Apps And The Hospitality Industry

May 10, 2013

In the UK and particularly the UK Hospitality Industry we are very slow to adopt technology in business.

WHY!

Wherever we go now we see our potential customers using their phone, tablet or laptop to conduct their business and personal life. Recent statistics tell us that mobile web traffic rose by 403% in first 9 months of 2012, 87% of the world’s population owns a mobile phone and mobile broadband subscriptions have grown annually by 45% since 2007. Our customers are all spending more time on their smart phones doing mobile banking, shopping and socialising. People are looking for and demanding easy accessibility.

The retail industry are all encouraging us to click and collect so lets join in and reap the benefits that an app can give our businesses, such as:

  • Reducing wastage
  • Improved advanced knowledge on sales
  • Opportunity to promote other areas of business
  • Growing a database
  • Target marketing for offers
  • Happy customers
  • Income through complementary advertising
  • Knowledge of customers spending patterns

Businesses in the hospitality industry that are utilising app technology are seeing significant benefits, for instance Dominoes are seeing sales of over £1m per year via mobile and with suggestive selling are seeing average spend increases of 18%.

The App can link with social media sites, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google+ and Four Square to further promote your business.

Unlike most Apps the App system I work with allows access to the control panel for its users. This access enables menus to be updated, features can be added or removed, offers and daily deals can be promoted all whenever the business wishes to do so. It is also allows direct access to the database so it can be utilised for marketing purposes and exclusive offers together with providing information on your customers buying patterns. This App system is also totally bespoke and uniquely branded to your business. We also work and listen to all our clients to constantly develop the App for the benefit of all.

This app is appropriate for use across all aspects of the hospitality industry  from ordering your lunch at work, booking and pre-ordering in a restaurant or pub, pre-ordering food and drink for an event, ordering room service in a hotel and also for take-aways on the high street.

Imagine being a football supporter and from your seat or before you arrive at the stadium being able to order your half time food and drink. Then either have it delivered to your seat or collect from a central point

  •  No Queuing
  •  Hassle Free
  • Increase Spends
  • Invaluable Customer Information
  • Target Marketing
  • Create a loyalty scheme without the need for customers to carry around a loyalty card
  • Reduction in cash handling with in App secure payment
  • All monies go direct to your account

The same benefits apply if you operate a staff catering facility and you make your menu available on their smartphones 24/7. It allows them to create their sandwich from your deli options at a time to suit them and then at lunchtime avoid the queuing, imagine how they will feel able to do more with their lunchtime. Also if you are in the pub and restaurant sector allowing your customers to view the menu on their smartphone, even pre-order and if desired pre-pay the benefits are enormous to you. We are also a very favorable option over the bigger app operators if you operate a take away as we ensure the money goes direct to your account and set up and order rates are very competitive.

With all of this why do you not allow your customers to carry your venue and menus around in their pocket all day. Your standard website is not optimised for viewing on the small screen of a mobile phone or tablet but your Web 2.0 site will look great on a small screen and means that you are accessible to anyone with mobile internet. People will be able to view your menu, book a table and order food in advance and all this information can be sent direct to your printer, fax, computer or as a text. Also we can enable online and in-app payment direct to you.

The information that can be provided from this software will tell you how people are using your app and therefore produce more successful target marketing and launch promotions for quiet periods. It comes complete with Google Maps so customers can easily find you. It will also link with all your social media to further inform your customers and build up loyalty by offering vouchers and special offers.

If you would like to be sent a demo app for you to visualise the benefits and explore how it will appeal to your customers contact me or visit the app page on the web site http://www.guineasassociates.com/services_mobile-apps.html


USE YOUTUBE TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS

March 1, 2012

WHY HAVEN’T YOU CONSIDERED UTILISING YOUTUBE FOR BUSINESS

YouTube was founded in 2005 and it describes itself as a platform which allows billions of people to watch and share originally created videos. It provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe. YouTube is now a subsidiary of Google and has 800 million registered users and only last month it announced that it currently has four billion video views a day!!

For business YouTube can be utilised as a highly effective tool to share knowledge, market your products and connect with actual and potential customers and colleagues. It will help to build more personal relationships with your client base and it does not require a big budget, just a video camera, creativity and time to plan. Let’s highlight some of the uses for YouTube in your business:

  • Upload recordings of presentations to demonstrate public speaking skills
  • Create videos of valuable tips for your customers
  • Interview an expert
  • Record a meeting to share with employees and shareholders
  • Advertise your YouTube channel in all of your marketing materials
  • Explain your product or service
  • Utilise it as an active website
  • Introduce your team
  • Video your venue/premises

The key to ensuring that your video is a success and portrays the correct message is in the planning; do not try to short cut this as it will surely back fire on you. Your clip needs to inform, educate and entertain your audience. Prior to starting your video consider these key points:

  • Good content – ensure that you engage with your audience so they want to share the clip with their friends
  • Plan ahead – start with a clear vision of what you want to achieve and your target audience. Planning will save time and energy and ensure better content
  • Don’t think like it should be a commercial. It should be a soft sell, entertaining viewers, offering valuable information and marketing indirectly
  • It needs to be a high quality production as this will reflect on your business
  • Keep it short and precise and under two to three minutes as YouTube viewers tend to have a short attention span. Longer content can be broken down into a number of clips
  • Attracting traffic to your video works in the same way as your website so the title and summary to your video has to utilise search engine optimisation (SEO). When deciding on the title and headline ensure you select words and phrases that when potential customers are searching online the search engines decide that your video is the best match.

