Category Archives: Data

Marketing on a Budget

I get it: it’s hard to set aside your hard-earned money for marketing efforts. It seems like you’re blowing those dollars away and not knowing what you’re getting in return. But that’s the issue in and of itself; your marketing is seen as an expense instead of an investment.

Marketing used to be about blasting mass messages on channels that were expensive and nearly impossible to track. And in that case, marketing was an expense. But today, you can track nearly every marketing effort to understand what’s bringing in the most guests and the biggest spenders (both to your website and your venue). You’re able to easily see what you get in return of what you put in. This not only saves you from wasting your dollars, but helps to bring in more money than before. Even the smallest of budgets can see advantages from smart marketing.

To do this, you’ll need to get your marketing numbers down to a science. What is your investment going toward? Which channels are and aren’t working for you? How do you replicate the efforts that work to get even a bigger return? Find out with these four tips.

1. Define Your Goals

In any investment, you have to know what you want to achieve to understand if it was a good investment. The same is true with marketing. What do you want your marketing campaign to do? Bring in new door traffic? Increase pre-sale tickets to an event? Drive up bar sales? Defining this right away will help you craft the right message, choose the right channels, and set up the right tracking tools to later identify if your marketing worked for you.

2. Identify Your Audience

Marketing is irrelevant if you don’t have an audience. Identify who you’re targeting and get a grasp of what inspires them to act. What’s their demographic and geographic makeup? What are their habits? Which social channels are they on the most, and what are they looking for in a night out? These are all important answers for you to know so that you narrow in on a specific group of people with a specific message on specific channels. The more narrow you get, the more impact you’ll see.

If you don’t have any data to start with, think through who you typically see inside your venue and use that as a starting point. Market on channels that have the highest likelihood of your audience being there, such as Facebook and Instagram. The first few times will be trail and error, which is why it’s even more important to track your efforts. Which brings me to point three.

3. Track Your Efforts

Set up affiliate marketing links so you can track all your marketing efforts. Every channel and every staff member should have its own link to use in promotions. You can even create links for different types of posts on the same channel, including one link for your Facebook cover photo, another for an organic Facebook post, and another for a Facebook ad. As your links get used, you’ll be able to see which efforts (and which staff members) are garnering the results you want to see.

It’s also important to track day-of results as well, including those who walked through your door. Use a system at your door that tracks guest list, reservation, and general admission arrival all in one. You can set this up so you’re able to track which promotion or referrer brought a general walk-up guest. This way, you’re not only tracking what happened before you opened your doors, but also during and after as well. Then, over time, you’re able to compare your results to identify consistencies and become more predictable with your marketing investment. We at Vēmos automate the affiliate link processes and have a full check-in system at the door so you save time and energy with these tracking efforts. Results are tracked within your dashboard so you can always see how you’re performing and if it lines up with your goals.

4. Start Experimenting

Once you have your marketing down to a science, start experimenting with your budget to get even more out of your marketing efforts. A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your budget goes into channels you know work for you, and 20% is to experiment with new channels and new audiences. This is how you continually evolve your marketing efforts and turn it into a smart investment without being afraid of wasting your marketing dollars.

To learn more about how you can better use your marketing dollars with live examples, attend Whitney Larson’s session during the 207 Nightclub & Bar Tradeshow.

4 Reasons to Remove Paper in 2017

Pen and paper is one of the biggest cause for mistakes in our industry. I’ve seen venues not let in high profile guests who would have spent thousands inside the door all because one person didn’t know who they were. I’ve seen guest list lines get bottlenecked as the host sifts through pages to try to find the name that was written down. I’ve seen VIP tables double booked because it wasn’t documented correctly. I’ve also seen people who were told they were on the list get turned away because they weren’t added before the list got printed.

None of these things should happen anymore, and it’s costing your venue thousands of dollars as a result.

That’s why it’s time to retire the old pen & paper and upgrade to a digital system that’ll bring in even more revenue opportunities. Here are 4 main benefits from going digital.

1. Increase Efficiency 

You’re able to streamline your lines when you have a digital, centralized list. Plus, it’s a lot easier for your staff to handle. All they have to do is either scan the guests’ QR code or search for their name, mark them as arrived, and then they’re on to the next guest. No more sifting through pages of paper. Now guests are inside and spending more money at the bar to drive up your bar sales.

2. Collect Guest Information

With pen and paper, it was next to impossible to collect and track your guest list information. Even if you kept that piece of paper, did you ever look back at it to understand the data? Now you’re able to with ease. A digital system keeps track of your guest list, general admission, ticketing, and reservation status automatically so you don’t have to cross-reference your list at the end of the night. Plus, you’ll know exactly how many people checked in and which promoter, staff member, or marketing campaign brought them in the first place.

