Advanced bar marketing

Bar marketing is one of the most specialist areas of Developing Brands for a few reasons. I’m Oli and I founded Developing Brands after years of experience in the design, marketing and advertising space working directly with some of the biggest brands in the nightlife and hospitality industry. Hands-on experience of mine includes working with the likes of Hard Rock, TigerTiger, Slug & Lettuce, Starbucks, Pryzm, Hippodrome and even collaborators such as Smirnoff, Jack Daniels and Captain Morgans.

I can tell you that bar marketing isn’t like the old days. Like with most industries, people want to buy from BRANDS now. Additionally, the ways to reach your local market have never been quicker and easier. However, so few bars, nightclubs and restaurants are utilising these advanced methods in their marketing.

From advertising considerations, to exact marketing steps, this guide is going to walk you through the most advanced and effective ways to utilize bar marketing strategies that are way ahead of common knowledge. In the world of hospitality and even local business, I’ve personally yet to see any guide, blog, book or training course narrow down these invaluable factors to venue marketing success as specifically as I’m aiming to in this post. So please don’t miss this straight to the point guide for marketing your venue like the big brands do. I hope you enjoy what you’re going to learn in the next 60 seconds and beyond.

The new approach to marketing your bar

So let’s start with a bold claim, 99% of your competitors are not doing all these things in their venue promotion. Read carefully and you will have an understanding of some of the most advanced strategies in bar marketing. However, the following guide is just as applicable to any local business. So whether you’re a bar, restaurant, nightclub, hotel, gym, spa or events provider, you’re definitely in the right place and you’re going to love what I’m about to share with you. 

The things we’re going to cover are the following:

• Marketing angles• Offers• Social media marketing• Data collection• Customer lifetime value• Realistic revenue growth• Systemising your marketing

So let’s dive right in…

The most important thing in marketing is the market you're marketing to

Forget b2b or b2c, it’s the 21st century and it is always b2p, business to person. The more you understand the person / people / market you’re promoting your bar to, the better decisions you can make in your local or national bar marketing strategy and resonate with them 10x better than everyone else.

You will notice this when you look at the leading venue brands. Are they showcasing themselves in a way that attracts party craving university students aged 18-22? Or married couples over 40 on their weekly date night? The less market-specific a venue’s style of advertising appears, the more broad their customer base will be as a result. Almost like science. Resonating with everyone might seem like a good marketing move. After all, Wetherspoon did a good job at nailing it with people within certain income brackets. However, despite being broad in reach they were actually very specific in understanding their market. Their market actually isn’t very broad after all, it’s entirely positioned around people looking for a cheap drink or meal. This is the angle they went with to reach their particular target market. How about Pryzm nightclub, clearly attracting their audience of younger people in the nightlife scene, with on-trend music that suits that audience, quirky poster designs that stand out to one of the more difficult markets to grab attention from (some designed by myself during 2017-2019) and an emphasising of drink offers around the desires and typical ‘going out budget’ of these select people. I could talk for hours about the different brands out there who are killing it with their marketing angles.

Again, it isn’t b2b or b2c, it’s b2p, business to person. Individuals.

local marketing guide for bar owners

People love uniqueness and people love brands. Being a generic venue is not how you maximise the results of your marketing. Be a unique venue who truly resonates with your local customer base if you truly want to become one of the most in demand local businesses in your territory.

People are drawn to what they resonate with, or what they want to experience. Don’t be afraid of potentially being too unique with your bar marketing, it will actually draw more people to you!

Also consider whether there’s a gap in your local market. Could you be the first venue within 15 miles to host a caribbean cocktail night? Salsa classes? Happy hour for more than just an hour? A bring your dog to the pub day? A vegan night? An R&B music night? A Hawaiian theme?There may be ways you can gradually work on your venue’s uniqueness. You may have some good things going already and focus on resonating the message better. As one of my best tutors back at university said, ‘a badly presented idea is a bad idea.’ So to conclude this first point, really work on resonating your venue to the exact market you want to reach. Consider what they want, why they’d choose you, or ways you can simply offer something better than your local competition. This is achievable by having quality design across all of your advertising which conveys this marketing angle in a way that is second to none.

The next thing to strongly considering when promoting a bar or local venue is your offer

Why an offer? Because generic advertising / brand awareness does not provoke a direct response. An example of a direct response would be somebody coming into your venue to claim an offer. Also, an irresistible offer is a compelling value proposition to your market which encourages them greatly to pop in and claim as soon as possible. Rather than just observing your marketing and then going back to watching Breaking Bad. So find your best offer and lead with it in your local promotion to maximise the response you get from all your strategic marketing efforts.

Make your marketing offer so good that people will be queuing up to claim it. This is the key to good bar marketing strategy. The idea being, even if an offer is free to them and at a small expense to you, it gets people through the door and on your value ladder. If it’s cost you a few pounds to offer somebody a free drink with their first meal, but they spent more money on the meal than your free drink cost your venue, then they’re officially climbing your customer value ladder. If they love your venue, they will spend more money there over the coming hours, weeks or months and contribute to your long term revenue greatly via ACV; average customer value.

