5 Reasons Why Leading Restaurants are Beating the Competition With Mobile Marketing
With competition being fierce in the food and beverage industry, marketing, particularly online, is one of the biggest areas of focus for most restaurants, and with good reason: 46% of diners are looking online to discover great restaurants. That means that a robust digital and mobile marketing strategy is imperative if you’re serious about attracting—and keeping—customers.
Speaking of mobile marketing: it’s one of the most innovative and effective marketing strategies out there, specifically for restaurants. Not convinced? Here are Vibes’ five reasons why you should start using mobile marketing if you’re not already.
1. Mobile Marketing Isn’t Just About Apps
We’ve reached the point of mobile app saturation, it seems. With an app for everything and plenty of bad user experience, it’s getting harder to get diners to download your restaurant’s mobile app. Who wants to invest the money in designing a restaurant app if it’s just going to fall flat?
But here’s what you need to know: mobile marketing is far more than apps. Channels like text messages, push notifications, and mobile wallet are fantastic for engaging customers through tools they’re already using on their phones.
2. SMS and MMS are Winning More Customers
When it comes to engaging diners, text messages are the way to go. Multimedia messaging services (MMS), which can include videos, GIFs, or photos, have an average clickthrough rate of 15%. Compare that to 1.25% for email, and you can see why restaurants are turning to texts as a marketing avenue.
Here’s an example of how text message marketing works: once a diner subscribes to your offers via text, she will occasionally get an offer from you, like buy one get one free dinners. She can click the link in the text to get the offer, or you can include the coupon or a QR code for the offer within the text for servers to scan at checkout.
Including an image of a new menu item will further entice subscribers to visit your location to try it.
3. Digital Loyalty is Amplified Through Mobile Wallet
Especially for quick-serve restaurants, loyalty programs are an important part of the equation of attracting repeat business. But those punch or plastic cards of years gone by are now archaic and have been replaced by mobile loyalty programs.
Whether you realize it or not, your diners already have a digital loyalty tool baked right into their phones: the mobile wallet. While more often used to pay for items using their phones, mobile wallets also can be used for loyalty programs.
Just ask guests to sign up for your program using their mobile wallet when they dine with you. If you’re set up to store loyalty account data through the mobile wallet, diners will receive push notifications when they earn rewards or have special offers they can redeem as loyal customers.
4. The More You Personalize Mobile Experiences, the Better the Results
Mobile marketing is wonderful for restaurants, but you get what you put into it. If you’re sending the same blanket offer to all customers, you’re not fully leveraging technology to better understand your customers and what they want.
A mother who comes to your drive through after school once a week cares about kids’ meals. The older couple who come for coffee every morning does not. Using mobile marketing and data, you can glean useful information about each and every customer’s preferences so that you offer mobile coupons and promotions that hit the spot and make them feel valued by your restaurant.
Personalization ties in well with that digital loyalty program. Once you have information about a customer, you can then track her purchases, which offers she redeems, and what times she comes in the most frequently. With this information, you can send enticing offers like double rewards when she makes purchases based on her history.
You can also personalize based on location. If you own a franchise, you probably already have data about which menu items are popular in a region, and you can use this to customize the offers you send.
5. Geolocation Snags Customers Near You
Technology does some pretty incredible things, particularly as it relates to mobile. Using geolocation, you can send push notification offers to mobile subscribers when they are within proximity to your restaurant.
Let’s say 2-5 pm is a slow period for your restaurant. You could create an offer for anyone within a mile of your location to get a free coffee with the purchase of dessert between those hours. Suddenly, you’re swamped, and all it took was a strategic mobile offer.
Keep doing what you’re doing to market to your customers, whether that’s via email, responding to online reviews, sending out direct mail coupons, or connecting via social media. But consider adding a few mobile marketing strategies to the mix. They play nicely with others and are sure to boost your business.
Vibes' Mobile Engagement Platform lets marketers easily manage all mobile channels including SMS/MMS, mobile wallet, push, messaging apps, and mobile web, all through a single interface. With a world-class NPS score of +75, Vibes is a customer-first company, serving brands such as Chipotle, Ralph Lauren, Victoria's Secret, Disney and Sephora.
Vibes is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in San Francisco, Miami and London. To learn more about how we connect people with the brands they love through mobile, visit www.vibes.com
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