Category Archives: Data

3 Ways to Boost Your Marketing ROI

I get it: it’s hard to set aside your hard-earned money for marketing efforts. It seems like you’re blowing those dollars away and not knowing what you’re getting in return. But that’s the issue in and of itself; your marketing is seen as an expense instead of an investment.

Marketing used to be about blasting mass messages on channels that were expensive and nearly impossible to track. And in that case, marketing was an expense. But today, you can track nearly every marketing effort to understand what’s bringing in the most guests and the biggest spenders (both to your website and your venue). You’re able to easily see what you get in return of what you put in. This not only saves you from wasting your dollars, but helps to bring in more money than before. Even the smallest of budgets can see advantages from smart marketing.

To get your marketing numbers down to a science, you’ll need a few simple tools to help you track and analyze your efforts. What is your investment going toward? Which channels are and aren’t working for you? How do you replicate the efforts that work to get even a bigger return? You’ll be able to answer that and make sure you’re spending your money in the right places and getting the results you want.

1. Digital Referral Links

Using digital referral links is going to allow you to track all your online marketing efforts. Every channel and every staff member should have its own link to use in promotions. You can even create links for different types of posts on the same channel, including one link for your Facebook cover photo, another for an organic Facebook post, and another for a Facebook ad. As your links get used, you’ll be able to see which efforts (and which staff members) are garnering the results you want to see. We at Vēmos have referral links built into our system, so you’re able to track not only clicks on your link, but also if that click resulted in a purchase. After all, getting 1,000 impressions or clicks doesn’t mean much if it didn’t result in anyone taking the action you wanted. Now you can track both and truly understand which channels, staff, and efforts are driving the most traffic. You can then compare your cost to your return to understand your ROI.

2. Front of House Tools

Along with tracking digital efforts to drive guests through your door, it’s also important to track day-of results as well. There’s a combination of front of house tools that will allow to track every guest who walks through your door — who they are, what brought them in, what type of guest they are. It’s all important information to understand your night and to understand if your marketing played a hand at it. Use a system at your door that tracks guest list, reservation, and general admission arrival all in one. You can even set this up so you’re able to track which promotion or referrer brought a general walk-up guest. Then, over time, you’re able to compare your results to identify consistencies and become more predictable with your marketing investment.

3. Customer Database

It may not seem like a customer database is a tool needed to be successful in marketing, but it’s one of your biggest assets. Make sure all of your digital referral links and front of house tools are equipped to create an individual guest profile once that guest converts. After all, this is how you provide personalized marketing. Each guest should have a profile that shows their lifetime spend, average spend, lifetime number of check-ins, and whether they’ve checked in as a walk-up guest or a VIP guest. What tickets have they bought in the past? What are their favorite liquor types? All of this comes back to individualized data that you can use for targeted, trackable marketing. When you have this detailed of a customer database, you can use it to filter your guests into like-minded groups to send targeted messages specifically to them, tracking the open, click, and conversion rates along with that targeted message. Now you’re able to provide a complete circle of personalized service both online and in-person.

Once you have your marketing down to a science, start experimenting with your budget to get even more out of your marketing efforts. A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your budget goes into channels you know work for you, and 20% is to experiment with new channels and new audiences. This is how you continually evolve your marketing efforts and turn it into a smart investment without being afraid of wasting your marketing dollars.

4 Reasons Data is Your Venue’s MVP

We talk a lot about mixology, music, lights and ambiance in this industry. After all, this is the recipe for your party. And while all of them are important to running your venue, there’s one component that stands out as the true MVP to your entire business’ success: data.

While your party is what brings people into your venue, your data is what allows you to build ongoing success. It’s what enables you to put on more successful parties, to continue driving the right people through your door, and to boost your revenue up based on that combination.

Here’s how you can turn the data that already exists to become your most valuable player.

1. Collect information about your guests

Today’s Reality: Nearly every nightclub and bar has an estimate of how many guests walked through their door on a given night. What they don’t know is who walked through their door. They get people in, serve them, and let them walk away without knowing anything about them.

