Up until this weekend, with the weather we have been having in the UK recently, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’re about to read a blog article about the negative effects on the hospitality industry of too many rainy days! However, the plan for my focus here in Carole’s blog is marketing – often digital marketing and social media certainly not topics related to the lamentable position, for the second year running, of the jet stream.
The reference to foot attire does have a social media connection because on Friday I attended the National Hotel Marketing Conference, at the fabulous and recently opened Hilton St George’s Park near Burton-on-Trent where, among an excellent line-up of speakers, Miranda Ballard of muddybootsfoods.co.uk held the attention of a room full of hoteliers. Miranda was talking about her own business of course – Muddy Boots Real Foods Ltd, a recent and exciting entrant in the burger market delivering ethically produced British food – but her main theme was the value of social media within her communications strategy and plan.
“The party is happening, don’t wait for the invitation” was her message to the assembled hotel sales and marketing practitioners. Citing the fact that she knows her own customers are using social media and that they feel comfortable there, she urged any reluctant observers sitting on the fence to abandon any concerns and embrace the new media to engage, not only with existing and potential customers, but also with journalists and the wider business community. Take a look at @MuddyBootsFoods on Twitter and you can see how this company has embraced social media to best effect and clearly, from Miranda’s talk, the benefits are being measured and the successes repeated. Miranda clearly recognises the change in marketing perspectives, the original concept of pushing out a marketing message in order to attract an audience has been superseded by tools and techniques which enable us to engage with our customers on a 1:1 basis taking us back to the market trader’s original roots and styles when customers were known, recognised and acknowledged. And rather than “push” out the messages, these new online tools enable you “pull” your consumers into your website which, with over 1,000 views in one month, is just what Miranda’s latest YouTube hosted “silly video” is doing for her new and innovative company!
Miranda certainly understands the potential for her business of online marketing and she shared many tips in her short talk at last week’s conference; if you’d like to find out how online marketing tools could help your hospitality business please email me for a no obligation chat. If you were hoping for tips on how to clean up after guests arriving with Muddy Boots – I hope you weren’t too disappointed and enjoy viewing Miranda’s “silly videos”.