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5 ways to refresh your restaurant franchise marketing

by Ana Lopez
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When it comes to marketing your franchise in 2023, same old, same old won’t cut it. Times have changed and the competition for consumer attention and protection is at an all-time high as the market size has almost increased 16% in the past year. It’s time for franchises to explore new ways to reach and engage their customers and ultimately generate more revenue. Thanks to technological innovations, marketing campaigns can now be highly targeted and contain high-quality messages to customers.

And with the automatic collection of data that provides insight into customer behavior, a franchise can speak directly to the customer with the goal of changing that behavior to generate more revenue. It’s time to consider technological advancements and use them to turn boring marketing strategies into lucrative marketing campaigns that generate sales. So, here are a few tips:

Related: The 4 Marketing Moves Every Franchise Should Be Making

Talk to the right customer with hyper segmentation

A unified approach to marketing is not an effective strategy for 2023. When promoting a special, an event, or even focusing on a specific goal, it will only be successful if it is communicated to customers who will. looking forward to. And the only way to know who will be interested is through segmentation. Let’s take a Rib Night as an example.

Your franchise has collected customer data through the free WiFi hotspot and is seeking more customers for the Rib Night so that the customer data can be segmented and customers can be targeted and receive more personalized messages in line with their behavior. The following shows how messages are personalized based on insights gained through consumer data:

  • Customers who have come in for dinner Monday through Thursday will receive a notice stating that you are bringing Rib Night back on Tuesday in the month of January.

  • Anyone who has been to Rib Night before will receive an early announcement inviting them in and asking how they liked the last night, with a link to a survey.

  • Regular weekend patrons will receive a message not to miss Rib Night on Tuesday and show the text for a BOGO dinner with their favorite rib buddy.

Add convenience with SMS marketing

When considering marketing tactics for 2023, if SMS isn’t at the top of your list, it should be, as the numbers don’t lie. Customers give preference to receive offers via SMS. And if you haven’t included SMS campaigns because you already do email, consider this: SMS has a 98% open rate. Since most coupons are redeemed via a smartphone (80%), and SMS is easier to see, access and access, it makes sense that it has a higher open rate.

SMS can be used in countless ways. You can send a text with a link to your menu, an invitation to an event, inclusion in your loyalty program or to encourage “lost” customers to return. For example, you could even say, “Did you know that our text messages are linked directly to our phone? Click this number to call in your order!” And those calls can be forwarded to your existing landline.

Related: Here’s Why SMS Marketing Is Literally The Best Idea Ever

Ditch the outdated loyalty program

Almost 70% of companies invested more in loyalty programs in the past year. Clearly, the benefits of having repeat, loyal customers are significant and the ROI of loyalty programs is significant…when done right. If your loyalty program uses paper punch cards or a plastic scan card, your loyalty program is outdated. Instead, your franchise can modernize its approach while offering personalization and improved customer engagement. Finally, 75% of consumers say they are more loyal to brands that send them a personal message.

But to run a loyalty program with effective personalization, there is one necessary ingredient: data. Without customer data, it is impossible to segment and target customers based on behavior and preferences. It’s customer data that tells you if the person only comes to trivia nights, if the person prefers to come just for drinks and appetizers, and if the person has an affinity for wings.

When it comes to capturing data, leveraging technology is key. Here’s an example: the goal of your restaurant franchise is to have everyone come in and dine during their birthday month for a free entree, since it’s unlikely that anyone will dine alone on their birthday (thus increasing sales and bringing in new customers). are introduced). Your franchise can make the following offer: “Text us your birthday to XXXX, and during your birthday month you’ll get a free entry AND be entered to win dinner for two the following month.”

Redefine your matches

Contests increase audience engagement, make your brand more memorable, and drive outcomes such as social media engagement, increasing follower count, and motivating customers to visit. Social accounts can even grow to as many as 70% when using competitions. They can also increase the acquisition of proprietary data. Contests provide exceptional value in a marketing program. The simple keys are:

  1. Make the contest easy to manage — there’s no reason to put in more work than you need to

  2. The contest should be easy to enter — the customer should be rewarded, not taxed

  3. The match should not be the final goal. Otherwise just hosting a game show would make more sense. The goal of the competition should be clear internally what you want to achieve.

  4. There must be an end point and it must be communicated so that customers know the outcome.

Here is an example that is often used when a new franchise opens to grow the number of participants in a loyalty program: At the restaurant, new visitors who have access to the free Wi-Fi receive a text message offering the chance to participate to the monthly draw for a beach cruiser when participating in the loyalty program.

Related: How a Contest or Giveaway Can Attract Business Prospects

Unify your messaging for clarity and results

While implementing any of the above tactics is beneficial, optimal results are rarely achieved without unified, consistent messaging across marketing channels and franchise locations. Companies that integrate all marketing channels are more than twice as likely to report higher marketing effectiveness than those using less or no integration at all. No communication channel will connect all guests. The use of multiple channels, such as text messages, Wi-Fi messages, social media and digital displays, ensures that the message is available in the form that the customer wants, and above all that it is consistent.

Here’s an example of how a restaurant franchise can effectively integrate its messaging. Let’s say the franchise is focused on increasing dessert revenue and plans to have “5 Fat Days” the first five days of each month highlighting and promoting desserts. The franchise creates coverage with the goal of increasing dessert revenue in mind and integrates it in the following ways:

  • Digital signage: Displays five photos of their top desserts with a QR code sending a text message saying “DESSERT”, and the text system responds with a link to the extensive online dessert menu.

  • Social media: On Facebook, explain the 5 Fat Days and introduce a contest where customers can text YUMMY to the restaurant’s texting system for a chance to win a free dessert every month.

  • Wi-Fi Marketing: The greeting text guests receive when they connect to Wi-Fi during the last week of the month is, “Remember, 1st through 5th are BOGO desserts with the purchase of an entrée.” Or at lunch during the first five days of the month, “Hey, it’s 5 Fat Days the 1st through the 5th, with free dessert tonight” (and links to the 5 Fat Days social post).

If you’re still taking an old school approach to marketing and haven’t embraced technology in your tactics, it’s time to make a change in 2023. With the wealth of data available enabling hyper-segmentation that informs customer behavior, there are ample opportunities to leverage it to drive behavior change that generates more revenue for your franchise.

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