Introduction – Marketing
The average person has the attention span of a goldfish. We live in a fast-paced world, focused on immediate results. Restaurants face the ever-mounting task of creating brand awareness in a congested and competitive arena. Many are realizing that notice requires some risk, in the form of experimental marketing tactics. There is no guarantee when you embark on a marketing campaign; however, the information you glean from the results is invaluable.
Surprisingly, some of the most effective marketing campaigns are the videos, graphics, or sound bites that prompt you to wonder, “What was that?” You have fractions of a second to catch and maintain your target’s attention, as they scroll through social media or browse the web. The content should not approach the misleading “click-bait” category which most find distasteful. Rather, creativity is the operative mode of approach. Kentucky Fried Chicken, although not a fine dining provider, is a prime example of this methodology. KFC launched a marketing campaign, centered on social media promotion, for a Valentine’s day content. In the promotional image, Colonel Sanders is pictured as a faux bearskin rug, accompanying a couple on their romantic Valentine’s Day date. It is difficult to see this image, and not wonder about, and investigate, its meaning. This is the goal. Whether people enter the contest or not is of secondary importance. That fact that your target audience is pausing to think and bring your brand to their immediate conscious is a major win.
Our culture, and the various generations that define it, is fixated on betterment and social justice. The vast majority of consumers don’t want to just buy a service or product they’ll enjoy. Rather, they want to know that their money is going to serve a greater and wider purpose, in addition to providing them a quality meal or service. Many millennial-based startups pick an area of service to provide meaning for their work. Whether it’s the bracelet that saves the ocean or the sustainable pencil that blossoms into a plant when you are done with it, the universal conscience of our society demands that we share the wealth. Restaurants are well poised to serve their local community. Many homeless shelters rely on donated food from restaurants. Identify service opportunities in your particular community, and create a campaign focuses on mutually beneficial results.
When it comes down to it, everyone loves a deal. No matter what economic strata you fall into, you relish the opportunity to save money. Marketing campaigns that focus on deal opportunities should also have a shock-value element. For example, “Free for the First Five Patrons” or “Unlimited for the Winner”. This is high stakes verbiage that will compel your consumer-base to reorient their plans to include you, rather than risk such a great opportunity. It is clear in business, sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Investing in your clients by offering grand, irresistible specials will not only win you a one-time patron; that memory will also encourage repeat patronage, even when you are not offering enticing specials.
Embarking on an edgy marketing campaign may seem like a risky endeavor. And, it may be that your initial goals are not achieved; however, there is safety in the fact that whatever angle you pursue, you will learn something about your target audience and your restaurant at the end of the campaign. And knowledge is power.
Contact Best Metropolitan Towel & Linen today for assistance with sourcing all your restaurant linen needs, and proven strategies to grow your customer base.