In 2017, our team met at the iconic Birmingham pub, 1000 Trades, where we mulled over how to transition into a new hospitality marketing agency. We wanted to be an agency that could continuously reflect on its values and be proud of the clients it worked with and the services it delivered.
Fast forward to now, five years on. This time, we gathered in the same space for our annual conference, where the team enjoyed the first look at our new pub website build for none other than 1000 Trades, who happen to be the first client on our bespoke pub web platform, brew.web (more on this below).
With three-quarters of our clients in hospitality, our future relies on leveraging our specialism within this industry. Our ability to ride out pressure and support the sector through the pandemic makes us confident in our abilities as a hospitality marketing agency to steer our clients through the present and into the future.
So, while there was a nostalgic feel to this year’s conference, our main focus very much centred around The Future of Brew.
Our staff & working environment
Matt and Adam are supporting the entire Brew team through the current cost of living crisis and providing purpose and direction in their roles following the unprecedented change none of us could ever have imagined. Over time, our support plan is to focus on predictable and controlled growth that’s driven by our new Software as a Service (SaaS) product, brew.web.
Meanwhile, we’ll be rolling out a new project management tool in the new year, thanks to an initiative led by our lead project manager, James. The home-built system we’ve used up to now has served its purpose, but we know how transformative new systems can be, so come the new year, we’ll be switching to Streamtime. Why Streamtime? Because it’s a 21st century tool that challenges the idea that intuitive tools, such as Netflix, are taken for granted in our personal life, so why should we have to put up with unfriendly interfaces at work?
Hospitality marketing products
Our SaaS web platform, brew.web, is our brand new offering for independent pubs in the UK (we’ll be rolling it out to other areas of the hospitality sector, as well as other industries in the future, so watch this space!)
We’ve recently appointed a lead developer, Axl, to further bolster our technical team. We’re also introducing more businesses to brew.mail, our email-building tool. We created it in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and have recently onboarded the NHS onto it too.
Finally, we’ve updated our automated content system, CAPI (Content API). CAPI 2.0 is a brilliant marketing tool. It saves our clients an epic amount of time by automatically publishing news articles and triggering email newsletters to independent businesses.
Hospitality marketing services
This coming year, our marketing lead, Emm, will be firmly focusing on data-driven marketing strategies. This means less talk and more action as we focus on providing our clients with insightful reporting and real-time actions off the back of our data. Through demanding times, ROI and validation on where budgets have moved up the agenda…and rightly so. We’re also investing in TikTok content and strategy and leveraging our digital marketing specialists to provide even more social media marketing training to take hospitality marketing to the next level for our clients.
A recalibration of our design offering is also on the cards, which includes a refresh of our branding created by our lead designer, Scott. We’ve had a sneaky peak at what’s to come and love the subtle, yet impactful twist Scott has applied to our brand. Also, less snazzy, but just as important, is a look at our processes and how we collaborate across the agency with a more rigorous feedback loop. Scott’s vision for the design department is to have a ‘cohesive, collaborative and creative safe space in working towards our digital best’ – hear, hear!
Hospitality marketing trends
Trends are lovely to look at, but a bit useless unless you’re acting on them in the right way. With more drive to improve planning, we aspire to free up headspace to jump on trends, be more reactive and engage with more people. This strategy is particularly important for social media, which is (and always has been) a conversational tool.
Is headless CMS the future of websites?
We jumped on the headless CMS trend 3.5 years ago, using WordPress as our CMS and Gatsby as our preferred front-end. Our prediction for this trend was correct, and this is where website builds are going – good news for us with all this experience under our belt.
Digital marketing trends
Due to the rapid shift to online following the pandemic, consumers are turning to social to shop for pretty much everything. This has redefined the experience on TikTok, Facebook and other Meta platforms – with today’s tech-savvy consumers more responsive to social media, which is an integral component of any marketing strategy.
Search engine optimisation
In our world, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is headline news. The key takeaway for hospitality businesses is that Universal Analytics will cease to track anything from July next year, with GA4 taking its place.
What does all this mean for Brew and our clients?
The hospitality industry has faced what seemed, at times, to be insurmountable challenges over the last few years. We’ve been supporting hospitality marketing under our current branding for more than three years, and for over 12 years under our previous brand. We know how to support you through the hard times and the good with our website products and marketing services. Having a diverse, adaptable and multi-skilled team is the cherry on top.
Want to see how we could help you take your pub marketing from zero to hero? Get in touch for a friendly chat over a brew.