Once you have uploaded your video don’t just forget it invest time and energy in promoting it. You should post links to your video everywhere including your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, tweet about it, company stationery, email signature and all your marketing material.

You also need to ensure that you are achieving a return on investment and YouTube has very good analytical and demographic information so review this to check that your video is reaching the write audience and if not correct it to maximise return.

 


DO YOU BLOG FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOUR BUSINESS

February 22, 2012

Blogging is a powerful part of a business’s marketing and customer communication programme. It allows you to communicate better with stakeholders of all types fromcustomers to suppliers and from partners to employees.

A blog can be particularly beneficial in.

  •  Differentiating your business, products and services
  • Attracting prospects and developing new business opportunities
  • Promoting your business through the media and online public relations
  • Acting as a central element of your search engine marketing
  • Researching and developing new markets, products or niches
  • Developing communication channels to your market
  • It provides the opportunity for you to be seen as an expert in your field, enhancing your business reputation
  • Helping to enhance and build your visibility and brand
  • Improving internal communication

From the above you can see that blogging is an effective business tool and also is very cost effective as well.

A typical blog combines text, images and links to other blogs or websites. The modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people keep a running account of their lives. There are approximately 200 million public blogs in existence and it can be another free means of marketing your business.

How do you get started? There are a number of blogging platforms that will host your blogging site for free or you can opt to pay. I opted for the free options and utilise Blogger.com, part of the Google Empire and WordPress.com. Both of these sites provide you with a selection of free templates and your own address, i.e. http://www.davidholt1.wordpress.com. There is no requirement for any technical expertise, no web designer required, to write a blog, your pages are added through a Windows type interface. All of your blog posts have their own individual address for ever so that you can refer and direct people to them in articles, emails, newsletters etc.

Once you have decided on which blog platform to host your blogs it is very simple, just enter your details where it states create an account and then you can start blogging by adding words, videos and pictures. When you have finished your blog, you can opt for allowing people to comment or not, preview your work and then when you are ready hit publish and it is live. With hosted blog platforms they go onto domains that already have good page rankings, so your blog gets picked up and ranked very quickly by the search engines. Your blog should not be one long sales pitch, your aim should be to focus on helping others, so if you are a catering establishment provide your readers with new recipes and if you sell wine provide your readers information on the different types of grapes and backgrounds to a wine of the month. When writing your blog, you should remember your first audience is the search engines, so mention your subject as often as possible in the first paragraph as this will help your search engine rankings. You should be personal in your blog as blogging is informal by nature, so there is no requirement for a poetic master piece, but be aware that the biggest fear of business blogging is someone will judge your business on a misspelt word or grammatical error.

 


Customers Maintaining Existing Ones and Winning New Ones

October 17, 2011

The cost of getting new customers is a big cost and also you need to allocate time and resource to do this all of which can be better utilised in more effective ways. How do we keep our customers, there are a number of key things we need to consider.

COMMUNICATION
Ensure you maintain regular communication with your customers and the most effective way of doing this is by email. Firstly we need to ensure that we capture all our customers email addresses and then when we email them ensure it is personal to them, you know how you feel when you receive a personalised email. This regular email does not always have to sell them something just keep them informed of what’s happening, so that when they do want to use your service or buy one of your products you are at the forefront of their mind.

PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Look at the products and services you offer and build up additional products and services to offer your customers. If you don’t have any products or services further to offer look at companies in a similar market place and set up a joint venture to extend your offer to these existing companies remember there is more profit from a relationship with an existing customer.

MARKETING
All forms of communication with your customers, be it websites, correspondence, emails, advertising, menus or price lists reflect on your business so regularly take a ruthless look at these and ensure they are portraying the correct image. Ensure in all your marketing material you focus on the benefits to your customers, not the features of the company, tell them how you can add value to them. The majority of our customers are coming to us via the internet so use this and your emarketing effectively, ensuring that you use the opportunities to capture email addresses. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is by offering something free. We should all look at turning our businesses into multi level marketing machines. Advertising is very expensive and not as effective as the marketing tools we all have already at our fingertips. We can also capture further customer information by asking them what they think of our services in the form of customer satisfaction questionnaires and when we receive this feedback we should always take all comments on board in our journey to improve quality and exceed customer expectations.

STAFF
The people who most represent our business in focusing on the customer are our staff and used correctly they can add significant value, so keep them informed and involve them, they can be a source of valuable information. Look at their communication methods and skills and ensure like your marketing material they are portraying a positive method.


%d bloggers like this: