The PUB team spoke to show sponsors impact data about how the can help your pub. Find them at stand 126.

What data trends are you noticing in the industry at the moment, and how will these have an impact on pubs in 2018?
We are seeing richer data from a wider range of sources. Apps, EPOS, Reservation Systems, Loyalty, Wi-Fi, all capture data. The problem is that this data is decentralised and difficult to manage. The challenge is addressed by focusing on 3 areas, 1. Pulling all this data into one space 2. Understanding what the data is showing you 3. monetizing it effectively. Richer data also means more insightful data such as behavioural data which offers the most advantages. Its the most useful and can be massively lucrative if used effectively. Without powerful automation systems, managing data from multiple sources and using behavioural insights to drive sales is impossible, particularly for smaller operations without large marketing teams and owner operated venues. Pulling all the data into one space provides you with a singular customer view which can be used to trigger powerful automated promotions that really increase sales.

Where do you think pubs are missing the biggest opportunities to make money, and how can they rectify this?
Pubs do amazing work to ensure that once a customer is in the building they have great experiences. I think the missing link is the follow-up or after sales work to ensure that the same customer returns again and again. That's not to say that offering incredible experiences doesn't generate organic return visits, it's that customers are more demanding than ever before and continue to be faced with more options for their leisure time and spend. To get their attention it takes a lot more effort. It's no longer enough to send updates and newsletters via email and SMS, your customer's inboxes are full. To get their attention requires hyper personalised messages that are meaningful and you can only send a meaningful message if you know something meaningful about each customer. This is why messages triggered by behavioural data work incredibly well. Getting the aftersales process correct will ensure customers keep returning.  It also means that you are managing the margin implication correctly.  A lot of our customers tell us they are weary of doing promotions and vouchers because they don't want them to go to customers that were going to come in anyway as that's just giving away margin.

Where do you think are the biggest missed opportunities for pubs to save money, and how can they rectify this?
Simple, if the thing you are paying for is making you more money than it costs, it's working. If it's not and it's not business critical then it can be binned. Divert those savings and double down on the things that are working. The same logic applies to your data, storing a customer database costs money, and if it doesn't, then I would argue that you don't have a customer database. So given there's an associated cost, ask yourself how much money is your customer database generating? If it's not making significant ROI, it's time to change. Make sure the money you are spending is generating a return.

Do you have any great examples of pubs/bars getting it right that you have come across and really rate?
Starbucks is a great example of a business using behavioural data effectively. By tracking customer purchases, spending totals, and visitation frequency it allows them to offer suggested selling through their loyalty app. This is essentially predicting what the customer is likely to purchase before they visit, and allows Starbucks to offer hyper personalised messages that resonate with their customers. TalkBox does this too, by accurately predicting next visit dates for Pub customers, it then automatically sends messages to the right people prior to when we know they are thinking about heading out the door. Once they are in the pub, TalkBox has done it's work and it's over to the Pub to create that awesome experience.

Finally, what would be your desert island drink?
An ice cold Gin and Tonic!

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