Most people mistakenly assume that when you talk about marketing, you're automatically talking about "Tactical" marketing - placing ads, generating leads, sending out mailers, attending trades shows, creating brochures, implementing a follow-up system, and so forth. They fail to realize that the "Strategic" side of the coin - what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to comes first.
The distinction between the two is huge. "Tactical Marketing" is the execution of your marketing plan, such as generating leads, social media, promotions, and implementing a follow-up system. In other words, it's the medium in which your message is delivered.
"Strategic Marketing" has to do with what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to. In other words, it's the content of your marketing message.
Strategy first – Tactical second
The Next Idea team is highly experienced in strategic and tactical marketing, and is ideally positioned to support any client in developing and executing a rick solid restaurant marketing plan or indeed a marketing plan in any industry that we serve.
Listed below are some of our most successful marketing tactical Ideas!
1. Gift Card / Voucher sales:
Provide gift cards or vouchers to charities/non-profits at below value cost, allowing the charities/non-profits to make a margin on the voucher.
EG: Sell 10 x $20 vouchers at say $17, the charity/non-profit then charges full voucher value and keeps the $3 margin.
2. Fund Raising Events:
Hold fund raising evenings with charities/non-profits/schools giving 10% of profits back to the sponsored organization
3. Employee Discount Cards:
Provide employee discount cards to local businesses, (note these should have a ‘valid until’ date, and should not exceed 6 weeks validity).
4. Joint Promotions:
Talk with neighbouring businesses and identify joint promotions – local Gas Stations are often good starting points, as they look for inexpensive methods to generate traffic. A reciprocal discount coupon that is given away at the restaurant and gas station has been known to generate up to 5% incremental sales for both parties.
5. Social media:
The use of major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat and Twitter as communication platforms should not be underestimated. TNI recommends the elevated use of social media to discuss and promote all restaurant’s activities and shout outs.
6. Happy Hour:
TNI understands that through possible licensing restrictions, the operation of a Happy Hour program, in its traditional sense, may be difficult to implement or even detrimental for many businesses. However, a Happy Hour program need not be alcohol driven, and the restaurant could have some fun by offering a ‘Happy Steak Hour’, or ‘Happy Dinner Hour’, thus capturing the imagination of the target customer. It would be worthwhile investigating if vendors would be willing to support such a promotion as this may be to their benefit.
7. Toss up Tuesdays:
Pick Tuesdays (or the slowest food day), and flip for the food tab. Guests will have a 50 percent chance of getting their food bill paid by the restaurant. This attracts guest attention much more than a buy one get one free restaurant promotion. Guests are also more likely to generate higher check averages than normal because there is a chance they won’t have to pay. This program could be run for say 6 weeks to identify if the results add value. In the event that the program presents too much risk, the business could reduce the offer and toss a coin for just main courses or the drinks tab. Promote this program through Facebook and other marketing platforms.
8. Menu Bingo:
This is a great tactic for encouraging frequency and guests to try different items on the menu. Simply create bingo cards that have different menu items in boxes. The cards need to be designed with five columns and five rows. It is possible to also promote other non-food items such as merchandise, cookbooks, and gift certificates. Guests have an allotted period of time, say 15 days for example, to complete a connection just as they would with a bingo card. Once they try five items in any direction, they receive a free gift basket or other incentives that are roughly equal to one of the items purchased.
9. Birthday program:
Research shows that 50 percent of all Americans eat out on their birthday. A birthday program can be executed through new automated tools such as e-mail marketing and social media. Plug in the birthday and e-mail address of members, and a secure and nicely designed e-mail is sent to them at a time you determine in advance. Recent research has shown that retention based e-mail marketing is 300 to 400 percent higher than traditional vehicles such as direct mail and faxes. Its a great way to communicate and manage the restaurant’s birthday program.