Every week, I have numerous phone conversations, meetings and webinars with perspective Restaurant Clients that are interested in our DinerCentric Restaurant Marketing Services. The one thing I find most interesting about these restaurants, although varying in type of establishment, cuisine, and geographical location, is the fact that their existing marketing efforts are disjointed. Simply put, their marketing systems are not integrated.
What exactly do I mean by integration? It’s very simple. I mean that a restaurant has one single place they go, to access all their diner and marketing information. From one single interface they can send emails to their diner base, send them a text message, review demographics on who is opening their messages, how many sign ups they are getting, etc., and most importantly, cross market across different channels, such as facebook, twitter, google+, AND their restaurant’s website.
Integration is key to ANY program. The sad fact is that most restaurant marketing programs are not truly integrated. So you ask “why” I say Integration is important? Well, you’re in luck. I’ve put together a handy list of three primary reasons that you must have full integration in any program, to make it worth it’s while:
1) Owners and Managers Of Restaurants Are BUSY
This is a “no brainer”, right? After all, how many of you reading this, can truly tell me that you have a spare few hours in the day that you just can’t figure out what to do with? My guess is “zero”. That is because the restaurant business is daunting, busy and tough. There are never enough hours in the day and never enough time to complete necessary tasks.
Given we can all agree on the above statements, it is also easy to understand that if you are short on time, something has to give. Clearly you aren’t going to skimp on the quality of your food or service. So what gives? How about the thing that takes time, that is frustrating for you? Say, like your marketing?
If your marketing isn’t integrated, it isn’t easy to use. You can’t go to one simple place and push your brand message across multiple channels. Instead, you’ll have to create that message in one place, and deploy it, manually, across all other channels. This is time consuming, frustrating and easy to put on the list of “things you can put off”, if you get busy.
All those things could be detrimental to the growth of your restaurant.
2) If Your Systems Aren’t Integrated, Your Restaurant Runs The Risk of Having a Disjointed Message and Inconsistent Brand Identity
Have you ever had to do the same task, repetitively, over and over? Do you get bored and daydream, while doing so? While daydreaming, does the task you are performing slightly change, giving you a different outcome? Most likely your answer is “yes”.
We’ve found the same thing happens with restaurants that are using many, disjointed marketing systems, rather than one, fully integrated system. What does this mean? It means your brand value will lose strength. Your restaurant’s brand image can be degraded, and your message, from effort to effort, in your marketing, will have different messages, confusing your target market. Clearly not the way you would want to convey your restaurant’s professional brand.
3) Duplicate Entry Is A Pain In The Neck
One thing that nobody ever considers is that having duplicate systems in place, running simultaneously, independent of one another, requires you to keep multiple databases. Multiple databases require you to go to more than one place, when updating a diner’s information.
Almost every perspective client we meet with that manages multiple databases, has their information completely out of sync. You see, they will update a diner’s data in one of their databases, but being busy, and having a full plate of things to do, they’ll often neglect to, or forget to update that diner’s information in the other databases.
This means that your diner will not be getting all of the marketing information you send out about your restaurant, and therefore not be fully in the loop with what’s going on, and ultimately not visiting your restaurant as often.
These are just three of many reasons that full integration is key, when it comes to choosing your restaurant marketing solution. Many years ago, when we set out to develop our Restaurant Marketing Solutions, we knew that integration was a necessity. While there are many programs that have varying levels of integration, to date, we have not come across a more comprehensive Restaurant Marketing Solution.
Are you interested in finding out how our Restaurant Marketing Team can help you get to the perfect level of “full integration”? Do you have any other questions about restaurant marketing? Please contact us anytime, as we’d be more than happy to help you in any way we can.
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