How Restaurants Connect the Dots Between Digital and Physical Marketing 

January 31, 2019 Vibes Marketing

How Restaurants Connect the Dots Between Digital and Physical Marketing 

Every industry has its own challenges when it comes to bridging the gap between digital and physical marketing. The restaurant industry is a good example. People may engage with a restaurant brand online, liking and sharing its social media posts...but that doesn’t always equal traffic in the door. 

How Restaurants Connect the Dots Between Digital and Physical Marketing  

Here are a few ways that restaurants are successfully connecting their digital and physical marketing. 

They Use Real-Time ROI Tracking 

Gone are the days when restaurants had no option but to send physical coupons to a zip code, unsure of what the actual redemption rate or ROI was for the promotion. Now, using a sophisticated digital marketing platform that connects to point-of-sale software like Sparkfly, brands can see, in real time, how a given marketing campaign is doing.  

This is particularly helpful when a restaurant uses multiple channels to market to customers. The software can identify which channels are driving the most in-store activity and optimize future campaigns around those channels. 

Their Loyalty Programs Deliver More Than Points 

Converting from a paper-based loyalty program to a digital one is key for restaurants (and retail) to stay relevant to customers. But the restaurant brands who go beyond simply offering customers an easy way to scan their loyalty profiles to earn points are seeing great success. 

Schlotzsky’s is a great example. Its digital loyalty program not only lets users rack up points when they visit its locations, but it also allows them to order food from their phones. If a loyalty member hasn’t visited a location in a while, he’ll be given a special offer to entice him back in. And frequent customers get exclusive offers, like the chance to try out new menu items. The restaurant brand uses the loyalty data to shape future campaigns. 

They Personalize Both the Digital and Physical 

We already know that personalized marketing works. The more a brand is in tune with what customers want, the more it sells. But that personalization works both online and off. 

Online, restaurant brands are customizing text message and mobile wallet offers based on past purchase and redemption data. This is an easy way to move the needle to get repeat business. 

But some brands — take Jax Cafe, a steakhouse in Minneapolis — are taking that personalization offline to create even stronger connections with their customers. The restaurant prints personalized matchbooks for its customers, which are treasured mementos and a reminder of that relationship with the restaurant. 

They Use Mobile for More Than Digital Marketing 

While text message marketing is useful for driving in-restaurant sales, it can also be used in other ways. For example: a busy restaurant can text patrons when their table is ready so they don’t have to stand outside waiting. Once they’ve captured that phone number, they can (once they’ve sent that imperative opt-in text message) continue to send special offers, notify them that their food delivery is on its way, or invite them to special events. 

They Leverage Review Sites on Mobile 

Review sites are the lifeblood of restaurants: 55% of people aged 35 to 54 read them to decide where to eat. But they’re not just useful for the reviews; savvy restaurants use other features to drive sales. 

On Yelp, users can check into a restaurant on mobile to unlock freebies like a complimentary dessert or drink. Users can also order food delivery right from the restaurant’s profile page. With features like this, restaurants can capture traffic that visits these review sites without struggling to drive visitors to their own website. 

There may always be a small gap between online and offline marketing, but with the right strategy (including mobile), that gap gets smaller and smaller.

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