Marketers are under extraordinary pressure to produce visits, and the timeline for doing so continues to become shorter. Shareholders, activist investors, stakeholders, and franchisees have heightened expectations for seeing an uptick in sales figures. Across the board, there are five major issues that are keeping marketers up at night. Here are some thoughts on how to clear the hurdles, make the decisions that will reap fast results, and get the sleep you deserve.
1. Declining sales
Declining sales are every marketer’s worst nightmare. The key to devising a plan that reverses the trend is access to customers. When there’s a loyalty program in place, the brand’s core customers can easily be identified. Without one, a survey is the best alternative. Getting actionable data allows changes in message and media, direct marketing, and other acquisition programs to be implemented quickly. You need more core customers as soon as possible.
Once you’ve righted the ship, consider how different your position would have been with a loyalty or CRM program. Having information about core customers enables you to become an agile marketer who can thrive in even the most challenging situations – be they political, social, or economic.
Variety may be the spice of life, but marketers could use less of it. Your team probably deals with hundreds of marketing tools pertaining to online ordering, social media, delivery, email, SMS, loyalty, app providers, booking sites, rating sites, analytics, advertising platforms, and payments. It’s a challenge to keep track of your usernames and passwords for each partner, let alone the results from your team’s efforts. Factor in the time wasted on downloading and aggregating data and you likely have a good business case for vendor consolidation.
If hitting top-line revenue goals remains difficult, it’s critical to manage expenses and save time. Look for opportunities to consolidate vendors, streamline marketing operations, and free up time to focus on churning out visits.
3. The other guys
The truth may be that the other guys are further behind in digital marketing than you are. Many brands continue to send irrelevant email with the hope of moving the sales needle, but customers are tuning out and social programs won’t save the day. The answer lies in leveraging individual customer data coupled with predictive analytics to create a one-to-one connection with your guests.
Devin Handler, the Director of Marketing for Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, explains it this way:
“It’s important to understand that there’s a difference between affinity and brand loyalty. With brand loyalty, there is a strong consumer connection because the brand provides some value. It’s a rational experience. A brand is a promise and it must integrate with consumers’ lives in a way that works for them. It must in some way make their world better. Affinity, however, is emotional. It’s layered on via the brand personality. A true loyalty program should have an affinity aspect to it.”
Don’t forget to nurture that affinity in order to create a long-lasting emotional connection to your brand. It may end up being the tiebreaker you need to win against “the other guys.”
Your operations counterpart is both your best friend and a secret enemy. People in that position must guess how many guests will be served and how much labor to have in place for each unique “party” your brand throws every day. Not enough food means disappointed guests, but too much could have ramifications like not earning a bonus.
Since you need visits and your operations counterpart needs precision, do your part to help by providing actionable data. How many guests will your next promotion drive into the stores? When will they arrive? Be an agile marketer and deploy a same-day campaign. When operations and marketing work as a team, everyone can sleep at night.
5. Unanswered questions
Your customers’ behavior should not be a great unknown like outer space.If a fellow executive has ever stopped you in the hall and asked about something you could not readily answer, you probably will never forget that question: How many members are in the program? Why were sales down last week? What were the sales on an unpublicized menu item during a promotion?
You don’t want to be caught on your heels. Your fellow executives need data so that they can report accurately to stakeholders, and every interaction involving them should provide value. The more they can rely on you for information, the more likely you are to have a job in 18 months. With the right tools in place, you and your team can quickly answer questions, synthesize results, and make informed decisions that drive traffic.
Learn more about how Paytronix is reducing the number of sleepless nights for restaurant marketers. Visit www.paytronix.com/sleepatnight.