Published by Running Restaurants
Written by Brian Deagan
Sometimes marketing gets a bit too complex. There are so many ways to communicate with consumers now - and that is just with the direct digital marketing channels. The direct digital marketing channels consist of email, the website, and the most recent entrant onto the direct digital stage, mobile. But, even mobile marketing by itself becomes complex when considering its many variations, including a mobile website, an app, and the most practical use of mobile marketing, text message marketing. It can be difficult to decide where to invest resources and where the greatest return on a direct digital marketing investment is found.
The good news is that marketing can still be simple. When mulling any new direct digital marketing program over the only consideration should be, "Will this increase our sales?" Sales increase when foot traffic increases. Therefore, the best - and easiest - direct digital marketing investment for restaurants (where guest demographics range between 15 and 55) is in mobile. More specifically, the greatest return lies with text message marketing.
The first and most crucial aspect of beginning text message marketing is selecting the right software partner. The ideal partner must have database capabilities, the ability to localize messages to specific areas, and the ability to send relevant, personalized text messages to guests based on the information captured in the database. Next, the right partner should be able to get a text message program in market with as much speed as the cell phone carriers allow.
If a restaurant does not already have a database of guests who have signed up for text messages, then the first program must offer content that is both relevant to a guest's preferences and valuable enough to secure participation. A mobile-only discount or coupon is usually enough to entice guest participation. For any restaurant to be effective with text message marketing it must allow for two-way texting and be able to execute each necessary element for successful text message programs within the context of corporate approved content. For example, if corporate guidelines dictate that text messages cannot be sent to guests more than one time each week and may not contain a competitor's name, then the necessary sending cap and content approval process must be automatic and instant. Last, the right software partner must have a relationship with the Mobile Marketing Association to ensure compliance with mobile marketing privacy groups
The right approach unlocks all of the substantial benefits that effective text message marketing programs yield. Localized, corporate approved text messages drive traffic. Text message campaigns can be used to send invitations to location-specific events like a cookout or a Super Bowl party, to promote extended hours, to offer a coupon redeemable for one day only, or to extend special text-only offers. While the results of a campaign are instant and accountable, the best feature of text message marketing programs is that they rely equally on the ability to be personal and timely for the guest. Whether a restaurant needs to increase foot traffic on a slow night, or reach for a big close to the month, text message programs are as simple as they are effective.
Text message marketing delivers on the most important and fundamental element of marketing by positively answering the question, "Will a text message marketing program increase our sales?" A good text marketing program allows guests to engage at their convenience, increasing their loyalty and driving foot traffic into the restaurant. The more accessible a restaurant is to a guest, the more loyalty is built up. Since guests always have a cell phone handy, and are willing to interact through text messaging, restaurants that are not yet doing text message marketing are missing out on a substantial opportunity.
Brian Deagan is the thought-leader behind direct digital marketing and co-founder and CEO of Knotice, a direct digital marketing solutions company. Contact Deagan at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Knotice visit http://www.knotice.com or their blog http://lunchpail.knotice.com.