Bar Marketing Proposal


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A marketing proposal I presented to a local bar.

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Bar Marketing Proposal

  1. 1. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide The Starlight’s diversity includes distinguishing itself from the myriad other bars in Ellensburg in several ways. The Starlight borrows assets of the bartenders, servers and the culinary talents of the kitchen staff that none of the town’s other bars can offer. Our service levels are unparalleled, and are a huge factor in guests returning to enjoy our food and beverage offerings. Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008
  2. 2. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide 2008 Vision First and foremost, any successful endeavor should begin with a vision. The goal of The Starlight should be: “To become the number one bar, restaurant and nightly spot for both college students and locals in Ellensburg, WA by providing the highest quality service and most exciting atmosphere in town.” In order for this to occur the entire staff needs to share in the vision of what The Starlight can potentially evolve into. In order to get everyone on the same sheet of music weekly or monthly Vision Sessions should be held. Initially, these sessions would aid in gathering information and ideas for how to jump start falling business. This would be a good time to discuss the target clientele, organizational values and direction. In the future, these sessions would be held to discuss upcoming events and happenings around town as well as any additional ideas people may have. These would be great strategy sessions to keep abreast of what is happening at CWU and around town allowing the team to foreshadow any opportunities that may be up-coming and adjust for any concerns. This also involves the staff, endears them to The Starlight and utilizes more resources than simply using management brainpower; More Brains = More Ideas. 2 Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008
  3. 3. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide 2008 Demographic The demographic for The Starlight is multifaceted: 1. CWU Students - There is a huge draw of patronage from the college however this ebbs and flows with whether or not school is in session or in break. a. Central Washington University has announced record enrollment for freshmen entering the university this fall. The incoming class of 1,554 freshmen is nearly a 5 percent increase over fall 2007. Total full-time equivalent enrollment at CWU for fall term has topped 9,600 students, compared to 9,477 last fall, for an increase of 1.5 percent. It is anticipated that the annualized full time equivalent enrollment will be 1.2 percent higher than last year. – Source CWU Website October 8, 2008 2. Locals - There is a decent sized local population (approximately 16,000) that frequents the bar but is often put off because of the college crowd. 3. Highway Patrons – Not being directly off I-90 does not mean that people do not find their way into town and this could be an additional source of revenue if exploited properly. Because of the depth of the demographic, unique and ever changing strategies should be employed to gain and continue to service consistent business levels. This means developing a strategy for each of the aforementioned categories and being prepared to adapt. Therefore, this proposal outlines ways to access each of these demographics in order to fully optimize scope in each category. 3 Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008
  4. 4. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide 2008 Promotion CWU Students Demographic Reaching out to the university crowd is not as difficult as it may seem. Youth today is highly mobile and technologically advanced like no other time in the nation’s history. To grasp the attention of the CWU Student Demographic one need only utilize the same methods of communication the students themselves access. Therefore, I recommend the following: In a college town especially, where students are always online, a professional, flashy, and content-filled website is a must. In addition, The Starlight must continue and maximize advertisement on Facebook and MySpace, two extremely popular social networking websites, which will prove to be low-cost, and provide highly effective coup against the competition.  MySpace and Facebook + Website o Being in a college town means you HAVE to have a presence on Facebook and MySpace. This presence does not just mean a onetime shot; it needs to be monitored and updated regularly. The sites are currently very vanilla and showcase no direct employable marketing.  Calendar should show what is upcoming  “Friends” on these sites can be mass emailed about events  Local music can be featured on the sites which brings notoriety to The Starlight vicariously through their fan base o Website – The website should lend to The Starlight’s popularity; the site should be constantly updated with media, including movies, pictures, sound clips, and news.  Radio Advertising – 88.1 The Burg o The Starlight should team with a radio station, 88.1 The Burg, which is expanding and needs a venue to base promotional events. The radio station is continuing to flourish in part due to the growth of the student base, and The Starlight would naturally benefit from that success  Work the door differently and make sure there is a line out front. o This may seem counterintuitive but if there is a line there is a draw. People see the line outside of The Starlight and say “that must be the place to be,” as long as the line is not too long because the colder weather presently will make this unpleasant. However, 4 Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008