3. Understand Guest Habits

Most systems do the mere task of checking people in. The best ones are those that sync with other areas of your venue to present wholistic, individual guest data. This then allows you to better understand who your guests are from a demographic level, but also what their habits and preferences are. What types of beverages do they order? How much do they spend once inside your venue? Do they only come on big event nights; Friday nights; every weekend night? These answers help you to give each guest a more personal experience, allows you to better market to them to keep them coming back, and even gives you the power to upsell them once they arrive. This is the type of activity that grows your club’s revenue while improving their experience — a win-win for all.

4. Get Staff on Same Page

With a digital system, each staff member can have their own login and add guests as requests come in. These guests appear on your list in real-time, so there’s never that awkward moment of someone thinking they were on when they never got added. Plus, this removes the need for staff to email or text in their list to make sure their guests get added — they have the ability of doing it themselves and knowing that their guests got on. It’s smoother and has less room for error.

Pen and paper can’t provide anything to you other than simply crossing off names when guests arrive. In 2017, it’s time to retire paper, move over to a digital system, and see the benefits it has on your club’s performance.

Why Data is the Real MVP

We talk a lot about mixology, music, lights and ambiance in this industry. After all, this is the recipe for your party. And while all of them are important to running your venue, there’s one component that stands out as the true MVP to your success: data.

It may seem dry and boring, but data is the key to business. Your party is what brings people into your venue. Your data is what allows you to put on better, more profitable parties to continue driving people in (and boosting your revenue up).

Here’s how you can capture and use data to be your most valuable player.

1. Collect information about your guests

Today’s Reality: Nearly every nightclub and bar has an estimate of how many guests walked through their door on a given night. What they don’t know is who walked through their door. They get people in, serve them, and let them walk away without knowing anything about them.

Data’s Fix: Get away from the paper guestlist. You can’t capture data with paper. Instead, use a system to handle every aspect of your door process, including checking guests in on the guest list, counting general admission walk-ins, serving VIP reservations, and selling/checking-in guests who bought a ticket to your event. Using one system to handle everything allows you collect data on every type of customer that walks through your door. And when you connect this to your point of sale system, you’re able to unearth even more valuable information.

MVP Status: Now you have a database of all your guests, including their name, contact information, how many times they’ve been to your venue, whether they’re a VIP/guest list/event/general admission customer, how much money they’ve spent, and what their most popular drink purchases are. This means you’re now able to better identify your guests, upsell them before they walk through your doors (hint: more $), and provide personalized service (so they spend more $).

2. Increase marketing results

Today’s Reality: Venues end up spending marketing dollars on mass marketing efforts (or sometimes no marketing at all), blasting vague messages to a broad range of people who may or may not be their customers. All because they don’t know who their customers are.

Data’s Fix: With the right system, you can have a complete buyer persona for all of your target customer segments, including demographic, geographic, and psychographic information. Use this to your advantage. As an example, you can segment your audience into a list of females who attend your venue on Friday nights and spend at least $100. You can then send a text message to this list with a message that’s 100% relevant to them. And that’s powerful marketing.

MVP Status: You’re no longer wasting marketing dollars on efforts that don’t convert. Instead, you’re able to drive your most loyal customers back into your venue with personal messaging, you’re able to establish a healthy mix of male and female customers, and you’re able to drive customers who haven’t visited in a while back through your doors. Better marketing results in better guests which results in bigger spending.

3. Improve Operations

Today’s Reality: Nightclubs go into each night without an accurate idea of what the night will hold. And when you don’t know how many guests will arrive for a night, it’s hard to plan and staff accordingly. VIP tables get double booked, the door gets bottlenecked, and staff aren’t communicating to solve the issues. Your guests notice this, and it hinders their experience before they even walk in your door.

Data’s Fix: Systems improve operations, provide metrics, and instill accountability. When you use a single system to sell tickets, manage VIP tables, manage your guest list, and handle general admission walk-ups, you’re able to know how many guests you can expect to arrive. This then helps you staff accordingly and plan out VIP tables. It also helps to streamline your door and optimize your lines.

MVP Status: Putting a bit of strategy and organization can help your speed of night, improve customer morale while waiting in line, and get people through your to start spending money inside your venue faster. Plus, when your door system ties to your guest database, your staff is able to treat each guest with respect and a more personalized service. This in turn means they’re more likely to enjoy themselves and want to stay (and spend more money while they’re there).

4. Know Your Business Results

Today’s Reality: Most venues don’t have the right data to get an accurate gage of how well their venue is performing. Without the right system in place to analyze this data, venues are operating blindly and wasting time and money on areas that may or may not be working.

