Every now and then I book a cottage in the country and head off for a self-imposed, unplugged, mini-retreat. It usually involves lots of walks, reading, writing and a 1,000 piece jigsaw. Rock and roll.
I’ve been to the same place the last two times, and want to share this simple but smart content marketing story that the local pub uses to make customers spend more money with them.
The pub is called The Gun, near Heathfield in East Sussex. As you open the first door, you enter a little porch with this on the wall:
And beneath this are placeholders with 10 different printed booklets:
Each booklet provides instructions for a country walk. Varying in length and style – from forest to bridleway to countryside paths. It’s a great idea: a country pub promoting country walks.
But the really clever thing is that they are all circular routes. And each of the 10 walks…
Starts and ends at the pub
And what do you do after a 3-6 mile country walk? Well, if you’re British you usually stop for a drink and a bite to eat somewhere. That’s what I did.
Talking to the barman, he said how people would come in in the morning, browse the walks, take a leaflet and then book a table for lunch for their return.
This is a fantastic and low-cost idea for turning prospects into ideal customers. making them literally work up a hunger and thirst for what the business has to offer. I also love that even though this creates value for the business, the content delivers value to the customer. It’s been created by really understanding their customers: people who enjoy the countryside, people who are perhaps staying locally and don’t know the area. People who like to walk, but aren’t serious enough to have plotted out their own routes.
This pub is very tapped into delivering a great experience to the customer. The barman also told me that the first thing the latest manager did when he started was sit in every seat in the pub and restaurant. At first the other staff didn’t understand what he was doing but then they realised: he wanted to see his business as every possible customer would.
That level of dedication to the customer perspective serves them well, and during my stay, I went there several times, and it was always busy.
How can your content create a need for you to fill?
Rather than promote their food and drink with leaflets, the pub is encouraging people to go through a process that makes them an even better fit as a customer. Is there are way you can do the same with your customer?
Currently I’m in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to speak at a conference for property managers. Their ideal clients are people who are looking to rent out a property, and as a growth conference run by some very smart marketers at Fourandhalf and Lead simple, many of the attendees are creating this type of content. They’re taking a step back and providing information and education about how to get a property ready to rent. Not pushing their service, not mentioning property management, but providing value (and ultimately guiding prospects to them). Talking to the business owners here, this is working really well to generate leads.
Think about your own customer, where are they 1 or 2 steps before they’re ready to do business with you? Can you create an ebook, or blog series, or even booklets like this pub, that will take them through a process so that they are in a position that makes them need you even more?
I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts in the comments below!
David Frosdick says
Right that’s it. My next English pub lunch planned! I love finding real life examples of good marketing. I think some businesses do this really well without even knowing what they doing.
Amy Harrison says
Every now and then you meet those business owners that just love what they do AND their customers. You can tell when they’re fizzing with ideas that they think people will enjoy. My local pub puts on free coaches (and there’s usually 2 or 3!) for anyone who wants to go to the Albion home matches. Genius – coach loads of people who start at the pub and end at the pub…
Tom Andrews says
Amazing example of content marketing. It’s great to see a pub think beyond “Here’s our menu, now come and order!”
In today’s day and age, there’s more competition than ever before. Heck, a LOT more. And even though I’m at heart a direct-response guy, the tide is changing to the point where content marketing is vital.
In fact, if you’re not constantly giving away free value to your market, then you’ve lost.
Because people will simply pack up their bags and leave you for “Joe Bloggs” who IS giving them a ton of free value.
There’s a reason people like Gary Vaynerchuk are crushing it; he knows the importance of putting out great content on the regular.
Great article Amy, and thanks for using a real-world example instead of just theory like so many bloggers do.
Amy Harrison says
Thanks for your comment Tom. I love it when a business really tries to get inside the head of their customer, instead of simply showing up. With increasing competition, businesses must try harder than that. And the ones that truly get it, (the ones who truly want to serve their customers) are the ones that will be around for many more years. I’ve got another great example from my new dentist that I’ll be publishing shortly… Simple but effective. 🙂
Sure wish you would do another podcast.
Amy Harrison says
I will I promise!