Data’s Fix: Put tools in place to track what you’re already doing. Instead of checking IDs manually, use an ID Scanner to collect important guest information (hint: you can use this to drive loyalty). Turn your paper guestlist into a digital one to collect guest contact information along with data on what time they checked in, who they checked in with, what brought them there, and any promos they used. Use a system to collect insight on your general admission walk-ins, VIP reservations, and those who bought tickets to your event. Better yet – make sure all of these areas connect into one account so you get the whole picture in one dashboard. And when you connect this system to your POS, you’re able to unearth even more valuable information.

MVP Status: Now you have a database of all your guests, including their name, contact information, how many times they’ve been to your venue, whether they’re a VIP/guest list/event/general admission customer, how much money they’ve spent, and what their most popular drink purchases are. This means you’re now able to better identify your guests, upsell them before they walk through your doors (hint: more $), and provide personalized service (so they spend more $).

2. Increase marketing results

Today’s Reality: Venues end up spending marketing dollars on mass marketing efforts (or sometimes no marketing at all), blasting vague messages to a broad range of people who may or may not be their customers. All because they don’t know who their customers are.

Data’s Fix: With the right system, you can have a complete buyer persona for all of your target customer segments, including demographic, geographic, and psychographic information. Use this to your advantage. As an example, you can segment your audience into a list of females who attend your venue on Friday nights and spend at least $100. You can then send a text message to this list with a message that’s 100% relevant to them. And that’s powerful marketing.

MVP Status: You’re no longer wasting marketing dollars on efforts that don’t convert. Instead, you’re able to drive your most loyal customers back into your venue with personal messaging, you’re able to establish a healthy mix of male and female customers, and you’re able to drive customers who haven’t visited in a while back through your doors. Better marketing results in better guests which results in bigger spending.

3. Improve Operations

Today’s Reality: Nightclubs go into each night without an accurate idea of what the night will hold. And when you don’t know how many guests will arrive for a night, it’s hard to plan and staff accordingly. VIP tables get double booked, the door gets bottlenecked, and staff aren’t communicating to solve the issues. Your guests notice this, and it hinders their experience before they even walk in your door.

Data’s Fix: Systems improve operations, provide metrics, and instill accountability. When you use a single system to sell tickets, manage VIP tables, manage your guest list, and handle general admission walk-ups, you’re able to know how many guests you can expect to arrive. This then helps you staff accordingly and plan out VIP tables. It also helps to streamline your door and optimize your lines.

MVP Status: Putting a bit of strategy and organization can help your speed of night, improve customer morale while waiting in line, and get people through your to start spending money inside your venue faster. Plus, when your door system ties to your guest database, your staff is able to treat each guest with respect and a more personalized service. This in turn means they’re more likely to enjoy themselves and want to stay (and spend more money while they’re there).

4. Know Your Business Results

Today’s Reality: Most venues don’t have the right data to get an accurate gage of how well their venue is performing. Without the right system in place to analyze this data, venues are operating blindly and wasting time and money on areas that may or may not be working.

Data’s Fix: When you use one system to track all areas, you have a clear understanding of exactly what’s happening in your venue without having to log into multiple data systems. Now, you can easily track:

  • How much money you made over a given time period
  • How many customers walked through your door over a given time period (and who they were)
  • How many table reservations you have over a given time period, and how much you earn on average
  • When your customers start buying tickets to your event
  • Which staff members are bringing in the most guests (and biggest spenders)

MVP Status: Venues we work with have seen an average uptick of 30% to their bottom line after switching to a system backed by data. That’s because they know exactly what’s working and what doesn’t, which allows them to spend their money more wisely. They also improved their operations to get their guests in the door faster to get to the bar more quickly, resulting in increased bar sales. When you have absolutely clarity on your venue’s performance, you can do even more to increase your success. Without data, you’re simply just guessing and could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

The New Normal in Customer Experience

Big brands in the restaurant and hospitality industry are jumping on what’s often known as the “Amazon model.” It’s the new normal, and it’s what your guests expect of every brand they interact with — including yours.

The Amazon model is where the brand becomes so good at anticipating and catering to customer desires that it forces other competitors to either evolve or dissolve. They know what a customer wants when the customer wants it, without the customer needing to think about it. It’s hyper-personal. It’s experience-driven. And it’s what drives your customers’ buying habits.

We at Vēmos have always believed this shift was inevitable for hospitality, and have been working with nightlife venues across the country to help them achieve this level of personalization. The venues we work with know this model isn’t limited to ecommerce, and they aren’t alone. It’s such an impactful model that McDonald’s recently shelled out $300 million for Dynamic Yield, a decision-logic company that essentially puts predictive abilities into McDonald’s drive-thru menus.


