“Why don’t you?”…..just go to the pub.

There is a strange irony about running a website that really wants to get people off the internet and to go to the pub instead.

I sometimes describe useyourlocal.com as a bit like a modern day “Why Don’t You?”. You remember, the 1980’s BBC children’s cult classic TV series. The one that asked you in its opening credits to “Just switch off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead.”

Back in the early noughties I attended numerous meetings, conferences and industry seminars. The chat at many of these was often centred around the rising threat of the internet to the Great British pub. People were spending more time on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or Friends Reunited. Gone were the days of meeting mates at the corner shop, in town, or God forbid, in the local pub. We were at the dawn of a new age of social interaction. We were to survive on a diet of 800 “Friends”, all thousands of miles apart. Location would be no barrier, we could Skpe them, Facetime them or even Hangout online. The need for actual physical contact was just something that our parents used to do. How quaint. The pub was dead. Its only purpose would be to host the countless leaving do’s of the ever decreasing numbers of industry employees.

Unsurprisingly, at useyourlocal.com, we hold a different view. We’ve set out our stall to use the internet to help pubs. We’ve turned the very thing that our industry was scared of back then into something they can use collectively to their advantage today. We use the online world to help people find great pubs, hear about fantastic offers, discover new drinks and to be the first to know what’s going on in and around the pubs and bars they love.

We’re betting that people do want to spend less time in the virtual world and more time in the real one. We just make it easier for everyone by feeding people with a constant supply of opportunities to gorge themselves on a diet of the very thing they crave, real world social and physical interaction. So, once you’ve joined us, we’ll do all the hard work for you and let you know where and when you can get your fix.

No one will be happier than us when you eventually leave our site and, “….just switch off your mobile phone and go to the pub instead.”

Here’s to the Great British pub, the original social network.

We love Nailing pubs

Some time ago we introduced Google Streetview to those pubs’ pages on useyourlocal.com where we didn’t have a photo. Nothing too new about that, I know. However, this gave us an immediate problem. The Streetview image would often be some distance from the pub, sometimes looking at a hedge or at the back of a bus. How annoying.

That’s why we can up with “Nail it!”. Anyone can now navigate using Streetview on our desktop site, find the pub, centre it nicely in the middle and “Nail it!’. The next time anyone then goes to that pub’s page they see the pub instead of the hedge. Sorted.

The only problem is that we’re now addicted to it. Try it, you’ll see what we mean.

You have been warned.

Perfect Pints from Peterborough to Portofino!

The business of building draught led beer and cider brands is uniquely challenging. Those lucky fellows at Apple just have to build a great product, market it and then sell it. Simple. Whether their consumers buy their iPhone 6S from Carphone or Vodafone doesn’t really matter. They get the same quality product, beautifully packaged and delivered, every single time.

Buying a pint of Foster’s from The Red Lion or The Queen’s Head is a different matter altogether. Wrong glass, dirty glass. Too warm, too cold. Looks awful, tastes awful. Too flat, too fizzy. There are literally hundreds of things that can go wrong between keg and lips. All those hundreds of millions of pounds spent on marketing can look pretty foolish, pretty quickly.

That’s why we’re working with Heineken in 9 countries across Western Europe to deliver every single one of their 10,000 employees a simple and effective mobile tool that allows them to easily score the quality of their drinks in each and every one of over 500,000 pubs and bars from Peterborough to Portofino. Once scored, a realtime dashboard means Head Office can see “any pint of Amstel that was served in the wrong glassware in Dublin in August”. Appropriate action can then be taken at outlet level to solve any problems highlighted. Employees can also use the site to order new glassware or instigate training themselves should they wish to.

This GlassAct service is a global Heineken initiative, powered by useyourlocal.com, that’s helping them to support the trade, deliver perfect pints, delight consumers and protect their investment in their brands.

It’s simple, it’s effective and it’s open for others to join. The more, the merrier.

Here’s to making a Moretti in Milan as consistently excellent as buying an iPhone from Argos!

The Ultimate Pub & Bar Dating Agency

At useyourlocal.com, part of what we do is to help brands activate their events and ultimately get more people into pubs & bars drinking their products. By connecting brands with pubs with consumers, we hope we can be “The Ultimate Digital Dating Agency” for the UK On-Trade.

Our growing audience of up to 500,000 visitors a month are the most highly targeted online audience of pub lovers that the trade could possibly wish for. By working with some of the UK’s biggest drinks companies we are able to deliver news, offers and events to this audience at the click of a mouse.

Our recent work with Birra MorettiHeinekenDeuchars and Bulmers are great examples of this. By creating lists using our unique Publister service, the brands can quickly create pages that allow consumers to find “Pubs and bars near me with a Bulmers Cider Garden”. By then pointing their own social media and websites at these pages, the brand owners have a simple and effective way to allow their audience to quickly find whatever it is they are looking for.

For the real 5 star service the brands can even embed these publists into their own sites. By letting useyourlocal.com “power” their own sites we can deliver activity quicker, cheaper and more effectively than by any other means. (see my previous post on our work with Heineken for the 2015 Rugby World Cup)

But it doesn’t stop there. We then continue to work with the brands to publish outlet specific news, offers and events against every single outlet in their lists. Not only does this create individual news items for every pub & bar in every list but it also auto-emails every one of our consumers who live in and around those pubs with the relevant brand promotions. It’s fast, it’s efficient and it’s easy, delivering perfectly targeted news to a perfectly target audience.

Marry all this with full site takeover advertising, on both our mobile and desktop sites, and surely we can lay claim to the title of “The Ultimate Digital Dating Agency” for the UK On-Trade.

Here’s to pubs and bars getting more customers, more often.