You have to put consumers in front of operators, based on transactional and behavioural data.” – Matt Ford, Head of BD at Krowd 

“We need to use data to help us understand what impact an establishment is having on its guests. The key is to have enough data points to do nothing or to do something. You’ve gotta have the data there to prove that what you’re doing is working. Test, demonstrate, repeat, and scale the campaign.” – Julian Ross, CEO of Wireless Social 

“When you are collecting data, you need clarity. You would only collect data if you know why, what you are using them for, how long, etc. And always ask yourself if you are compliant, and how you can demonstrate it.” – Lisa Chittenden, Director of The Data Gym 

“Hospitality is a very emotional industry. You have to connect deeply and emotionally with your customers to win them. Ask yourself why people come to your restaurant? How do they spend their money?” – Rowena Humby, CEO of Starcount 

“You might have the best food, event, or hotel but if you don’t put it in front of the right customer you won’t go far. Think of your traffic as your business blood. Without good traffic, you haven’t got a good business, and if you don’t have good traffic to your website you don’t have a good website.” – Eros Vellucci, Founder of Marketing Media 

“Organic content gives you the opportunity to convert the traffic you’re getting on your website. Always ask what is the user intent? Is your website optimised for what people are looking for? Create content that reflects your business.” – John Butcher, Co-Founder of Pretzel Group 

“Go back to the basics and make sure your teams are trained for using data in marketing. Make sure you don’t let your customer down. Because we are creatures of habit, take extra care with the food you select on your special occasions’ menu. People come back and are loyal to your restaurant and your food for a reason. Don’t forget to have a good dessert selection and a creative kid’s menu!” – Dan Hawkie, Managing Director at Feed It Back 

“The message is the most important thing. Know what our customers want. Sometimes we’re quick at what channels we want to use but you have to stop and think why would people care about this message? What is your edge? Dig deep into your brand as the conceptualisation of your idea is so important. Always think concept before medium.” – Naomi Davies, CMO at Ignite 

Naomi’s top tips for a successful creative campaign: 

  1. Idea: how to excite people? Make your brand memorable, and unique. 
  1. CRM strategies: don’t neglect the acquisition piece, walk the tree and then pick the fruit 
  1. Use omnichannel: ask yourself if your data is actionable?  
  1. Creativity is not only about pictures but also about your brand positioning, and the tech you’ll use to support it. 

We constantly share best practices and tips in digital to help you market your business successfully, so feel free to join our special group on Otolo!