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Hospitality industry 'turns to digital marketing'


Hotels and restaurants are apparently becoming more aware of the potential benefits of establishing an entrenched digital marketing strategy, raising the possibility that industry jobs could be created in this sector over the coming years.

While certain elements of the hospitality industry have traditionally been resistant to adopt high-tech marketing techniques, the recent downturn in trade and the huge growth of competition in the casual dining world has made many firms aware of the need to move with the times.

Although nothing will supersede the importance of creating delicious food - and the word-of-mouth buzz that often accompanies this - there are many aspects of digital marketing that can be helpful for restaurateurs, not least the use of social media to promote their establishments.

According to the latest Business Leaders' Survey from industry specialist Peach Report, a growing number of executives are aware of the need to engage with new technologies and digital techniques.

They are upbeat about the prospects for British hospitality, but recognise the need to innovate and modernise - with digital marketing likely to play a central role in this evolution.

Some two-thirds of business chiefs suggested that digital marketing will be a key area for investment in 2013, while a similar amount think this is the area that will add the most value to their organisation over the next 12 months.

"Hospitality is human, but technology in this sector now touches everything, and continues to evolve fast," the report claimed.

Bristol-based digital agency Wired Media told Big Hospitality that it has seen a pronounced trend towards digital marketing among UK restaurants and hotels.

"We've noticed an increase in interest in digital marketing and what this offers the leisure industry, with a particular look at data attribution," said founder Tom Beasley.

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, casual dining restaurants that wish to stand out from their counterparts could look towards harnessing the power of social media and other marketing areas as crucial to their success.

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