What’s a Marketing Fund?
by David Klemt
Do you know what a “marketing fund” is?
Moreover, if you know what I’m talking about, do your managers and staff have access to it?
A marketing fund—not your marketing budget—is a useful tool that can solve guest experience issues quickly.
What it Is
Both Doug Radkey and I mentioned marketing funds last week.
First, I brought it up in my article about communication and staff empowerment. Next, Doug included the marketing fund on last week’s Bar Hacks bonus episode, titled “Empowerment.” There, he shared the story that inspired my article.
Simply put, a marketing fund is a bit of cash kept on hand for use in a variety of situations.
Some people call it petty cash. Others refer to it as an “emergency” fund. We call it a marketing fund.
Whatever you choose to call it, it’s a small amount of cash most accessible by a manager or, often times, a bartender.
How to Use It
Operators will have to decide on the amount set aside; how often to replenish it; and who has access to the marketing fund.
For some, $40 may be feasible. Others may find that setting aside $200 for the week may work best.
In most cases, a register behind the bar serves as the marketing fund’s home. A manager or bartender knows where it is and can find it quickly.
Now, you’re likely noticing the word “quickly” is coming up a lot in reference to the marketing fund. That’s the point—quick, smooth problem solving.
Of course, this requires trust in the team, their integrity, and their sense of what is and isn’t reasonable.
When to Use It
Again, this is about what’s reasonable and acceptable to an individual operation.
Will buying a round ease tensions and put a guest’s experience back on a positive track? Use the marketing fund.
Is there a promo that’s going wrong for a guest that a manager can solve with cash (a gift card problem, for example)? Access the marketing fund.
Will running across the street to grab an item solve a guest problem? The marketing fund can help.
This works for several reasons:
- Staff can solve a guest’s issue quickly. This eases tensions and improves the guest experience.
- Guest-facing or other issues can be solved smoothly. In some instances, the guest won’t even catch on that there’s really a problem.
- Marketing fund transactions are traceable.
- The marketing fund holds the operator and staff accountable. Are issues consistently arising during certain shifts or with specific team members? Something needs addressing.
The marketing fund is a practical, useful tool. Its use is trackable and ensures accountability. Consider implementing this fund today.