Last week marked the 31st Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, and it did not disappoint. With thousands of nightclub and bar professionals, the show was packed with interactive workshops, informative breakout sessions, invaluable super sessions and keynotes, and networking events/industry parties.

Our marketing director, Whitney Johnson, hosted one of those informative breakout sessions, titled “5 Marketing Tools to Boost ROI.” The session drew a full crowd and focused on teaching attendees the importance of marketing strategy and how to use marketing tools to reach the right audience.

In case you missed it, here are a few of the highlights of her session.


Part 1: Why We’re Having this Conversation

•  The legacy of marketing is in the 4 P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. It was all about understanding and building a product, putting a price to that product, finding a place to market it and then, in turn, promoting the awareness of its existence. But as time evolved, so did the 4 P’s, especially “Place.”

•  The evolution is a result of the tech revolution – the biggest marketing shift that happened in our lifetime. Technology came in and disrupted everything we knew about business, including how we communicate, how we work, who we work with, and how we interact with customers. It’s changed end users and customers expectations of companies, and it forced businesses of all kinds reevaluate how they work. Consumers have been quick to adopt, and they have high demands and high expectations of businesses. However, businesses — including nightclubs and bars — haven’t been quick to adopt and aren’t meeting their demands. And if you’re not continuously keeping up with your customers, you’re vulnerable.

•  Don’t get phased out by your customers. Learn how to become digital and appease their demands. With today’s technological advancements, you get to have two-way conversations with your audience, and you get to provide them an optimized experience at your venue. It’s no longer a one-way communication street — it’s now all about providing meaningful messages and experiences in channels where they already are.


Part 2: Marketing Keys to Success

There’s a marketing foundation that needs to be established before any marketing can begin. Without this foundation, you’re throwing noodles at a wall and hoping something sticks. And then when it does stick, you’re not really sure what you did to get it to stick in the first place, so it’s hard to repeat.

Instead, follow these 5 steps to set up your foundation:


•  Step 1: Know your audience. Your audience is the number one component of your venue. Without customers, you don’t have a business. You need to get down to the nitty gritty t truly know who your customers are, including their demographic, geographic, and psychographic information. Read more about knowing your audience here.

•  Step 2: Define your objectives and goals. Your objectives are what you’re seeking to accomplish; what you want as a result of your marketing. Typically marketing objectives align with overall business objectives. Goals are a bit different than objectives because they are the end result of what you’re doing. With goals, remember that they always need to have a quantifiable number by a designated time.

•  Step 3: Be consistent. On average, it takes 7 touch points for a buyer to make purchase decision. You should use multiple channels to hit customers in meaningful ways, but the only effective way to do this is by being consistent in your messaging and branding. This is what allows you to be impactful and connect with your audience on an emotional level.

•  Step 4: Provide the experience you’re promising. Theses what your customers are really seeking, and this is what you led them to believe. If your messaging and branding is all about luxury, then you better deliver luxury when they get to your doors. Make sure everything is aligned — that your strategy is in place, your objectives are defined, your brand is consistently presented, and your messaging is promising a realistic experience.

•  Step 5: Measure. Did you hit your goals and objectives? What worked and what didn’t work? Repeat the things that did, and table the ones that didn’t. There are going to be things that didn’t work, and that’s ok. Failure is a part of any business initiative. Give yourself some room in your marketing budget and efforts to experiment and fail, and allow yourself to pivot quickly.


Part 3: Putting it Together with Tools

Tool 1: CRM System/Segmentation

•  A CRM system is your biggest marketing asset. Use one to collect information on all of your guests, whether they’re VIPs, guestlist, general admission, or ticket buyers. Every person who walks through your door should be accounted for. There’re your customer after all, and you should be able to reach back out to them. The best way to do that is by getting their info in your CRM system so you can reach back out to them later.
•  If you use a guest list at your venue, put a form on your website where people can add themselves. Same thing for VIP tables and tickets. Get people to add themselves or purchase tickets ahead of time. Consumers are conditioned to fill out forms and provide information for online transactions. If you have promoters, have them enter information from a mobile app so it syncs to your database. This allows them to turn into mobile box office.

Tool 2: Email/Text Message Marketing

•  When you have your database in your CRM system, you’re able to use that list to do segmentation. This means rather than doing a mass marketing approach with one message for everyone, your’e able to do micro-marketing, or marketing for the individual. Email and text messages are the best way to send direct one-on-one messaging. Use different campaigns for different messages for different audiences — this allows your messages to be 100% relevant to the people you’re targeting.

Tool 3: Social Media

•  Build your social media presence on the channels that make the most sense to your business. Then, use the advertising tools within each social channel to target your audience. You can either upload your segmented lists from your CRM system, or you can create new segmented lists within the ad manager platform. Segmentation and targeted messages are your keys to success with social media. Couple this with a powerful image and a strong call to action, and you’re on your way to seeing a strong marketing ROI.

Tool 4: Live Streaming

•  Live streaming became a big deal last year, and it’s only going to get more advanced and useful as it continues – especially in the entertainment industry. Show you customers what’s going on at your venue in real-time. Use Periscope to live stream on Twitter. Use Live Stream on Facebook to show real-time videos of your venue. After all, Facebook noted that since its introduced Live Stream that people tune into live videos three times longer than non-live videos.

Tool 5: Affiliate Links

Affiliate links are a specific URL that contains the affiliate’s ID or username. This is what allows you to track which of your marketing efforts are truly working for you. You can also use affiliate links to track your staff and promoter results. Vēmos automates the affiliate link processes, so that you can track within your dashboard which marketing channels and which staff members are bringing in not only the mosts guests, but the best guests. This in turn allows you to understand how your venue is performing and what effort are actually working for you.


Contact Vēmos today to see how we can help you with these tools to boost your own ROI.

View the slides:

NCB Show 2016 – 5 Marketing Tools to Boost ROI from Whitney Johnson


Whitney Larson is the president and director of marketing at Vēmos. Contact her at or through the contact form below.