Whether it’s the ambiance, celebrity sightings, exclusivity, cocktails or a combination of all of the above that attract consumers to nightclubs, it’s clear that the “cool factor” is a must-have for success. And one of the best ways to market a nightclub’s “cool factor” is via word-of-mouth, says David Henkes, vice president of Technomic Inc., Chicago. To do so, many operators are using guerilla marketing strategies such as boosting chatter on social media, which has become quite effective, he says. Online coupon sites such as Groupon and Living Social also can be used to attract consumers, though at smaller numbers than social media sites, says Adam Rogers, senior analyst for The Beverage Information Group, Norwalk, Conn.
Millennials are associated with social media most often, and they’re also responsible for much of the success in nightclubs, suggests Mike Ginley, partner with NextLevel Marketing, Westport, Conn. He points out that younger consumers weren’t affected as much by the economic downturn because most of them are renters, so the housing crisis didn’t affect them. As a result, they are able to spend a higher percentage of their disposable income on entertainment because they don’t have the large bills and responsibilities that consumers in their 30s and 40s have, he adds.