Charles Kate Associates provides marketing services for the hospitality industry in London, Surrey, Hampshire and the surrounding south coast.
Its about supporting businesses within hospitality. Discovering opportunities and capitalising on them. Understanding your environment and identifying the ways for you to capitalise on the possibilities around you. All of course at a price that is realistic to the budget of many venues across our industry. Something that we find is all too often lost in this day and age.
In hospitality time is usually something you find yourself short of. So focusing on some elements of the business can be difficult. Usually the elements forgotten are marketing, social media management and business development. For those within the hospitality supply chain this will also frequently include their sales development objectives.
When you think about it, and we all do this: go to work, see to some paperwork, get our pubs/ restaurants ready, open the doors and hope to have a good day. We often stop there. Just opening the door does not guarantee a busy day. But what if you could? Imagine knowing that you have a plan and executed it so each day you know who’s coming in and where they have come from. That is what a business development plan does for you. It identifies all the opportunities and potential prospects within a certain geographical area, centred around your venue. Local clubs, organisations, community initiatives all being pulled together towards your venue. A business development plan identifying direct opportunities is a step closer to guaranteeing that busy day.
Now we move on to marketing. “90% is wasted, we just don’t know which percentage it is”. That’s the cliché. Marketing: Always talked about, usually expensive and often considered a waste of time and money. It doesn’t have to be. It just requires a little bit of creativity. Social media, local press and other organisations. These can all play a part in your marketing strategy. Marketing is all about exposure and whilst granted: there is a place for paying for advertising and spending money in magazines and on billboards. It is a misconception to suggest the more expensive the advert, the more effective it is.
Marketing is subject to your venue, your philosophy and what it is your business offers. No two marketing plans can ever be the same. What works somewhere, probably wont work elsewhere. Effectiveness is achieved by taking the time to understand what it is you are trying to market, researching relevant media outlets and contacting them. This can be industry based, geographically based or community based and often at very minimal costs.
For example: If you are engaged in a form of community initiative, write an article and send it to your local newspaper. They are there to report what is going on in your local area. They get a story – you get exposure cost free. Everyone wins.
Within marketing is social media and a minefield of theories and opinions. The fact is this: social media is a core aspect of everyone’s life and therefore an imperative part of business. Yet many of us don’t treat it that way. Probably because many of us don’t understand it and we simply don’t have the time to deal with it day in day out. However, think of it like this: when a customer walks into your venue, do you ignore them? We would hope not!
With hospitality marketing, social media is you talking to your clientele/ fan base online. Irregular posts or not taking it seriously is effectively ignoring your customers. Online platforms are your way of spreading your philosophy, your personality and why people love you and not others. It is you connecting you, with the right people in the right places – all the time. Its worth considering your business. Who your clientele are and which platform connects you best? Business to business? You probably are better suited to Linkedin. Looking to reach the general public? Consider the age group and geographical location… This will help you decide whether you are best suited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or all three.
So to recap, who are we? A group of people who have lived and worked the difficulties of hospitality management, understanding the difficulties of hospitality marketing. What we are? A team looking to relieve the pressure of marketing, social media and business development from your shoulders and generate more for you. Why we are? We are because as a team we remember the time constraints of the job.
Hospitality marketing is time consuming. We remember simply not having time to deeply consider social media and marketing properly, or having the resources to probably check out every opportunity in the local area to our venues. We are here to make sure our clients have the opportunity to fulfil their full potential and crucially with a pricing structure that is realistic for you to spend and feel you have real value for money.