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Marketing 101

Who wants natasha’s bidnesz?

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With more and more nightlife spots coming on line each month, positioning your restaurant with effective marketing tools will be imperative to keep up with the competition and to keep us hipsters interested.

Otherwise, you’ll be left in the dust, which I’m sadly starting to see when I’m out on the town.

So, dear students, gather round and take your seats for this marketing session from the Natasha College of Nightlife Knowledge.

Rule No. 1: Figure out what your value proposition is that differentiates you from everyone else, and market the crap out of that. Good food and good service is in no way enough — you’ve GOT to have something that makes your establishment special. It could be the best margarita, the best specialty cuisine, or even the coziest seats.

Rule No. 2: A good Web presence is a must. Web sites are a great way to set the tone for whatever the experience in your establishment is like. You also want to make sure that your Web site pops up first when Googled.

Encourage your patrons to sign up for mailing lists that you’ll manage so you can stay in contact with your fans on a regular basis with e-mails and direct mail pieces regarding upcoming events or announcements.

Rule No. 3: Speaking of events — HAVE THEM! Follow the lead of entrepreneurial establishments such as Monsoon Room with its Equinox parties, regular wine tastings at Pour at Four and Vin Grotto, the IPA Fest at the Parkway, and the St. Practice Day parties at Doyle’s. But remember: The goal of every event is to add and create dedicated patrons.

Rule No. 4: Work on building relationships with any and all of the merchants in your area to figure out if there’s a way to do any sort of joint marketing.

Rule No. 5: Plaster flyers or postcards about your establishment anywhere you can.

Rule No. 6: Target your discounts to specific audiences. If there are major employers in your area, offer their employees some sort of discount or freebie if they show their badge or business card. The same could go for college students and military in our area.

Rule No. 7: Be sure to send a marketing piece to all of the apartment, condo and home dwellers in your immediate vicinity.

But most of all be creative! We’re up for just about anything here in Tacoma, and the more creative you are with your ambiance, eats, and treats, the deeper we will fall in love with you.

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