  5. 5. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide 2008 there is the heater outside and the wait should be less than 10 minutes or so due to normal flow in and out of the bar o This also ties into “Word of Mouth” advertising. Everyone will be talking about the line and generate mystery and excitement on campus  Flyers on cars out front of the Starlight that look like parking tickets displaying specials, upcoming events and even some food promo items (they WILL get read and it WILL work)  Flair o Nothing draws the 21 to 30 crowd more than an exciting action packed side show. Having the bartenders trained in flair would add an additional element of fun and draw crowds o John Arney is a great resource for this and is a pleasure to watch build drinks o Additionally, the bars are perfectly set up for flair because of their width and height o Flair also makes the bartenders more proficient and faster o See the reference section for Flairbourne which is a bartender/flair training academy that also does consulting  “Unders” - CALCULATED RISK TAKING o Other bars in the city of Ellensburg have made the mistake of excluding the under- 21 crowd. Recall current college days where freshmen and upperclassmen are always commingling, and including the 18 and older crowd is crucial to the success of a college bar. This means increased risk of underage drinking, so heightened awareness and security (including specialized or increased bouncers) is required, but the pay-off can be tremendous in actual patronage and retention of these ‘unders’ throughout their college careers o This solidifies The Starlight in these ‘unders’ eyes and makes them established patrons. Calculated risk taking, or innovation, is a recipe for distinction in Ellensburg, which is why The Starlight can be the venue for many firsts, including hosting yearly regional competitions, having house DJs go live with the local radio station, and hosting tailgate parties in the parking lot with local vendors and military members, as well as offering games for guests and patrons  Dinner with the Speaker o Because CWU gets some amazing guest speakers for the students there is an outstanding opportunity to utilize this as a source of event planning. The Starlight could host a special dinner with the speaker and sell a plate charge for the honor of eating and talking with these distinguished people 5 Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008
  6. 6. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide 2008  DIFFERENT NIGHTLY THEMES “The first key to customer retention and success for a bar in a college town is the willingness to adapt to the ever-changing and growing tastes of clientele that rotate every four years.” - Bryan Kay, F&B Director Blacksburg, VA near Virginia Tech. Each night of the week at The Starlight represents the opportunity to draw a crowd, and a different theme each night appeals to a variety of young bar goers, including:  A sports night (Mondays in the fall)  An additional TV in the back bar would allow The Starlight to be a cozy venue for Sunday and Monday night football games.  Joe could be a local “celebrity” and talk about his work in the NFL and upcoming tryouts  An open mic or Battle of the Bands night on Tuesdays or Saturdays (live music aficionados and would-be rock stars are in full attendance)  This could be a multi-week function to build up to a winner of the battle  Beneficial because of the crowd bands draw on their own accord due to followers and groupies  Shannon has a great deal of ties to bands in the area and is a great resource for this  Comedy Club on Wednesdays (attracting the young and older crowd from all over Central Washington)  This was tried by Lilly’s and executed poorly. There are a couple of rotating comedy tours that come through Ellensburg that could be tapped into like Heffron Talent (see Appendix for information)  College Night on Thursdays (a dance club scene with live broadcasts through 88.1 The Burg)  Preparation could begin the after the dining area closes.  Two different dance floors in the back bar and front bar. (i.e. Rock and Rap)  Full Band Fridays (hosting local, regional, and national bands), and Sin-sational Saturdays, a dance club night similar to Thursdays, but geared more to pop, Top 40, and requests  Utilization of Restaurant area could be processed by staff and bouncers to accommodate 6 Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008
  7. 7. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide 2008  OTHER SPECIALIZED NIGHTLY IDEAS  Build Your Own Martini Night  Give guests an alcohol of choice and let them experiment with a buffet style setting for making their own tasty adult beverages  Hometown Night  The geographic diversity of people because of CWU is an untapped resource. People from different hometowns from the West Side to Yakima team up and the town that draws the most people wins a prize  Traffic Light Party  This is a bit like speed dating. Everyone in the club has a different colored sticker: Red = Taken Yellow = Might think about it Green = Single  The idea is for single people to find out who is single by looking at the badges and making chatting it up easier  Toga Party Night  National Lampoon Style ideology  Naughty School Girl Night  Good clean fun and if you get the girls in the guys will surely follow  Dress to Impress Night  Make upscale dress mandatory  Many of the locals and college women already dress up to come out to the bars so this would tie into this already happening occurrence 7 Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008
