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Making your restaurant marketing pay in the digital world

Author: Justin Joyce, Senior Account Manager at  Eagle Eye Solutions

It seems like we mourn the loss of another High Street mainstay nearly every day, but those that are thriving realise their customers’ path to purchase today is varied and complex, and continuously informed by digital.

That’s why, to enable continuous improvement, a business needs data. Due to the huge amount of data available across any retail business, many have focused efforts on the digital components of their business.

Take ecommerce, for example: many attract visitors with earned, paid or organic marketing with the aim of converting them into paying customers; it is critical we can identify how, and why, a customer was acquired.

A hot topic when I was working client side, and that continues to generate much debate, is that of attribution. Most marketers agree that attribution modelling of the path to purchase is a logical and sensible concept.

Tracking attribution in a physical world

However, different stakeholders with varying priorities often interpret the data in vastly different ways. This is why some still rely on last-click measurement for sales attribution. That doesn’t help everyone though.

  • What if you don’t have an ecommerce offering?
  • What if the nature of your business means that the vast majority of transactions happen in physical locations?

This is true for the majority of the UK Food and Beverage market. Research has found one in ten Brits get takeaway or eat out at least once a week. The growth of home delivery means sales now often begin online.

However, it is the delivery providers that see the majority of these purchase journeys, rather than the retailer.

So, how can a restaurant business profitably market in the digital world? There are clearly as many opportunities to influence purchase decisions for eating out, as there are for the latest TV shows or holidays.

Without the ability to track the purchase driven by digital advertising, how do these businesses measure their return on marketing spend and have the confidence to keep spending?

Path-to-purchase visibility for personalisation

Working as an Account Manager for successful hospitality businesses, I see a variety of approaches as well as more refined and intelligent techniques that can stitch digital and physical customer touchpoints together.

The aim is to turn their unknown customers into contactable, known individuals whose behaviour they can start to model and learn from. This can also provide a way to reduce the corrosive impact of discounting.

Building richer customer profiles through the tracking of both on- and offline behaviour enables more relevant and personalised digital marketing to effectively attract, incentivise and retain customers wherever they are.

By marrying such techniques with a fierce passion for delivering their brand promise to customers, I think the days of blanket discounts across a swathe of High Street restaurant chains could be coming to an end.

That is, unless they can crack the alchemy of delivering a first-class customer experience that converts these deal hunters into their newest brand advocates; and, the secret sauce in the recipe? Data, of course!

What do you think? What’s happening in your business in this area? Please do get in touch with your comments, or to find out more and see where we can share learnings!

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