It’s not uncommon to see restaurant marketers floundering in their efforts to acquire customer information, in a bid to learn more about them. More often than not, they find themselves with scarce resources and without proper tools garner useful data. For these marketers, this data could mean improved profitability and increased customer retention.
There’s a world of difference between online stores and brick n’ mortar stores in terms of ease of acquiring customer information. The online stores obviously having the upper hand. Brick n’ mortar store shoulder the responsibility of getting the same kind of information gotten by their online counterparts. And the solution may be staring them right in the face.
Many brick n’ mortar stores offer free WiFi connection to their customers, especially restaurants. And this could be taken advantage of as a tool to acquire the much-needed customer data, using a suitable app.
Traffic patterns comparisons, bottlenecks and missed opportunities
Having information like what time of the week is right to introduce an incentive to lure in fresh customers, or why certain companies offer freebies to returning customers is very crucial. Because they allow marketers to understand their customer traffic patterns, and this in turn can help reveal what time of the day, week, month or year they experience a reduction in traffic.
Using the information gathered from restaurant WiFi, the marketers can know how many customers are inside the restaurant at every single moment in time. A thorough analysis of the entire data can provide insight as to how to get customer flooding in even during low-traffic periods. This will also allow them to discover and eliminate the cause of the drag. Doing this will see the restaurant having a steady flow of traffic all year-long.
Connecting with customers through WiFi
Again using a suitable app, preferably with a landing page, restaurant marketers can display items like menu of the day, deal of the day, any special recipes, available freebies, promo codes, ongoing loyalty programs and so on. These landing pages could also be used to present the restaurant’s terms and conditions and to answer FAQs.
A perfect idea will be to use the WiFi login process to obtain priceless information like email address and phone number. Either of them can then be used to reach the customers even when they are not in the restaurant. The email addresses can be added to a mailing list where automated e-mails would be sent.
Another slant to loyalty programs
Many loyalty programs ran by companies still require that customers fill out a card or hang on to an actual plastic credit card for them to participate in the program. While this is not bad, it can be done in a better way. As time flies by, customers only want the experience of doing business with a company (restaurant in this case) with little or zero stress in the process. And so, restaurant WiFi is a better approach to getting customers to participate in the loyalty program, as well as managing it.
Restaurant marketers can then use the customer WiFi information to know the number of customers participating in the loyalty program. How often these participants come in to dine. And what ideas could be used to incentivize those that don’t call in often. In the event that new customers aren’t signing up for the program, the marketers can then initiate strategies like referral programs/bonuses, in-store signage, freebies for new sign ups, etc.
The role of social media in restaurant marketing
Restaurant marketers need social media like bees need flowers. This is because social media is an excellent tool for user engagement. And it is perfect because their customers can like, comment and share posts about the restaurant or write reviews on sites like Tripadvisor and Google. Customers can also be incentivized to make posts and shares using hashtags that are specific to the restaurants brand.
Customer WiFi is great and social media is vital, but the most important of them all is the restaurant’s data analytics. The analytics speaks the language of numbers and they tell the level of success attained by each marketing effort. The restaurant WiFi analytics can reveal marketing oversights and marketing efforts that didn’t achieve their desired result.
Information gathered directly from customers and the analysis of this information is the most valuable and most trusted. And a restaurant WiFi is a sure-fire way of achieving that.
An additional instrument to increase and drive growth
The location of a restaurant is very vital to its profitability and so choosing a new location during expansion is pretty delicate process. Information garnered from customer WiFi, in all current locations, can be used to determine important parameters such as:
- the level of foot traffic in each location
- how much of this traffic is converted
- the locations with the best population density
Having this information will enable the restaurant operators to choose a matching location that will help them achieve the same or better results. Restaurant marketers can then use the guest WiFi to make announcements about their new location(s) or about franchise opportunity.
Two is better than one
Although one cannot rule out the importance of customers having an unforgettable experience while dining at a restaurant, in the same vein one cannot ignore modern advantages provided by digital marketing. Each one of them is very vital to the growth and success of the business, but when used together, they can achieve wonders.
As long as brick n’ mortar businesses exist, there will always be a tussle for customer data between them and their online counterparts. And one of the best weapons offline businesses can wield is an extreme level of creativity, and of course, customer WiFi. SpotOn offers a platform that uses your WiFi for automating marketing, reviews and analytics. Thanks to its user-friendly dashboard, you don’t have to be a techie to understand and use it.
Curious what this looks like and how it works? All you need is a cup of coffee and 30 minutes of your time.POSTED ON October 22, 2018