  8. 8. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide 2008 Locals Demographic The locals that live in Ellensburg year-round are a great source of income during the times that the CWU Student Demographic is away during breaks. This means that methods to obtain and grow their business would be quite a bit different than those used to attract the college students.  NEW Style – Promote this with the papers and all local media  Buy the Daily Record reporter dinner and drinks; win him/her over  NEW is exciting, discuss the NEW menu items, the NEW wine list, the NEW venues for any of the Nightly Themes  A Grand Re-Opening might be a good way to build on the NEW image  Wine Introduction o The wine list should be revamped to pair with the current menu offering o Monthly Wine Previews / Wine Tastings  Because of our unique location in the wine capital of Washington and arguably the Northwest we could Different Wines from Different Wineries and host and open house  In addition, we could bring in a local chef that prepares cuisine that marries with the wine of the month o Jane is an excellent resource for this because of her wine expertise and background  Beer of the Month o The Starlight could work with beer vendors and the Ironhorse Brewery to showcase unique beers o We could offer a sample platter to try different beers in small rocks glasses and label each of them for guest reference o Derrick recommended this during a discussion we had and is a wealth of information of the variety of beers available  Guest List – VIP Room o Having a guest list or having the back bar be an exclusive place for locals might be an appealing idea o We could offer more top shelf scotches and other alcohol to add to the atmosphere  Local Night o Offer a night of the week specifically geared toward locals  Karaoke Night o Small towns love karaoke and the locals would be attracted to an additional venue o There could be contests for best singers and The Starlight could get on the circuit for national competitions  Casino Night 8 Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008
  9. 9. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide 2008 o This can be a great venue for locals and a wonderful attraction o There can be competitions and championships with prizes for the winner  Free Dinner with a Vehicle Purchase o The Starlight could offer dinner for two with the purchase of a new car o Car dealerships are always looking for ways to promote vehicle sales and would even purchase the dinners themselves or a portion thereof  CWU Staff o The local population that works at the university cannot be overlooked. Involvement with the community earns The Starlight built-in advertising with local residents as well as the University staff o If not already occurring, the management staff should attend Chamber of Commerce functions, CWU Athletics functions, and Town Council meetings o Maybe sponsor a spot for The Starlight in Tomlinson Stadium o Have catered events for the University and football team, and in general, maintain relationships with department heads, coaches, and decision makers. This relationship extends to student groups, sororities, fraternities, and professional groups, as well as athletic teams. The Starlight has gained a reputation as a place where you can regularly see members of both the football and basketball teams, who are widely regarded as celebrities in this town Highway Patrons Grabbing the frequent travelers of I-90 can be daunting and somewhat foreboding. But if there is effective outreach these patrons, which travel mainly in summer, can be a great offset to the lack of business found during the large Summer Break for CWU.  “See the Town” Vouchers o Work out a deal with the hotels in town to offer discounted food and/or drinks while they stay  Dinner, Drinks and Movie o Work with the local cinema to offer dinner and a movie specials for out of towners  Advertise in the travel magazines found at rest stops offering a percentage discount for travelers 9 Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008
  10. 10. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide 2008 Conclusions A lot of bars and restaurants end up resigning themselves to being an amenity as opposed to a profit center. The Starlight is positioned uniquely to capitalize on the varied opportunities in the city of Ellensburg with respect to its rich and diverse population. Utilizing the talents of all of the members of the staff and focusing on a vision of what The Starlight can become will ensure that The Starlight is a continued and growing success in the future. Making use of strategies and embracing adaptability will be the strong points of this ideology. 10 Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008
  11. 11. The Starlight Marketing Strategy Guide 2008 References Allen, Ashley. quot;College Town Marketing.quot; F & B (2006): 45-51. City Data. Ellensburg, WA. 8 July 2008. 20 November 2008 < Washington.html>. Melton, Chad. Consulting and FLair John McEntyre. 20 November 2008. Tainted Humor. Heffron Talent. 3 November 2008. 20 November 2008 <>. Tullos, Charlotte. High-Demand Programs, Facilities Generate Record CWU Enrollment. 08 October 2008. 18 November 2008 <>. 11 Prepared by and Property of John W. McEntyre 11/22/2008