Does your marketing ACTUALLY work? Can your customers find you?

(18 /02 /2015)

Is marketing one of your key business activities?  Are you a strategic marketer or is adhoc marketing more your thing?  Either way, you need to make sure the activities you’re use are the right ones.  Take the time to monitor your campaign and consider the level and type of impact your various marketing activities have.

I have seen many establishments put large sums of money into paper advertising and promotional stunts, often running many ideas simultaneously.  And then, at the end of the day they could never really figure out which activities were of the most benefit.  What brought in that sudden influx of people and then just as quickly, why did they stop coming?  Was it the “two for one deal” that brought them in or was it the change in menu? Did they see the advertising in the local newspaper or was the specially printed business card magnets that were handed out?

Ultimately, we need to promote our business to make money but what is the point of spending money on marketing campaigns or ideas that just don’t work?  We need to make sure that the marketing activities that we spend our money on are the best ones for our business.  And we also need to make sure that these activities are complimentary to each other and are not just creating “noise” that is ignored.  Just because it looks like particular marketing activities are working doesn’t mean that we should keep doing those activities – perhaps there are other business activities that we should be putting more money into.

So how can we be sure what medium is working?  Marketing activities, particularly advertising and promotions, are quite costly so knowing where it is effective is just as important as good food cost controls for example.  So how do we find out?  The answer is quite simple. Every time some one calls to make a reservation or walks through the door ask the question – where did you hear about us, what made you come here?  Get talking!  Perhaps have a log at the phone or counter and log responses against your list of promotional activities currently active.  At the end of the week, tally up and the results will give you a reasonable indication where your marketing budget is best spent.   And be sure to include “word of mouth” as a promotional activity – so often business is generated by one happy customer telling 10 of their friends how great your establishment is.  This has to be the cheapest form of promotion I know!  And market research doesn’t have to be expensive to yield some useful results.

So in my book, figuring out where you should spend your money is pretty simple – use your words! Interact with your customers, talk to potential customers, give people something great to talk about and you will save a lot of money being wasted on ineffective marketing mediums.

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