Your opportunity is in asking the right questions and following the answers up with smart, data-driven marketing.
Data is extremely valuable in creating an approach to your marketing. Without data, you are most likely operating blindly – throwing out a ton of ideas that may or may not stick with success that’s most likely judged by the eyes and gut versus the facts.
In restaurant marketing, 40 percent of first-time guests will come back if the service and operations are great. When they return, 42 percent of second-time visitors will come back again if the experience is consistent. The number then climbs drastically to 70 percent of third-time visitors returning for more.
What does that mean?
First, even if you get everything right – in a super competitive restaurant world where options are limitless and customers don’t care about your brand, but rather their time, money and the simplicity of experience – those customers may not come back any time soon.
And then, even if you nail things again, only 42 percent are coming back.
But then, the magic happens. A giant percentage of those folks become loyal. They will come back, and they will come back often. So, three is the magic number.
We are marketing for three experiences; not one. Therefore, that ad you placed once to see if it works, won’t, and that Facebook campaign that you spent a few hundred dollars on and made you feel frustrated didn’t show you the right data. If you mess up in the restaurant, good luck – the list goes on.
Some have said the rule is four visits, some more, some less. If you start to dive into your own data first, then your marketing can be much more productive.
We once booked a client on Fox & Friends for three straight days. The show was filmed, almost entirely, from their set that we built. After, I asked the head of marketing for their opinions on how things went. The response was, “I don’t think our sales went up.”
Well, perhaps sales didn’t go down. Perhaps we saved sales those days. Perhaps that moment created a bump in new customers.
I asked how they knew.
They said their gut.
Why trust your gut when you can trust real data?
Data one, marketing two.
Who is your target? Where do they live? What do they do? Where do they play?
Who came into your restaurant today? Do you know where they live? Do you have their email address? Can you push them to come more?
Are you leveraging drip campaigns that create triggers based on the last action? Do you know your customer?
Brands spend way too much on marketing without looking at specific data. Your opportunity is in asking the right questions and following the answers up with smart, data-driven marketing. With data, though, the gut is removed. So remember, you may not like the answer, but with an answer, you have an opportunity to change. And with an opportunity to change you can turn 40s into 42s into 70s.