Restaurant Marketing Automation is seen as one of the most effective tools to boost your marketing system in your restaurant. It’s proven to hit two birds with one stone – continuously establishing a good online presence and steadily building a loyal customer base.
Utilizing Restaurant Marketing Automation elevates the success of your marketing plan, and here are the most functional strategies to employ into your restaurant:
- Social Media Automation
- Email and SMS Campaigns
- Promotions using Discounts and Specialty Offers
- Restaurant Loyalty Programs
- Monitor Feedback and Reviews
Included in this article is a blueprint on how to pivot your marketing plan while incorporating the Restaurant Marketing Automation scheme.
WHAT IS RESTAURANT MARKETING AUTOMATION
Restaurant Marketing Automation is a marketing tool that requires the use of technology and software to automate the marketing approach to various platforms and channels. It makes use of the captured data to produce better marketing ideas for the restaurant.
Incorporating Restaurant Marketing Automation in your operations enables you to promote and reach out to your existing and potential customers in multiple channels. It could be via SMS, Email or Social Media. The content used for this strategy is usually personalized therefore, if done right, it could potentially increase the engagement from your customers and this often leads to boost in sales.
Though you’re promoting to multiple channels and platforms, Restaurant Marketing Automation won’t require you to set up different campaigns repeatedly. This technology continuously works 24/7 and automates the support of customer lifecycle marketing without you having to manually set up one campaign after another.
SIMPLE STEPS TO SET UP RESTAURANT MARKETING AUTOMATION
PUT UP A CRM SOFTWARE
To be able to use the restaurant marketing automation strategy you want in its highest potential, you have to have a technology or a system that captures essential data of your customers. It should include the basic information such as email address, contact information, and location for you to easily retarget your marketing plan.
Customer Relationship Management or CRM collects and stores data of your customers and it helps you keep in track of your customers habits and behavior.
Some of the customer information captured also includes :
- Frequency of visits
- Items ordered
- Cost of average spending
- Onile order history
- Discount, promo, or coupon used
- Date of last visit
BUILD YOUR CUSTOMER DATABASE
An accurate customer database is the backbone of the restaurant marketing automation. It doesn’t matter what strategy you’ll employ, if you don’t have a technology that collects and builds a database, it won’t be as effective as it should be.
Take note that customers won’t be easily giving their details, make sure to encourage them by giving something of value in return. It could be by online event, online giveaway, customer loyalty programs, or giving away coupons.
MAXIMIZE DIGITAL ADS
Paid or not, digital ads help in increasing your restaurant brand awareness. Customers usually rely on the internet in searching for the best restaurant, and if you don’t have a presence in the largest search engines, your restaurant won’t get the attention that it needs.
Google ads, Social Media ads, and geotargeting ads are just some of the examples of paid digital ads. Invest a bit more into these types of ads and constantly monitor what’s working for your restaurant. If you observed that it’s not effective for your concept, immediately cut it off and focus on what’s working.
This may contradict the goal of restaurant marketing automation, a marketing campaign that doesn’t require monitoring, but this is an essential step to identify what type of ads are working with your customer base.
START DOING YOUR RESTAURANT EMAIL MARKETING
Restaurant email marketing mainly makes use of personalized content to appeal more with customers. Once you have built your email list, it’s now time to start reaching out to your customers.
With the data captured by your CRM tool, you can now tailor your promotions and deals according to the liking of your customers. Through your email list, you can adopt more personalized approaches in doing email marketing by using their names, giving out specials and discounts to those who haven’t returned for a long time, and messaging customers about the latest updates relating to their last transaction.
Just like the paid ads, you also have to monitor your email marketing and check out what’s the most effective for your customers and adjust campaigns if needed.
EFFECTIVE RESTAURANT MARKETING AUTOMATION STRATEGIES TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW
SOCIAL MEDIA AUTOMATION
There’s no doubt that having an active campaign in social media could really boost the effectiveness of your marketing plan. A restaurant marketing automation in social media produces campaigns that maximizes the retargeting tools of the particular platform.
If you’re present to the main social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, this could leave a good impression on your existing and potential customers. Make sure to produce witty and quirky contents that would surely capture your desired market.
One of the best things with these social media platforms is that you can schedule posts, automate replies, post according to your set target, and create and post following blogs. Though these features are a great help for your restaurant marketing automation plan, you still need to create organic relationships with your customers. You’re encouraged to reply to comments, and repost relevant and related contents to the same network.
EMAIL AND SMS CAMPAIGNS
This counts as the simplest yet produces the most ideal results. Reaching out to your customers via SMS and Email is one sure way to increase awareness and build a good reputation for your restaurant.
To constructively set up campaigns for this restaurant marketing automation strategy, it is important that you have a software that captures essential data from your customers. From here, you now have their contact information and email address where you can send personalized updates about your restaurant.
These updates could also be in the form of a survey or feedback form. You can also send emails and SMS if your customers are not back at your restaurant for a long time. Using their names in these automated campaigns shows that you value your customers and it increases customer delight.
PROMOTION USING DISCOUNTS AND SPECIALTY OFFERS
This restaurant marketing automation strategy is most beneficial to those who have multiple branches. Increasing the sales and engagement to one outlet is challenging, imagine the work included if you’re doing it for every branch that you handle.
An effective marketing campaign is needed if one of these branches is not being profitable. You could use the Email and SMS campaign to reach out to your customers and update them about the discounts and offers you have for that particular branch. Running an event is also one way to do this campaign effectively.
RESTAURANT LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Running loyalty programs for your customers is one way to ensure repeat and frequent visits to your restaurant. In order to incorporate this restaurant marketing automation strategy effectively, it is ideal to have a software that automates loyalty programs if your customers signed up with their phone numbers and email addresses.
Your loyalty program should be connected to your POS in order to track and monitor the rewards your customer earned accurately. You could also send to your customer their standing on your loyalty program for them to be encouraged to get their reward.
Tip : You should tailor your loyalty program according to your business concept. Make the reward system possible for your customers to earn points at ease and at the same time, it’ll be still profitable for your restaurant.
MONITOR FEEDBACK AND REVIEWS
One way to build a reputation for your restaurant is to keep responding to online reviews. Keep in mind that these reviews could make or break your success, that’s why it is important to use it for your advantage.
This restaurant marketing automation strategy allows you to monitor, respond, and take action to those online reviews. There are tools that can be used to manage these online reviews.
If you respond to these reviews timely, it can create a positive image for your restaurant. Remember : People trust people. If your customers see that you’re engaging well with these feedback, they would have an impression that you value your customers’ insights and you thrive to improve every customers’ experience.
BENEFITS OF USING RESTAURANT MARKETING AUTOMATION
- Established standard procedures.
- Managed cash flow.
- Time-saving process.
- Comprehensive reports and analysis.
Though having a restaurant marketing automation strategy surely helps your restaurant, make sure maximize its effectiveness by producing contents and promotions that your customers can relate to. If they receive a notification that directly calls on them, it will incite action on their end.
Also, make sure that your contents won’t be generic and should be unique and updated. The market and its behavior is constantly changing, your marketing strategies should also adapt to these changes from time to time.