Stop and Listen. Your audience is talking to you.
Human beings are emotional people. We do not see things in just black or white. There is often more to an answer than simply yes or no. People, a.k.a consumers, don’t all think the same way. Somewhere between black and white lies the shades of grey that make us individuals with unique thoughts and opinions.
This is the beauty and the curse of trying to sell to humans. It used to be about marketing and advertising to your target audience. But now, you need to change the way you communicate with your customers. The old way of selling is long gone, it is now about forming a connection between the customer and the brand.
It’s called Brand Engagement.
Let me explain.
Justin Campana – Regional Account Executive at JCDecaux
Guest Post: I asked longtime friend, Justin Campana who works for JCDecaux North America, the largest out-of-home media company in the world to offer perspective on the state of advertising and how restaurants should act accordingly.
I am a firm believer that every business, no matter how big or small, should advertise. And obviously it is incumbent upon the people in an organization responsible for marketing to use the resources set aside for advertising in the best way possible.
Free. I got your attention didn’t I, who doesn’t love something free. You know what is even better than free? Free TARGETED advertising. Free is nice and all but a relevant message to your target audience is even better. Everyone loves to get excited about mass media and the potential numbers that can be reached. How about talking to your target audience that also happens to be a current customer? What a great way to reinforce your brand. Check out this example I found at Penn Station East Coast Subs. If you have ever been there you know that they are known for their fresh squeezed lemonade and fresh cut french fries. Read More…
Are you a restaurant brand not using Social Media yet to connect with your customers? Since brands are living breathing entities that require interaction and feedback you are missing the boat if you are not active in Social Media. You also happen to be missing a ton of conversations that may already be taking place about your brand from check-ins to pictures and posts.
Food is a social activity and your marketing efforts should be social as well.
What do I do first?
Have you noticed recently that Burger Joints and Steakhouses are touting their fish options? Should we be on alert and waiting for the cost of beef to go up? Does this have anything to do with rising gas prices? How about the Mayan calendar? No, no and no. Think about it, this happens every year around the 3rd week in February.
Why is everyone talking about fish?
Have you every dined out at a restaurant and the food was on point but the rest of the experience was lacking? I often talk with my clients about the value of constancy and the THREE most important ingredients to a successful restaurant. Remember, no matter how good the food is bad service can ruin it.
The Three MOST Important Ingredients to a Successful Restaurant Brand:
- Be CONSISTENT with THE FOOD
- Be CONSISTENT with THE CONCEPT (decor, theme & cuisine)
- Be CONSISTENT with THE SERVICE
Quick, point to the person that is responsible for checking up on your brand. If you are pointing at someone else, three fingers are pointed towards you. That must means it’s your job. I mean it is your restaurant, right?
Who’s in charge of your brand?
It’s amazing how often brands are neglected. And just because you think your restaurant is doing well, it doesn’t mean that your brand isn’t flawed.
Below are 20 questions to ask your restaurant brand (and, to monitor on an on-going basis):
Love is on the air. And that must mean it’s the middle of February and of course Valentine’s Day. The day that we need to show the world we love someone. I guess that means we can ignore the other 364 days in the year, right?
I have talked before about holidays and events being a great excuse to reach out to your customers. Well, doesn’t Valentine’s Day sound like a good excuse to tell your customers that you love them? Sure, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the rest of the year. Showing your customer a little love all the time is just good business. Reward your customers for their loyalty and they will reward you back with repeat business and recommendations.
“Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back”
As I sit on a recent Southwest Airlines flight it dawned on me. I really like this airline, in fact I LUV IT. A brand’s culture can become infectious, it literally makes fans out of customers. When it’s feasible I plan my travel schedule around Southwest destinations. Seriously, I am what you call a Southwest Brand Advocate. A Brand Ambassador and most definitely a brand loyalist. I am not afraid to share my fondness for Southwest Airlines, I wear it with pride and joy.
Every restaurant brand should want that same response from their customers!