Having a strong and active customer database is the most important asset for any restaurant and its marketing strategy. Imagine trying to build a relationship with someone, without the ability to call, text, or email them. Your only hope is you run into them from time to time. However, with a piece of contact information, you can reach out whenever you want, and you can gain more control over your interactions. Without the ability to reconnect, It's next to impossible to build a relationship with a customer. That's the exact problem restaurants are facing with traditional marketing and third party takeout apps.
Let's explore this idea of traditional marketing without a database versus a more modern digital marketing scenario for acquiring a new customer.
In a direct hypothetical comparison, let's say you run a traditional campaign with a billboard and t.v segment offering a buy one get one free deal to anyone who comes into the restaurant and mentions the ads for the next month. Let's just say for this campaign you spend $3,000 with the goal of acquiring new customers.
At the end of the month you see that you acquired 300 new customers, after tallying up the BOGO deals that were redeemed by customers. This gives you a cost per acquisition of $10, excluding food costs( $3,000/300 = $10/acquisition). Overall, it would be a killer scenario.
"The cost of acquiring new customers and maintaining those relationships in an online environment versus bricks and mortar is significant." - Stephen Cohen
However, let's compare what could happen with a more modern style of digital marketing, where you collect each lead's contact information and incorporate the strategy of building a database.
Again for example, you spend $3,000 to acquire new customers in the surrounding area. But this time you run ads on Facebook and instagram, targeting people within a three-mile radius of your restaurant. You ask for their name, phone number, and email in exchange for a coupon for a buy one get one free deal.
At the end of the month, with the $3,000 you spent, you acquired 300 new customers, just as you did with the traditional campaign. However, with this $3,000 spent on social ads, you also acquired 3,000 phone numbers and emails from your new customers.
In the following month, you simply send out an email and text message blast to the remaining 2,700 customers who never came in that first month. At the end of month two, you've acquired another 300 new customers who came in to redeem your BOGO deal, bringing your new customer total to 600 and 2,700 potential new customers in your database.
Over time, as you continue engaging with your list, you may see more and more customers come through your doors, increasing your overall customer base and giving you a better ROI over time from the original $3,000 investment. With your new database of customers, you can slo re-engage with those customers as they visit you, thus increasing repeat visits.
When compared side by side, it's difficult to justify using traditional marketing strategies over digital marketing that includes a database. The use of a database and the ability to re-engage with your customer base is much too powerful to ignore.
Your bottom-line objective is to create a database of customers who know you, like you, and trust you. The database will allow you to apply modern digital marketing methods through Facebook Messenger and text messages to continually re-engage with the customer.
While your competitors are stuck doing the same broken traditional marketing strategies, there's an entirely new marketing system that only the most successful restaurateurs have caught on to with digital. If you can own your restaurants database and monetize it by bringing in new customers every month, then you will be ahead of the game because very few restaurants are doing this. It is completely a blue ocean out there.
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