Restaurant Marketing: One Powerful Marketing Lesson You Need To Know

No, it’s not Facebook; no it’s not direct mail or frequency programs. It’s “memories.” We’re all in the memory business – making sure your customers have a great memorable experience in your restaurant.

Why is this so critical to your future success? Simply your customers, like yourself, are on “information overload.”

Over the past fifteen years, the amount of information we get is overwhelming. There’s only so much room in our memory banks.

Ask any customer to name the last five restaurants he/she’s been to in the last month and they’ll only be able to answer three to four at best. It’s a struggle to answer five.

What does that mean? If your restaurant is not in your customer’s memory bank, you’re off their radar. You’ve been replaced! Your restaurant will not be remembered.

So it’s critical to understand that you’re in the memory-making business. And if you’re not making memories – I’m not talking about the birthdays, anniversaries etc – I’m talking about the small things that matter – then you’re not going to be remembered. You NEED to get your customers to remember you.

When 80% of buying experiences are based on emotional intangibles – the level of how  your customers FEEL they are being treated, making memories as a strategy just can’t be ignored.

The late great poet, Angelou Mayo said it best, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did – but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Next Steps #1: Making memories is your exclusive secret weapon to success. Put your focus into making one-on-one memories now, so your customers will always remember you and you’re implanted in their memory banks, ensuring repeat visits.

Next Steps #2: Give every single person in your company a copy of this issue to read, from the top down, from the back of the house to the front. Have it translated from English to your language of choosing. Have it enlarged and posted. Have your team report back how they made a memory. In this complex marketing and digital environment – this is all you need to know.

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Great Marketing Lessons From Santa Inc.

A few years ago, Sean D’Souza, one of my favorite marketers, wrote “Why Santa’s Marketing May Work Better Than Yours.” I’ve condensed and updated it; hope you enjoy.

1. Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way

If you go to the heart of Santa’s marketing, the one word you come away with is ‘consistency’. Generation after generations have been exposed to one brand, one message, and the same powerful imagery.

Tip: Santa stands for something. What does your restaurant stand for? What’s your vision? What’s your mission?

2. Santa Consistently Occupies One Niche, Then Builds On It

Santa doesn’t change his mind. His customers are kids and he knows it. Like several marketers, he might have been greedily tempted to enter a different niche. With bad advice, he would have tried to get to teenagers, adults and everyone. He realizes that even the tiniest of niches is huge … and niches have a way of expanding by themselves.

At the end of the day, it’s the consistency that takes the jingle all the way to the bank. Too many restaurants lose focus and give you multiple reasons why you should buy from them. Santa sticks to one.

Tip: Find your position and be the best at it and famous for it.

3. You Can Spot Him in the Middle of a Crowded Sky

Do you know anyone else who comes to visit on a sleigh in the middle of the night? And, with reindeer and gifts? The reason Santa stands out so vividly in our memories is because he’s different!

Tip: It’s all about the Wow. If it doesn’t Wow, it’s boring.

4. Give and You Shall Receive

Take a look at Santa’s style. He’s into giving first.

Tip: Make a memorable impact with your customers and in your community.

5. He Knows if You’ve Been Bad or Good

Santa knows his customers. He even knows when they’re sleeping!

What about you? Look at your best customers. What are their names? Their birthdays? Their likes and their hobbies?

The reason Santa’s marketing works is because he knows your individual needs. If you want a Star Wars toy, you get one. If you want a Fitbit or new headphones, you get that too, and you’re not disappointed. Santa knows because he’s interested in giving.

To give, you have to know what the receiver wants or your gift isn’t worth the packaging it’s wrapped in.

Tip: Connect with your best customers; get to know everything about them, even if you have to use Google or LinkedIn to get the information.

6. Hire The Best Reindeer

The Christmas Eve journey is tough and long, which is why Santa hires only the best to haul his sleigh. One weak reindeer slows the journey down as he spans the globe. While Santa’s hiring techniques are tough and stringent, his retention of his reindeer and elves is eternal.

They are loyal to him, and Santa is loyal to them. The culture in the workshop along with incentives, makes Santa Inc. ‘thee’ place where people want to work.

Tip: Is your restaurant a place where people would enjoy working at? Do people come to you for employment or do you have to go out and hunt for them?

7. Have A Plan; Make A List & Check It Twice

With all that Santa has to do, each year he’s got to have a plan and it all starts fresh on January 1st.

He immediately starts planning for the year ahead; making lists on the next best toys, who gets what and where they live.

As gigantic as his task is, and even though it’s just once a year, Santa plans it out with perfection and checks it twice.

Tip: Without a plan, there’s no direction. What do you want and by when? How are you going to get it and who will be responsible for getting it done?

8. Santa Let’s You Know What He’s Up To

Santa uploads videos onto his website so people can watch him. He’s also got photos of his Christmas Eve journey posted on Instagram. And, he broadcasts parts of his journey on Facebook Live.

Santa understands the importance of memories – they keep people together and smiling. He keeps those memories alive using social media.

Tip: Are you using social media enough so people can see you online – who you are, what you do. Are you encouraging your customers to post their memories on social media?

9. Holiday Conclusion

Santa’s marketing is simple and it’s withstood generational changes and advances in technology.

It’s the perfect template that every restaurant can use.

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