60 seconds with...Lesley Mcilroy, UK Marketing Director at Social Entertainment Ventures

What has been the most successful marketing platform you have used to communicate with your customers since reopening after lockdown?

We have definitely resorted to our digital platforms to communicate with our customers. We regularly email our database with bespoke communications depending on their visit patterns. We have also been utilising our social platforms with both organic and paid content aimed at both past and potential customers. In venue we have made the most of our TV screens to share information and reasons to re-book as we are trying to keep printed collateral to a minimum. 

What new innovations have you delivered recently and how have you promoted them? 

We have tried to be quick to react to the changes both in terms of legislation and also in terms of customer behaviour. This has meant reduced opening hours, less printed POS and safety conscious processes to protect both customers and our staff. The great thing about Bounce is that our customers couldn’t wait to come and see us again after lockdown so our marketing strategy has been based on brand awareness to let people know we are open, and they can visit us. We already had an order and pay app, so it was simple for us to remove our printed menus and direct customers to this when they need to place an order. We were also already working with Wireless Social, so it was easy to implement the track and trace solution they had (before the NHS app was ready). 

Have you used any new digital marketing techniques or Apps to support your business and have they been successful?


We have a partnership with Wi5 who provide our order and pay solution, so we increased how we direct our guests to it (QR codes on the tables and landing page once you complete the Wi-Fi sign up form). The other main digital tool we use to proactively drive visit patterns is our CRM system. By creating a single customer view, we are able to understand who our customers are and how frequently they visit us. We have now implemented a selection of triggered emails to go to them depending on this information with the aim to encourage them to visit us more frequently.

 What changes have you seen in customer behaviour?

Our customers are resilient, as they are a younger demographic who are still keen to enjoy activity outside of their homes, safely. The biggest change is group sizes, we are seeing a lot more twos visiting whereas before we would see much larger groups. We are also seeing fewer corporate clients which is to be expected given the focus on working from home. 


What do you expect the main challenges to be in next 6 months and how will you have to adapt your marketing strategy?

The main challenge is definitely keeping up with the changes in legislation and what they mean for our business. In order to implement an effective marketing strategy, you need the time to plan which has proved tricky lately. Once we have clarity on what restrictions there are and the time, they will be applicable we can adapt our approach to adhere with that. At the moment we have an Early Serve Saver live which is aimed to drive small groups in during quiet periods and also to provide great value for money to encourage people in the same household to come out and spend their evening with us. 

One positive you take away from this year and hopes for the future? 

It has got to be the love our customers have for the Bounce brand. Our booking rates have been really positive and our engagement on social media is in growth, so we are just really looking forward to the future when we can safely welcome all of our customers back. There are lots of exciting things on the horizon for Bounce, we are doing a brand refresh, launching a new website and also looking at some exciting new technology in venue to make the customer experience even more exciting!


Date Published: 29th October 2020