Hot opportunities for pub operators in 2019

We caught up with ex-senior marketer and current digital maverick Mark McCulloch, Founder & CEO, WE ARE Spectacular ahead of PUB19 to get his top ten tips on how publicans can keep their marketing current in 2019.

  1. Being ‘grammable’ – Horrible word, but it is true. How can your venue create a stage for people to perform on (i.e. take photos to share on their channels as part of their own personal brand – sadly everyone is a brand these days).
  2. Good Enough to Tweet – Is your food really fit for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Look at your presentation, plates, cutlery. Small changes mean that you could be shared to millions, not just two diners.
  3. Embrace Low & No Alcohol – With younger people reportedly saying that one third do not drink, what can you do to stay relevant? These generations are ambitious and want to live every day to the max (not lose time to hangovers). Looking into beers like Lucky Saint and drinks such as Kombucha could be a strong solution.
  4. Consider a Cannabis Strategy – The legalisation or at least tolerance of Cannabis is coming. What is your strategy on use, in products and ranging?
  5. Having a Voice Strategy – Speech is taking over touch. What are you going to do to change ordering, booking and how you are found online in line with the world’s move to speech via Siri, Alexa and more?
  6. Creating Constant Content – Would it not have been amazing to see the moment where Fuller’s perfected London Pride or an insider look at Jeff Bezos during Amazon’s first year, packing books and shaping what became Amazon? Appoint an in-house videographer and start documenting everything. Make TV style shows and put them out daily!
  7. Facebook Advertising – The backend of Facebook is still largely untapped by hospitality. Get to know it well and sell more events by targeting friends of friends who have big birthdays and constantly target your competitors’ customers to get their business over to you.
  8. Making Delivery Work for You – consider working with Deliveroo and Just Eat to get a slice of that delivery market and make it work for you. In this case, limited menus and strong packaging will work well.
  9. Facebook Groups – Find, at a local level, the main Facebook communities where people share information. Give them special offers and insider info to bring them to your pub and make you feel like part of the community.
  10. Use WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger Groups for VIPs - if you add these two messaging platforms together, they have more monthly active users than Facebook itself. There is a huge opportunity for you to make this a loyalty platform where you create groups and market to them as VIPs and giving them reasons to constantly come back and see you. Forget plastic, stamp cards and points, this is a new age way of making your audience feel valued and special!

Mark is hosting The PUB19 Interview – The Year of the Dog with BrewDog Retail CEO, David McDowall at The Pub Theatre on Tuesday, 5th Feb.