Promoting your irresistible offer

Flyers and posters are an old school way. This is a good fundamental thing to cover, with your newly refined marketing angle and irresistible offer. But the area where most venues are extremely ineffective, if utilising at all, is the following breakthrough way to reach hundreds, even thousands of local people overnight…

facebook ads for local bars

Facebook Ads

If you live in a western democracy, chances are that ALL of your bar’s local audience are active on Facebook. You can target your offer promotion to these select people exclusively and quickly using targeted facebook ads. When you take the time to truly grasp Facebook advertising, you will absolutely begin to see improvements in your customer base in the short term, as well as revenue increases in the long term. Many venues do not use Facebook Advertising correctly. In fact, I’ve personally observed many dozens of local businesses waste hundreds of pounds in their Facebook ads, with little to no results. If you’re new to Facebook Ads, consider investing some time into learning and testing ads. Or alternatively, hire an agency who knows the platform and your industry particularly well, to get the ball rolling from day 1.

Building your local customer list

When people claim your offer, ensure they fill in a form to claim it. From there, you must follow up with them as soon as possible to confirm / secure their booking. Additionally, you can now have them integrated to your email list and therefore build a strong asset of email data to market to on an ongoing basis.

collecting data for your local bar or nightclub
potential customers for your venue

This is completely different to an ‘I bought this online’ list… These are real, local people who are specifically interested in your venue and offer. Therefore it is 100% quality data. Unlike any list you could buy on the internet. Sometimes the value gained from the email list alone is worth multiple times the initial investment in your short term campaign and it’s a secondary, additional benefit to your initial campaign’s success.

Customer lifetime value

What is your average customer worth? How much does your average customer spend and how often do they visit?

Let’s say your average customer spends £20 and comes once per month. That is an average customer value of £120 in 6 months alone. The average venue retains customers for 5-6 years. So one new happy customer could potentially be worth a conservative £1,200 minimum to your business, each. Let’s say you get just 20 new returning customers after the initial succession and profitability of your campaign. That’s +£4,800 in 12 months. Now, what if you actually gained 30 new customers? 40? 50? What if you repeated this campaign every single month? If this sounds too good to be true, I encourage you to book a free strategy call with myself, where we can discuss trialling this for your venue or commencing a real 30 day campaign for your local business.

Keep reading…

So let's recap thing’s we’ve covered so far

Marketing angle

Create a brand image that resonates extremely well with your target customer base / demographic.


Put together an irresistible offer to lead your local marketing with, for maximum direct-response from all recipients of your marketing. Additional tip: Make it limited time only.


Facebook Ads is second to none at reaching hundreds, even thousands of your immediate local market. A region you could dominate with a superior approach to venue promotion when done fantastically well.

Customer lifetime value

Measure the success and revenue growth of your campaigns every month by knowing your ACLV (average customer lifetime value). Know what you’re gaining from every penny spent and repeat the campaigns that draw the highest ROI.

Build an email list of your local customers

Secure the information of those who claim your offer, so you can follow up asap and book them in. Store information to build an email list of maximum-quality leads in your immediate territory to market to (for free) on an ongoing basis with future offers / events / marketing.

Now that you've had the steps overviewed, the question is... How and when are you going to execute?

The Venue Accelerator Programme

Work directly with Developing Brands to grow your venue. Complete, thorough 90 day action plan.

Read more below...

Brand positioning & design

Advanced Facebook marketing systems

Predictable, measurable long term revenue growth

If you’re a bar or local business owner interested in getting the best help possible with growing your local venue, Developing Brands are currently opening up an exclusive Venue Accelerator 90 day programme

This programme is for venue owners looking to rapidly increase their local customer acquisition by partnering with us for a 90 day action plan.

In the Venue Accelerator, we collaborate directly with you personally, to help you find your marketing angle and shape your brand presence for success by attract your ideal customers like the big brands do. 

We then find your most compelling offer to shape your marketing around. This may be achieved by reviewing the success of previous offers you’ve trialled or by digging into your competitors and online channels or congregations of your market to fully address what will work best for your brand and audience.

Keep reading below…

Developing Brands Marketing Agency Presentation

Oliver Cheetham

Marketing Director, Developing Brands

When your bar marketing angle and compelling offer is shaped to perfection, we then design your advertising material in compliance to your refined brand identity. This enables you to get your message out there with maximum leverage using Facebook Ads. Optional additional methods we consider involve such means as print marketing and more. 

During the lifespan of your campaign, we ensure you’re getting notified of every single lead via SMS message and email. This allows you to follow up with your leads immediately to secure their booking as soon as possible to maximise your campaign success in terms of people turning up to claim their offer and spend money in your venue. 

After initial campaign success, we systemise your venue marketing system to perfection based on results, feedback and metrics. This allows you to truly measure long term predictable revenue per campaign. Additionally, you have your ever increasing email list asset underway, to widen your long term revenue via email marketing. 

So if you’re a local business owner looking to truly market your venue like the best in the business, book your free strategy session right now. On this call, you’ll speak with me personally to see if your venue is a good fit for what we have to offer. There is no obligation to become a customer of ours on this call, it’s simply to discuss the above in greater detail with personalised feedback based on your particular situation, business and goals. 

With experience working with the very best brands in the hospitality space, observing this current climate and seeing so few venues promoting correctly, I wanted to bring this expertise directly to the up and coming brands out there. By working with people like you to accelerate your local marketing radically, surpass competitors and increase long term revenue predictably and down to the penny. 

So if you’re interested in learning more about the Venue Accelerator programme, book your free strategy session and I’ll see you on the call very soon.

Book your Venue Accelerator discovery call now

Discover and execute the most advanced strategies in venue promotion to drive your brand forward in your local market. Market and promote like the very best with the Venue Accelerator 90 Day Plan.

Book Your Free Discovery Call Now