The benefits of having a strong mobile marketing strategy are numerous for your concept, but most casual dining and chain restaurants aren’t taking full advantage of this new technology. Before you grimace at the prospect of regularly updating your concept’s Facebook page with timely promotions or tweeting about a new drink on your menu, remember that your clientele -- including those important Millenials -- have their fingers on the pulse of what’s new and hip in technology, and expect you to, as well.
In fact, the next wave of mobile marketing is upon us, and if you’re not already using social networking to your advantage then you’re missing out on higher profits and more foot traffic. David Sribnik, manager of trends and technology for MarkeTeam Inc., a Mission Viejo, Calif., sales promotion agency serving the on-and-off premise leisure and food and beverage industries, and Sameer Mungur, CEO of zipscene.com, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based investment and promotion firm, offer some helpful advice to get your organization out of the Dark Ages and into the 21st century.
• Sribnik sees larger companies taking a longer time to adapt to new technologies. Instead of integrating social media into a company’s every day business, they use it for more of an overall brand perspective, often times only posting once a day about a new menu item. He foresees one big company having a great success story with mobile marketing.
• To get on the fast track, Sribnik says larger companies need a dedicated person in the marketing department to handle all these avenues of communication.
• Avoid having an individual in each respective location controlling your social media. That shows that your brand lacks consistency and a common message. Those people aren’t marketing people, and they often times don’t know how to represent the brand.
• Be actively involved in social networking. The benefits: It creates a larger customer loyalty base for your establishment. Sending out text messages or e-blasts to your consumers establishes a strong database that will keep coming back as long as you’re offering them value items in return.
• Building an app takes time and money, and building a successful app for your business is almost impossible. Be cautious before you delve into the murky waters of app development. Mungur reminds that a consumer won’t download an app for every establishment they frequent so unless you have a unique point of view and creative idea, don’t do it.
• Acknowledge the pervasiveness of smartphones. Mungur says in the next five years, smartphones will be ubiquitous for every age group, so you should be building your website to suit people using iPhones, Blackberries, Droids, etc.
• Make sure your website is constantly updated and that it’s compatible with smartphone applications.
• Don’t be scared to experiment with these different platforms because, as Mungur points out, they’re working.