This is a big deal.

It’s a big deal for consumers. It’s a big deal for our industry. And it’s a big deal for you. We’re experiencing the biggest shift in what’s expected for hospitality experiences, and it’s important for your longevity to stay on top of this shift.

How McDonald’s is Using Tech to Fuel Customized Experiences

What started this acquisition was that McDonald’s identified they weren’t necessarily losing guests, they were seeing a drop in customer visits. They knew they needed to regain those visits, and the best way to do that is to take a page from online retailers. What online retailers have proven is that inspiring loyalty isn’t about programs and clubs. It simply comes down to catering to a specific individual’s needs. So that’s exactly what McDonald’s sought to bring into their stores.

According to QSR Magazine, “The new menuboards gives McDonald’s the chance to create a more personalized experience by varying outdoor digital drive-thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic, and trending menu items. It can instantly suggest and show additional products to a customer’s order based on their current selections.”

They tested the concept in select stores in March, and a mere 3 months later they discovered that it works. So much so that they’re beginning a mass rollout and expect it to be in 100% of US and Australia locations by the end of the year.


In those 3 months with the new menus in place, McDonald’s experienced:

  • An increase in the average check per customer
  • An increase in product upsales and menu item add-ons
  • A 6.5% increase in same-store sales – its best result in seven years
  • Consistency in providing customized experiences


  • But it wasn’t just the consumers’ experiences or their sales that were positively impacted. Their staff was as well. The order-taking process was proven to be more efficient because workers didn’t need to manually upsell guests – the tech did it for them. Their staff was faster at taking orders, faster at delivering orders, and it proved to serve as a consistent approach to customizing a guest’s experience.

    This model isn’t a passing fad. It’s now the backbone of customer service, and is becoming the expectation of your guests. We at Vēmos continue to build our system to ensure you’re equipped with the best insight to provide that personalized experience to your guests. Contact us to discover how you can leverage the data that already exists across your venue to achieve your own “Amazon model.”

    7 Ways to Run a More Productive Nightclub

    Running a successful nightclub isn’t easy. You have several different areas doing several different things, not to mention an array of staff members to account for. That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay connected, both from a personnel and an operations standpoint. When everything and everyone is connected, you’re able to run a productive, more profitable nightclub.

    Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to stay connected in today’s landscape, especially with efficient technology solutions. Here are 7 ways technology can improve your nightclub’s results.

    1. Integrate one platform that handles all areas

    There are technology platforms out there specific to the nightclub industry that streamlines operations into one centralized spot. This solution increases efficiency across the board by aggregating information from multiple sources while also uncovering key statistics about your business.

    2. Use a combination of pre-sales, upsales, and cross-sales to boost your club

    A goal of any business is to drive revenue and translate it to money in the bank. With a combination of pre-sales, upsales, and cross-sales, you’re able to not only drive revenue, but also increase the amount of revenue you’re already driving without adding any extra work to your daily operations.

    3. Partner with a digital ticketing system

    Digital ticketing platforms aren’t anything new, but the way in which you manage them is. Most third-party ticketing vendors don’t give you access to manage a ticketing page, to view sales before the event, to view data after the event, or even to collect money during the whole process. Put that power back in your hands, and work with ticketing vendors that:

    1. Give you your own event page without competing venues or advertisements from which your guests can purchase tickets
    2. Ensures payment goes directly through your own merchant services provider and into your bank account right when a guest buys a ticket online
    3. Has the ability for your promoters to sell tickets on the streets through an integrated mobile app
    4. Will give you full access to your data

    4. Manage the flow of tables and servers in one window view

    Using pen and paper or even email to manage reservations results in many errors, including double-booked tables. Instead, use a reservation management system that uses an interactive table map that displays reservations, guest information, and servers all in one window view. This streamlines your processes to make sure what’s getting marked down is true to what’s actually happening during the night, all while maximizing efficiency and accuracy.

    5. Get insight on guests to give them an even better experience

    A robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that’s tied to your point of sale and integrated into your one main platform allows you to give your guests a great experience. With your CRM system, you’re able to better identify guests in line, upsell guests before they walk through your door, provide personalized service, and improve marketing efforts. After all, nobody, especially your VIP guests, wants to be treated like a number. Tracking and understanding guest data allows you to treat every guest as a valuable guest.

