Data-Driven Marketing for Restaurants

The accelerated rate of growth of technology and automation of processes in the restaurant industry and the breakthroughs in the data analytics prodded many of us to the need of collecting customer data. It set in the process of data collection via email, social media, loyalty programs, and surveys and morphed to sophisticated systems through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

But, if we step back a little and analyze, we find that although restaurants have access to an overwhelming amount of data on their customers, not many of them are using it.  In fact, according to a recent survey, 85 percent of organizations have started programs to create data-driven cultures, but only 37 percent have reported any success. Most restaurant owners do not know where to start, while there are others, who are still struggling with the dilemma of whether data collection is actually yielding any value to their business.

This article deals with the pertinent question – what benefits data-driven marketing can bring to your business.

Collecting, aggregating, and mining data provides marketers with relevant and actionable insights necessary to form an integrated strategy for future campaigns with a multi-channel focus.

1. Personalized Marketing

The millennial consumer has wizened up to the schemes and devices marketers use to engage them. From their mobile phones, work laptops to their TV screens, the average consumer encounters over a dozen marketing messages within a single day. To cut above this noise, it is important for brands to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time. This kind of customization is only possible with the use of data.

Personalization is the key because consumers are more likely to respond to messages that are relevant to them. For example, a guest who prefers gluten-free pizza (as seen from his purchase history) would be more likely to respond to promotions on your gluten-free entrée dishes. By studying consumer behavior such as what they usually order, their visit frequency, response to special offers and discounts, marketers can create a comprehensive picture of their audience and use this to develop a more personalized approach to their marketing. These insights not only help you to serve your customer better but also build long-term brand loyalty.

2. Staying Connected

According to a recent study, Millennials spend an average of 17 hours online every week. Marketers can use this to their advantage by correlating data across the various internal and external sources and the use of machine learning tools, which help them to identify the sites or platforms where their target audience spends maximum time. With the use of these tools, you can send out customized messages to your target customer at a time and place where they are most likely to convert.

3. Product Improvements

Most restaurants fail due to poor understanding of the market and their target audience. Data-driven marketing can give you a much better understanding of your target audience so that you can tailor your products to suit the needs of your customers.

4. Optimizing Sales Strategy

The ability to mark off the successful strategies and tools from those that did not deliver is crucial to the success of your marketing efforts. Analysis of data from marketing campaigns can provide you valuable insights into consumer behavior and the strategy that moves buyers down each stage of the sales funnel. These insights can help you to build highly targeted campaigns and optimize strategies for the different categories of customers. For instance, there may be a category of big spenders who are not your frequent customers; you can use the data available in this category to create marketing messages that can convert them into regular customers.

5. Predictive Analysis and Forecasting

Data can be used to determine customer behavior, responses, or purchases, or predict which customers are more likely to buy a product or who are more likely to fall off the sales funnel. Predictive analysis using data can, therefore, help marketers to optimize their marketing strategy promote, cross-sell or up-sell products.

Data can also provide valuable insights about market forecasts, which can be used for inventory management or regulation of your demand supply chain.

Final Thoughts

Restaurants that embrace data collection and evolve with technology are set to thrive in the constantly changing consumer environment.