In today's business climate, it often feels like you're in the jungle: busy, hot, sweaty and chasing the dream. In this analogy, the dream is most certainly the ever-powerful CUSTOMER! You want your voice to be heard through the noise of thousands of other businesses vying for the customer's attention.
The idea of advertising and marketing your brand can be a daunting task, but fear not; this article will attempt to breakdown the concepts into easily digestible steps!
Top 4 reasons business should advertise:
- Attract Customers
- Deliver Message
- Pay Bills
At this point, let it be clear that we'll focus on restaurant as the business-type for this short article; though many of the same basic principles apply to countless other business-types.
Of the four points above there certainly will be overlapping of proven concepts, however breaking “advertising” down to smaller parts is a novel way to absorb and learn!
If you're running a business of any size; it's your job to tell everyone in your neighbourhood that you're open and these are the products and/or services our business offer. It all starts with location and visibility within that community. For example, if you're a restaurant; slapping that smart sign out front of the eatery definitely speaks volumes and says “Come in; we're in business!”. If you're in a moderately busy area, people passing by daily will be in the hundreds or thousands.
Sending printed flyers to homes and businesses in the surrounding area is a surefire way to stir up activity. You're trying to create word of mouth.
Your website will speak out for your business too, but be prepared to invest hundreds and thousands to create the desired traffic for your site. If budget permits, hiring people for your search engine optimization and social media approach will be money well spent.
#2 Attract Customers:
You need them and they need you; that's the equation. Your business should fill an obvious human requirement: coffee shop, breakfast, lunch, bar-saloon, diner or late night cafe. Never shy away; sometimes it will feel like performing “a little song & dance”. Share details in the window of your restaurant; such as your hours, special ingredients, cooking techniques, pictures, daily specials and any live music or karaoke. At every step; you will be building on your branding.
Your company logo needs to be a winner. The logo above your shop will often set the tone of the sort of food and ambiance you're providing. Your logo design should “attract” people with clear and simple attributes; delivering a terrific message.
Staff handing out promotional flyers on the street can be very effective. Some well-known franchise operations will even have staff in costume, waiving large promotional signs so that passing vehicles can see the message.
#3 Deliver Message:
Using the internet is a terrific way to message your community members. It speaks 24 hours per day, seven days a week! Make sure you smartly illustrate your domain or website address everywhere you deliver messaging to the would-be patron. Where to deliver your message can be a very difficult problem and so it's important to keep focused and set yourself a budget. Sticking to that budget can be a struggle as many forms of messaging companies (media, print, online shopping malls, search engines, newspapers, outdoor signage, television, social media, blah, blah, blah) can cut deep into your finances. Experts suggest that advertising should account for 5-10% of your revenue; so be careful.
While spending marketing dollars, be sure and track the outcome. This will require you and staff “asking” a particular question of the customer; such as “How did you first find out about us?!” Each time the question is asked, the answer should be collected for future data study. For example; you spend $10,000 on local radio and then later discover that 1 in 10 customers heard your ad campaign on the radio. You'll want to ask yourself the question, “Have the customer receipts covered the radio cost?”. Tracking spent advertising dollars to revenue is not an exact science, however it is a sensible move. There is little to gain spending $10,000 on advertising if you only realize customers that have spent a combined total of $5,000 during the campaign and the following month. Unless you have extremely deep pockets, don't fall victim to the notion that you need to exercise patience and continue spending more with that advertising or media company!
Choosing the right business partners to support your restaurant's advertising and marketing demands is a challenge. You'll need to do your homework and seek references from the various companies under consideration. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
#4 Pay The Bills:
Let us not overlook an obvious reason to advertise! Occasionally business can become slow, especially in off-peak times of year; such as after the holiday season. In January, February and March many households are struggling to pay for Christmas and New Year celebrations. As a restaurant owner, the continuous monthly bills from food suppliers, utilities, phone & internet companies, property maintenance, different government taxes, restaurant supplies and payroll all must continue to be paid or face possible restaurant closure!
Strategically advertising at the right times of year can help smooth out these financial challenging few months, especially when providing incentives to patrons. Coupons, special offers or deals can act as terrific motivating incentives and almost everyone appreciates meaningful discounts and free items.
Many restaurant managers and decision-makers may initially denounce at the idea of discounting their menu items, but when seeing dozens of customers fill their tables and a bustling dining floor, then all is bright in the universe.
Remember; to advertise is one thing, to keep them coming back is another topic entirely!
If you feel a marketing choice might be with Funclips, then why not drop us a line? Either call 416-243-9690 or message us https://www.funclips.ca/message-us/