We’ve all witnessed the magic that happens when items are grouped in threes. Ever try re-imagining the vaudeville comedy act as The Two Stooges? Inconceivable! Even as children we learned our ABCs, not ABCDs. And without three meals a day, most people feel a little off-kilter.
Studies prove it’s much easier for the brain to comprehend a grouping of three compared to two or four. So when it comes to the perfect marketing mix for restaurateurs, look no further than this powerful trio: digital presence, offline presence and memorable dine-in experience. Find the sweet spot between all three, and your marketing efforts will keep the customers coming in the door.
And be sure to check out the infographic below. Courtesy of the knowledgable folks at Oddle, it’s a visual representation of these three marketing forces in action.
1. Digital presence
It’s hard to believe, but nearly half of the small businesses in America still don’t have a website. For dining establishments in particular, it’s absolutely crucial to have a digital presence: 80 percent of people look up a restaurant online before visiting the first time. And with a growing number of people searching from their mobile phone, your website needs to be mobile-friendly too. But that’s not all. To help guide you through your own process, we outlined the steps we took to build a website for Harry’s Old Kettle Pub & Grill in Wabash, Indiana. Follow the same steps to make sure your site gets people in the door.
Once your website is humming along, what else can you do to get the word out? If you’re not promoting your business through email, then you’re not communicating with customers the way they want to hear from you. More than 70 percent of customers like to receive email from companies they do business with, well over other methods of communication. Need a little prodding to finally get that newsletter going? See how one artisan cheese shop uses email marketing to help spread word-of-mouth and drive repeat business.
Online listings are yet another way for customers to find you. To speed up the process, we’ve put together a list of the most popular online directories. Take it one step further with a free scan. It provides instant results from more than 50 online directories, social networks and search sites, so you can see if and where your restaurant is listed, and whether the information is accurate.
Speaking of social networks, when you’re ready to leverage the true power of this digital channel, see how The Proper Pig Smokehouse connected with influencers in the Cleveland area to grow their social media footprint. Need to take a step back and work on getting the hang of posting to your networks regularly? If you find yourself frustrated with not enough time to build out and manage social media, our case study provides recommendations on how to streamline the process.
2. Offline presence
Your offline presence complements your online tactics, and vice versa. The traditional marketing mix of print, promotions and partnerships still has power, which is augmented when you use it in tandem with your online marketing. Our ten ways print and digital work better together shows how. To further illustrate how print marketing can reinforce your brand, check out all the places where Harry’s Old Kettle Pub & Grill applied its logo.
Another way to take advantage of print is to consider your fliers, postcards, brochures and other printed materials as “offline landing pages” — treating them much the same as online landing pages by offering instant gratification, a limited time to act and unmissable calls to action.
Promotions are often a bankable idea in any industry, but especially for restaurants. Happy hours, trivia nights, game days, “kids eat free” and buy-one-get-one specials are only a few ways to pique the interest of various audiences. Bonus: They help keep a steady stream of traffic on different days of the week or month.
Partnerships may at first seem a little trickier to pull off, but the advantage for restaurateurs is their ready-made event space. To attract the attention of your community’s key influencers, offer your establishment to local groups for events, parties and meetings. Sponsor local festivals or fairs. Take part in food truck rallies (your food truck being another perfect place to display your logo) to keep spreading the word about your restaurant.
3. Memorable dine-in experience
Your menu is of great importance to patrons; why not use it to make a lasting impression? Whether you’re designing your first menu or taking a critical look at an existing one, it should perfectly reflect your style. Paper selection, fonts and finishes are only a few things to consider. This guide walks you through the entire process.
The menu is only one step. Make the dining experience a more memorable one with rewards programs, free samples or special treats for customers. Warm, friendly service always helps too, from the most casual eatery to the most luxurious Michelin-starred dining room. As you know, providing a satisfying and memorable experience that customers want to talk about afterwards is the best way to build a business.
When used together, the trio of online marketing, offline marketing and memorable dine-in experiences has incredible power for your restaurant. Finding the sweet spot where all three are perfectly balanced may take a little time and fine-tuning. But ultimately your restaurant will rest on a sturdy three-legged stool of marketing: each equal to the other two, and each contributing its integral part in elevating your business.
Check out Oddle’s infographic for more tried-and-true ways to maximize the power of three in your restaurant marketing:
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