Strategic Bar Marketing

Define Your Marketing Objectives

At the end of the day, your goals are to increase sales and profits, but the generic and vague goals are difficult to monitor and achieve. Your goals in marketing your bar may be to increase alcohol sales, create a social environment for your business, attract important demographic segments – such as millennia – or lead people to stay longer and spend more money. You may want to introduce a new menu or a line of alcoholic and non-alcoholic home beverages. You may want to turn your bar into a place of entertainment. Setting some traceable and measurable goals is a sound policy for any marketing or business plan.

Regardless of your goals and strategies, you should research local alcohol-related regulations to avoid legal problems. Remember that not all promotional ideas are appropriate for each type of bar. For example, organizing a vintage wine tasting event may be inappropriate for a neighborhood bar and steakhouse. You should always customize any promotion in your bar, direct it to your customers, evaluating the available space and price profile. The following suggestions should trigger some creative marketing ideas:

Embracing Social Networks

Today’s social networking platforms connect people with similar interests in an incomparable way. Millennia-old people often build an active social life through social networks, connecting with people living nearby. Social networking ideas for bar services include the following possibilities:

Incentives for Members Only

Special advertisements for specific social groups can broaden your social profile and reach.

Incorporate Customer Ideas

You can open a competition on various social networks, asking your customers for ideas for new foods, snacks, drinks and themes.

Cultivate Community Groups

Social networks are the ideal platform to promote your bar space for community events, fundraising and casino nights to raise funds for charity and other events.

Captivating Local Celebrities and Influencers

You can use social networks to get in touch with local celebrities and influence and persuade them to promote an idea, cause or product in your bar.

Make Relevant Publications

Publish photos, articles, tweets and videos that show the concept of your bar and your clientele.

Organize Improvised Events

You can encourage your clients to invite their friends for impromptu meetings by holding an informal contest to see who can take as many co-workers, team members or friends as possible.

Encourage Sharing

Encourage your customers to share photos of food, snacks and colorful drinks. You can share these publications on a digital device or a large screen monitor.

Incorporate Customer Created Content into Your Marketing
Sharing photos taken by clients, ratings, karaoke performances and other content can attract favorable publicity, encourage referrals and strengthen client loyalty.

Engage Your Team

The members of your bar staff depend on tips, so each employee of yours also wishes you success. Encourage your employees to share information about your bar’s events, food and drinks on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. These publications don’t need to be complex – employees can just show that they are working and that the bar is doing a great job.

Use Creative Culinary Trends to Attract Customers

Both bars and restaurants advertise and attract customers, adopting ideas of molecular gastronomy and mixology. The molecular gastronomy movement was named and introduced in Spain in 2003 by Chef Ferran AdriĆ . Initially, AdriĆ  developed a spherification technique, which transformed liquids into solid and colored spheres. These spheres could add an artistic touch to cocktails and often provide a powerful improved taste.

Other techniques became common for creating foams, layers, gels and drinks that change color as you drink them. Beverage mixing has become an art in the competitive world of bars, and bar owners can attract millennia-old urban hipsters with beverages that incorporate magic and alchemic art.

Special equipment for modern bars now includes liquid nitrogen, dehydrators, candy making tools, torches, ingredient moulds and mixers. Creative mixology includes foams, jellies, edible cocktails, infused flavors and liquids that can suspend solid ingredients.

Design Problems Affecting Bars

There are a number of interior design problems affecting bars, which experienced owners address to make their facilities more comfortable and attractive to customers. Decorations for special occasions are important, and bars often choose to install refrigerators and quick preparation areas to speed up food preparation for bar customers.

It is also important to signalize the area of the bar’s bathrooms. The lighting is generally poor. If you plan to have karaoke or other entertainment, it is useful to install the infrastructure to create a stage and transmit the sound.

Mobile Marketing

It can approach people outside a theater or close to a sporting event and invite them to stop for a cocktail, dinner or snack.

The key to success is to offer a personalized message at the right time to the people nearby. People gladly share their location data through their mobile devices. So you can send personalized messages based on your locations, such as:

  • Messages in people’s language
  • Timely suggestions to extend the night of leisure of these people
  • Special incentives to respond to your message
  • Reservations of a table or tables for a large group through the smartphone
  • Reach customers based on their ages
  • Encouraging people to relax after a hectic day of shopping

Tasting Events

Socially drinkers, sophisticated couples and drink aficionados enjoy all kinds of tasting events, which can include beers, wines, house drinks, non-alcoholic drinks and even coffee and tea. You can get a great promotional advantage by organizing a popular beer tasting event around the world or a homemade beer tasting. If you have handcrafted beers, promoting them can attract millennia-old, product aficionados, and people curious about the trend of handcrafted beers.

These tasting events can have a theme – a certain brandy, a country of origin, festive drinks or other creative concepts. Menu-driven meal tasting events can also attract a conviviality where customers can try different foods, snacks and drinks. Consider sending invitations to the smartphones of people passing by your bar to try a tapas cocktail.

Sponsorship of Local Sports Teams

Most bars depend a lot on regular customers, and people can be very specific about the atmosphere of their bar and their customer group. One of the easiest ways to attract regular customers who share the same tastes is to sponsor a local sports team. You can choose professional, university or even school teams, and you can invite team members for a free meal or drink after a local game.

There are many promotional possibilities for local teams, including branded products, game result polls, live broadcasts, sports merchandise and silly sports contests. Your bar can also host teams and virtual sports leagues – especially at championship events.