Marketing and advertising are the bane of many businesses, not just restaurants. For many business owners, effectively communicating with consumers is a mystery. Some people just assume it’s a matter of budget, while others believe you need a stroke of marketing luck to find success. In truth, however, successful marketing can be done on any budget with the right approach and execution.
For restaurants and other small businesses, the best approach is a . You may be inspired by the multimillion-dollar commercials and ads you see on TV and online, but, unless you have a big budget, this kind of successful pitch might be out of your league. Luckily, using a personal approach to connect with your audience doesn’t require a big budget.
Here’s how to take a personal approach with your marketing and promotions.
What Is Personalized Marketing?
Personalized marketing is often a misunderstood concept because it means different things to different businesses. On paper, it is simple: connecting with potential audiences in a more relevant and relatable way.
The problem is, many large corporations assume that personalized marketing is the same as target marketing. In other words, they will spend a lot of time and money figuring out how to specifically target new customers based on their interests, hobbies, and other social metrics. Typically, they use data they can obtain from social media and web browsing sources to tailor their advertising copy and strategy.
For small businesses, however, this is almost impossible. Beyond lacking the funds to adequately research a target audience, this type of advertising isn’t as effective. Small businesses, like restaurants, can be at an advantage over big corporations because they deal with their customers on a face-to-face, daily basis.
Because they are often in direct communication with customers, they automatically get a sense of what interests their customers. This is the information you can use to personalize your marketing.
Knowing Your Audience
The most important thing with any form of marketing is the audience. No advertising campaign or promotion has ever been successful without an audience. Since a good ad comes down to a successful sale, you need to know how to most effectively communicate with your audience to make your marketing work.
This means you need to know your audience as much as possible. This is the truth regardless of how big or small your business is. While big corporations spend millions on data research and analysis, your restaurant has the benefit of face-to-face interactions to know your existing consumer base.
The best place to start with personalized advertising is thinking about what you know regarding your customers. What draws them to your restaurant? What dishes do they like? How do they interact with you and your staff?
Thinking about these things allows you to reflect on how you communicate with your existing customers. For them, your restaurant already has an existing brand whether you know it or not. There are things that they associate with your establishment, and these are factors you can use to personalize the advertising.
The Importance of Connections and Your Brand
If you crack open any marketing textbook, you will eventually see what many consider to be the magic word of advertising: brand. Experts tout the importance of having a brand but rarely explain what it is and why it’s so important.
In short, a brand is anything your customers use to associate your business. This includes the name, logo, marketing colors, slogan, and anything else that may remind them of the business.
People often connect with businesses through the brand identity. With personalized marketing, your restaurant can make this connection since your advertising effectively appeals to certain people. This makes your restaurant stand out from the competition.
Forms of Personalized Advertising
Not all types of marketing make it easy to personalize your ads. Traditional advertising channels such as television and printed ads are difficult to tailor if you are trying to reach a wide range of people at once. Instead, it’s better to begin with advertising channels that are more adaptable.
Online advertising is one of the best places to start since websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google allow you to advertise to people using specific filters such as demographics and interests. These sites allow you to even create different versions of the same ad to reach different groups of people at the same time.
The key to online advertising is to remember to keep things local. In other words, target individuals that are in the same location as your restaurant. This means you can reach people most likely to visit your restaurant while still personalizing the advertising to their specific tastes.
Another effective channel for personalized advertising is email marketing. You can send specific emails personalized for individuals or different demographic groups. For a more old-school approach, consider face-to-face communication.
Many small businesses forget that one of the greatest tools for marketing they have is word-of-mouth. Often, depending on your existing customers to spread the word is enough. Consider holding local events to get people buzzing about your restaurant.
The is that other people often personalize the advertising for you. They get to express what they enjoy about your restaurant or what brings them in time and time again. Not only is this advertising free, it is more genuine and authentic to potential new customers as well.
Making It Work
Think of what you know about your existing customers and how you can start to connect with potential new ones as well. To stand out from the crowd, use your data and digital technology to create personalized promotions that will retain business and attract new clientele.
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