Critical Content – A Roadmap to Reconnecting with Consumers
Effective content strategies will be even more important for 2022
Written by Dean Harrison
As the foodservice industry rapidly expands its utilization of technology to connect with guests effectively, content will play an increasingly critical role in revenue generation. The pandemic has forced many Canadian restaurants to rethink how they amplify their offerings to the masses. Gone are the days when a restaurant could rely solely on on-premise revenue to provide stability. We must think about connecting with new guests, reconnecting with existing guests, and re-targeting sister properties or platforms – optimizing every possible touchpoint and building brand loyalty.
The consumer contact journey must be correctly mapped out. How will you capture proprietary guest information, and the even bigger question – what are you going to do with it?
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Larger food and beverage (F&B) companies are beginning to plan their guest communication touchpoints, focusing on all possible permutations and guest behaviours. For example, if you know a guest has not been in for 60 days, a newsletter is triggered with a special incentive to bring them back in again sooner. Another example could be system integration into your point
of sale (POS) system; if you know a guest always orders dessert, a text message is triggered to let them know about your latest sweet treats.
Partnering with enterprise applications, customer relationship management tools, and engaging content is a recipe for success. Here are some tips for investing in the right content within your overall marketing strategy:
Utilize all tools to build guest avatars and identify your target audience and their interests. Dive into your Google Analytics, Google My Business, OpenTable, Meta Business, etc. – ensure that you understand who your current brand champions are now and who you should be targeting in the future.
After you know your targets, start understanding and analyzing them. Look into their preferences and build out your CRM and content strategy based on your findings.
Successfully connecting with a GenZ vs. Babyboomer audience requires different tactics and content tools. Grow owned guest data with newsletter and incentive sign-ups, engage and learn via regular surveying and build lookalike audiences to track behaviours.
Understanding and forecasting the wants and needs of your guests while effectively building out CRM content to solve their problems will push your brand further down the consideration funnel.
You know throughout the calendar year, it’s going to be sunny, it’s going to be rainy, and your local sports team will probably win a home game. Build out effective content via newsletters, push notifications/situation-specific incentives, and social media posts in advance. A newsletter can be triggered to promote beach-day treats with same-day discounts when it’s sunny out or stay-at-home takeout packages for those stormy nights.
Everyone receives tons of content and spam. Ensure that your brand stands out with clearly defined incentives – the “what’s in it for me?” consumers crave. Receiving a text message from a brand without relevant content or a great offer will tarnish your reputation. Brand content must have a pertinent value-add for your target audience to notice.
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Content must always align with your brand ethos and standards. If a consumer receives an email with beach-day take-out discounts on a sunny day – they must be able to trace it back to your business quickly.
Every restaurant is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all. CRM strategies are a science, but make them fun and learn as much as you can about your guests. The more you know, the more you can customize content and ultimately generate more revenue.