Welcome to Hospitality Marketing Masters, presented by Mr Yum. In this first edition, we chatted with Reiniera de Vos van Steenwijk from Gage Roads Brewing Co. Reiniera shared her insights into the industry and ways that she has seen success as a hospitality marketer.
Before we get started, let’s run through Reiniera’s background! Reiniera is Marketing & Community Engagement Manager at Gage Roads Brewing Co in Fremantle Western Australia. Prior to that, she worked in Marketing at Little Creatures and as a manager at several local venues. So, you know who to hit up if you ever need sage advice from someone who knows the west coast hospo scene through and through.
Why did you choose the hospitality industry?
To be able to create deep emotional connections between the customer and the brand is the ultimate marketing goal, and hospitality focuses on that. Hospitality falls somewhere in the middle of the product/service spectrum, and there are so many different elements to consider. No two days are the same, but the goal is always the same, to make sure your customers have a bloody good time when they come to visit.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your role today?
The ever-changing world of social media is both a challenge and an incredible tool for connecting with our customers. Authenticity is trending, and people just want to connect with their peers and with brands they believe in. It can be hard not to get sucked into using your social platforms as a promotion-focused tool. More than ever, content-based value exchange is about creating an emotional connection, in an entertaining way that puts consumer needs first. Playing in the social media space should be where your brand really gets to let its personality shine.
What podcasts make you a better marketer?
Anything about behavioural economics at the moment. Currently listing to ‘Brainy Business’ by Melina Palmer, ‘The Behavioral Economics in Marketing's Podcast’ also has some great nuggets.
Which marketing metrics are most important to you?
Engagement! Whether you’re looking at your customer retention rate/return user frequency or the likes, shares and comments on your organic socials content. A large database doesn’t mean much if people aren’t engaging with your content. I recently saw a post by Simon Sinek that said “Value is not determined by those who set the price. Value is determined by those who chose to pay it.” When people engage with your content, they’re buying into the brand and building a relationship with it.
Can you share your favourite marketing tactic for creating loyal customers?
User-generated content is a winner. Consumers are 2.4x more likely to trust user-generated content compared to that generated by brands. Not only does it help build authenticity and transparency. It’s also a great insight to see what people care enough about to share. Listening to your customers and letting them guide you will help establish loyalty.
Which channels are most effective for getting customers through the doors?
Firstly, word of mouth is hands down the most important marketing tool. In hospitality, focusing your efforts to get the local community on your side is key! Not only are they your bread and butter, the people who’ll keep coming back on a regular basis, but they will also attract tourists because everyone always wants to go where the locals go, it’s a sign that the place is good!
Last year we were the new kids on the block, everyone loves to try a new place, but people in Perth can be quick to jump on the next new venue. We took this time to really focus on developing trust with our local punters and building a solid foundation.
How do you see marketing evolving in the future?
Customer-centricity is everything. We know that mass advertising is out the window and that the closer we can get to delivering the right message, to the right people at the right time, the greater our impact will be. We have mountains of data we can use to understand our customers and help deliver exceptional experiences, but it’s crucial that we maintain trust. When people trust us with their data, it's important we’re mindful that they’ve trusted us with it and not to break that trust. I think the most important thing we can do is to find a balance between efficiency and empathy.
Which marketing project are you most proud of?
Organising, promoting, and executing our First Birthday event at Gage Roads Freo was a huge project. As a venue, Gage Roads has something for everyone, but it was a real challenge to build out a program that catered to our different customers and then be able to communicate effectively with each of them while promoting the one event. Understanding how to create, capture, deliver and communicate value to a diverse audience is often not advised, they say if you try and please everyone you end up pleasing no one, but we managed to pull it off.
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