The Stark Reality of Paid vs. Organic Marketing: A Case Study in the Hospitality Industry.

Adrian Pedrin Valencia
3 min readJan 17, 2024
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The debate between paid and organic marketing strategies in digital marketing and social media is ongoing. Our agency’s case study with a local bar brings valuable insights into this discussion. We launched three holiday-themed drinks, with one promoted through paid advertising and the others relying on organic reach. The sales results offer a clear perspective on the effectiveness of these strategies in the hospitality industry.

The Experiment and Its Eye-Opening Results

The Setup:

In collaboration with a local bar, we introduced three seasonal drinks. One was marketed using paid advertising, while the other two were left to grow organically.

The Results:

The drink promoted through paid advertising outperformed its counterparts dramatically, recording sales that were 80% to 88% higher than the ones achieved by the drinks relying on organic strategies. This stark contrast raises a critical question about the efficacy of organic reach in today’s highly competitive market, especially in the hospitality sector.

The Power of Paid Advertising in Boosting Sales

Immediate and Targeted Impact:

The experiment underscores the significant advantage of paid advertising in industries like hospitality. With its ability to target specific audiences and create immediate visibility, paid campaigns can lead to substantial increases in sales, as demonstrated by the 80% to 88% higher sales for the advertised drink.

Ideal for Time-Sensitive Promotions:

For restaurants and bars, where timely promotions are crucial, paid advertising proves to be a more effective strategy to quickly attract customers and boost sales, especially for seasonal or special offerings.

The Role and Challenges of Organic Reach

Long-Term Brand Building:

Organic reach is essential for building long-term relationships with customers, fostering brand loyalty, and establishing a sustainable brand presence.



Adrian Pedrin Valencia

Marketing expert with a passion for branding and paid social media advertising. Film director at heart, master of lighting, and avid gamer.