In dealing with the restaurant owners I’m finding more and more restaurants don’t change their marketing or promotional methods simply because they are afraid, they fear it.
While they know they do need to make some changes to increase the return on investment they are afraid that the changes may cause revenues to drop. And thereby they just stick to the status quo and nothing ever changes, they end up stuck and stagnant.
Don’t get me wrong sometimes changes do make things go the wrong way for a period of time. But the key is learning from what is working and not working then making adjustments.
For example, when running a new ad campaign when things are going well we let it be. But as soon as cost start to increase to get the same result we start split testing. When we split test we run half of the traffic to the original and half to the new to see which one will get a better result. If it is significant we will eliminate one and then split test another to try and get an even better result.
And it might not even be the ad that we change, maybe we change the target (the source of the viewers of the ad) if that makes more sense. In the digital advertising world this can be changed very quickly and inexpensively. In traditional media this is not the case. It is very expensive to change the creative on billboards or direct mail and then have to send out again. For the smaller restaurant or even thrifty larger ones digital just makes more sense.
Having the ability to act with speed in restaurant marketing and advertising decisions is the key to eliminating the fear of changing methods. If something is not working out and putting butts in seats within a reasonable amount of time you can analyze the data and quickly make educated changes to compare to the original result.
In fact as a digital restaurant marketing agency we don’t hit a home run the first time every single time. We make very strategic and educated plans but no one thing works exactly the same for two different restaurants. This holds true even if it is the same brand or franchise in two different locations. Why? Because the demographics surrounding the restaurant are different. There are people of different age groups, ethnicity, sex, interests, likes and dislikes. It’s a different ballgame every time.
The last key is understanding that figuring out the marketing for a particular restaurant is a PROCESS, it is not an event or pushbutton protocol where if we do “this one thing or set of things” that you will get this awesome result and a flood of new people into your restaurant each and every time.
Is a process and the most successful restaurants and marketers learn to love the process, they learn how to find and win over their audience. AND the bonus is that once you do this digitally, it can be likely transferred over and also used in the more expensive mediums if they make sense to go there. Once you have proof of the concept and results to back it, mix it up if it makes sense.