    6. Review important data on how your club is performing to optimize it for future success

    The key to measuring the success of your club is by analyzing critical data – something a fully integrated technology solution can achieve. This system collects data from any area of your club, analyzes it, and presents it in easy-to-read charts in one central spot so you get a better understanding of:

    • How much money you made or lost over a given time period
    • Which days of the week are your busiest
    • What type of liquor you sell the most on a given day
    • How many tables are reserved a night
    • Which promoters are bringing in the most and best guests
    • Which servers are upselling the most and making the most tips
    • What types of promotions or events bring in the most traffic

    7. Better manage operations and employees to run the most successful club

    Continuing on the integrated system bandwagon, this same system has the capability to provide individual logins to each member of your team for them to better manage their job functionality. Plus, depending on that person’s role in your club, you get to choose what they can and can’t access, helping to keep your data more secure. Giving staff access (even if it’s limited access) to a technology solution that combines information in one spot is an effective way to get everyone on the same page and working together. This interconnectivity between operations and employees is what makes your club a well-run, highly enjoyable, and highly profitable venue.

    What is Humanized Data?

    We’ve spent the past decade watching bars and nightclubs struggle to manage their business and communicate with their customers. It was fascinating: people transformed how they interacted with businesses and brands, but hospitality venues hadn’t yet adopted to the change. Consumers had gotten accustomed to the savviness of online businesses sending recommendations based on past habits and reminders based on timing. It’s personal. It’s experience-driven. It’s humanized. And now they’re driving that change within nightlife.

    What we noticed is the gap between how venues operated and what customers expected created a void between customers and venues, and created a disconnect in business performance. But the root issue was more than just consumers adapting at a faster rate than venues could keep up with.

    The root issue was data. Not just any data. Humanized data.

    There’s data all over your venue. Your POS system, your guestlist, your reservations, website visitors, general admission guests, inventory, and even your staff are all data points that exist throughout your venue. The issue is none of it talks to each other, so all it ever exists as is raw data points that you may or may not even know you have access to.

    When you combine all your data together, you have the possibility of seeing the complete picture. Think of it as a puzzle, where each sector of your business is one puzzle piece. When combined together, you have the complete picture. That’s comprehensive data.

    The next step is to take that comprehensive data and humanize it. But what does this actually mean?

    Humanized data is data that tells a story. It provides insights into which triggers increase or decrease business performance and guest experience. It’s about turning quantitative numbers into qualitative actions.

    Let’s take your POS reports as a starting point. As an individual puzzle piece, you can pull reports and see what your total sales were for a given day and how many transactions made up those sales. But if you stop there, you’re only looking at one piece of the puzzle.

    When you combine your POS with an ID scanner, you open the door to understanding who the guests were that made up those transactions and even who the guests were that attended but didn’t buy anything. When you sync POS and ID scan with your inventory management system and your staffing system, you begin to get comprehensive data on what combination makes a night a success, and what combination makes a night a failure.

    With humanized data, you turn the raw comprehensive data points into a story. What started as 800 transactions for a total of $32,000 is now 1,000 guests from across the state — of which 66% are new and 34% are returning. Their primary age ranges are between 21-30 years old, with 26-30 being the most dense. They’re primarily male who have an average cost per transaction of $32, which was made up of 4 items. Whiskey coke rail drinks were the most popular order, particularly made with Jack Daniels. The busiest checkin time was the 11:00pm hour, more specifically at 11:45pm. But you were overstaffed from 8-11pm, causing your labor to sales ratio to ultimately hinder your profitability for the night.

    Now that’s humanized data. It’s not just numbers in a spreadsheet – it’s a wholistic story of what made up a night. It’s a buyer persona to work from. It’s insight into which triggers you can pull to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

    When you have access to this level of insight, you can start asking yourself:

  • How does my gender or age demographics affect my sales?
  • At what percentage of capacity do I start losing money?
  • What types of music brings in the most bar sales?
  • Are you more profitable during special events or regular nights?
  • The best part is, when everything is synced, it’s also tracked and measured so you can try different things and see the impact it has on your business. It’s this mentality that has allowed other industries to thrive, and it’s this level of insight that will allow you to close that gap with your customers and build a powerful business.

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