When it comes to marketing, knowing exactly who your customers are is one of the most important bits of data you can amass. Without it, your marketing campaign is nothing more than the blind leading the blind.
Marketing Case in Point
Say you own a restaurant. It’s Saturday Night and your restaurant is packed. You’re obviously doing something right but you’re not sure exactly. Is it your friendly staff, the food, the pricing, the service, the ambiance?
You advertise, at a great expense, in local newspapers and magazines. You sometimes offer coupons or a promotion. Once in awhile you send out direct mail.
But still you don’t have information that is critical for successful marketing to a focused audience.
What You Need to Know When Marketing to Your Customers
1. Who are your customers? The restaurant is full and you may know a few of your regulars, but who are the other customers?
2. Even if you knew who they are, how do you contact them to promote slow nights?
3. Why are these people coming to your restaurant in the first place?
4. Where is your money being spent most effectively – newspaper ads, magazines ad, direct mail, other promotions? What is giving you the best Rate of Return?
Marketing to a Focused Audience
Here’s the good news. There is a simple way to gather that information which allows you to tastefully communicate with your customers and keep you top of mind.
One way is to have a table tent that offers a free soda or iced tea (minimum cost) or a free dessert for simply doing one of two things.
1. If the customer has a smart phone, scan a little funny looking bar code or
2. If they don’t have a smart phone, simply text a keyword to a certain phone number. Either way the customer receives the offer. In the process, you ask everyone, with absolutely no obligation, for their email and cell phone number so that you can contact them, once in a great while, with other offers. Most customers will join in.
As you gather that information, you start communicating with them. Send a quick poll to find out why they come to you and what attracts them. You can offer specials on Monday and Tuesday nights. You can have a “kids eat free” night, two for one drinks or whatever to bring the customers through your door.
How will you send those offers to your customers? By either email or text message . Text messaging is more effective because it’s read instantly. If you’re selling pizza, you can text customers about a special at 4:30 pm so they think about ordering one and picking it up on the way home.
You can also send reminders of reservations so that if their plans change, you’ll know that you have a table open to take another reservation.
The methods of marketing to customer’s mobile phones are endless and the cost of focused marketing is much less than, and more effective than the old model of expensive advertising.