Data’s Fix: When you use one system to track all areas, you have a clear understanding of exactly what’s happening in your venue without having to log into multiple data systems. Now, you can easily track:

  • How much money you made over a given time period
  • How many customers walked through your door over a given time period (and who they were)
  • How many table reservations you have over a given time period, and how much you earn on average
  • When your customers start buying tickets to your event
  • Which staff members are bringing in the most guests (and biggest spenders)

MVP Status: Venues we work with have seen an average uptick of 30% to their bottom line after switching to a system backed by data. That’s because they know exactly what’s working and what doesn’t, which allows them to spend their money more wisely. They also improved their operations to get their guests in the door faster to get to the bar more quickly, resulting in increased bar sales. When you have absolutely clarity on your venue’s performance, you can do even more to increase your success. Without data, you’re simply just guessing and could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

Get More Sales from Promoters for Your NYE Event

The biggest event in nightlife is almost here, which means it’s time to pump up the volume on your New Year’s Eve marketing. Your promoters are a big part of your marketing efforts and arguably one of the most effective marketing channels you can use. Here’s how to create a powerful army of promoters by turning them in to mobile box offices.

1. Use an event system with mobile sales

The first step is for you to get on the right event system. The only way you can supercharge your promoters is if you have access to the tools to do so. Use an event management system like Vēmos that was built specifically for the nightlife industry. Like most ticketing systems, you’re able to build your event landing page and sell tickets online. But unlike other ticketing systems, you’re also able to integrate ticket sales on your website, social channels, and a synced mobile app to sell tickets direly from mobile devices. It also handles VIP table reservations in the same system so you don’t have to use multiple services to manage your NYE event.

2. Accept cash and credit

The mobile app we just mentioned is your golden ticket. This is what turns your promoters into a mobile box office, and what allows you to generate pre-sale revenue even on the go. Your promoters can sell tickets directly through their device, accepting both cash and credit purchases, to anyone at anytime. Once the ticket is sold through the app, consumers get a digital ticket, and that buying information is synced with the rest of your ticket purchases. This makes your promoters incredibly powerful, drives more customers through your door, and keeps all your purchases synced together for a seamless door process the night of your event.

3. Track, measure, and reward

Track which promoters bring in the best guests and the most sales over a given time period or for your specific NYE event. This helps ensure you’re paying promoters out appropriately, that you understand where your guests are coming from, and that you can reward your promoters for a job-well-done to keep them performing and maximizing results.

How to Get More from Your Customers

Do you know who your guests are? The ones who frequent your venue, who spend a lot of money, and who would be considered “loyal?” Many venues think they do, but few have the full picture.

Recognizing your guests’ faces or even their names is just the start. Imagine knowing how many times they’ve been to your club, how many reservations they’ve made, how much money they’ve spent, and what their most popular drink purchases are. That’s valuable information, and that’s what’s going to propel you forward. And a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that’s tied to your point of sale is just what’s going to get you there.

Here’s what you can uncover when you know your guests on a deeper level and build their loyalty.

1. Better identify guests

We’ve been to venues where high-profile guests were stopped at the door by the bouncer and denied access, purely from the fact that the bouncer didn’t recognize that guest. This lack of communication and identification is a threat to your club. Not only did you not make money from that person that night, but that person is likely not excited to return to your venue again.

2. Upsell guests before they walk through your doors

Your CRM system helps you know who your guests are so you can identify them in line (especially when you have a mobile CRM system). You can tell from this system if a guest is a regular attendee for your bar crowd, which means you can offer to upsell them to bottle service right then and there. It’s always best to be as personal as possible when doing an upsell, so mention that you notice they come in often and think they would enjoy a bottle service experience. They’ll be more likely after this experience to continue to be a bottle service customer, become more loyal to your venue, and refer friends.

3. Provide personalized service

Your guests, especially your VIP guests, don’t want to be treated like a number. They should be greeted at the door, walked to their table, offered their personal top-purchased liquors, and attended to by their favorite server. Having a system in place like Vēmos helps track this information to give seamless VIP service from all staff members. What’s more is the system enables you to provide personal touches to your regular bar crowd, too. After all, in the age of big data, people are used to being treated as an individual by companies more than ever before.

4. Improve marketing efforts

Because your CRM system tracks important customer activity, such as when they come to your club, how much they spend, what they drink, and how many people they bring with them, you’re able to send more targeted, personal and relevant messages to individual guests. This means you’re able to use filters to segment your customers into specific targeted audiences, which in turn means each audience gets messages that are 100% relevant to their habits. That’s powerful marketing, and that’s what continues to drive guests into your venue.

Treating guests like the individuals they are and catering your experience to their needs isn’t hard. All it takes is a system that captures all your information in one place, your staff to use that system so it automatically pulls necessary information on the guests walking through your door, and your ability to execute on providing that exclusive experience. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference to your guests and bring the biggest dollar to you.