Communicating what your business has to offer is key, but with so many mediums at your disposal, the right strategy needs to be in place.
I spent the Bank Holiday weekend at the beginning of the month looking around the Yorkshire Dales. Miles of landscape and rolling roads dotted with curious livestock and country pubs – quintessential English countryside at its very best.
As well as taking in the history of the area and basking in the cleanliness of that unpolluted Yorkshire air, I had but one request – to sit in a local pub with a local pint and a local pie. Such simple pleasures should be obtainable enough, right? Wrong. Despite an abundance of pubs popping up with a surprising frequency for such a remote area, and despite each one proudly displaying A-boards to attract passing tourists, the majority were not open for business. Not a pie or pint in sight.
In all fairness to the four or five darkened buildings whose windows were eagerly peered through, we were trying our luck on the Tuesday afternoon after a Bank Holiday. However, it was the external marketing efforts which initially drew us in that stayed in the memory. Some A-boards that read ‘open’ were on their side, half lodged in a bush. One promoted an upcoming ‘quiz nite’ (sic). Another cheekily advertised for the vacant position of ‘ass manager’, which you can only hope was an honest abbreviation. Despite not actually being able to spend money in these pubs, the simplest of marketing efforts made a lasting impression with me. A quick thanks to The Old Black Swan in Bedale for coming to the rescue, by the way. A fine pie washed down with an equally fine pint.
We often talk about the humble A-board in this magazine – it’s a tried and tested way of delivering key messages and pub personality to the potential customers passing by. But we know this is just the start of marketing material. The options available to operators when it comes to spreading the word have never been greater – whether you rely on a quirky A-board message or are obsessed with Twitter analytics, the possibilities are endless. In this issue of Pub & Bar, we revisit our marketing focus first published in February this year. From page 26, you can read all about how your peers are marketing their businesses and making sure that their messages are regularly being received.
Tristan O’Hana - Group Editor