If you’re in search of a way to build brick-and-mortar customer loyalty and establish a strong customer following, it can help to put on your thinking cap and look at some of the ways other companies have realized success.
For instance, Amazon, one of the most powerful companies on the planet, created a new sales holiday for its customers in 2015 – Prime Day. It was a hit with customers and has since become one of the most successful post-Thanksgiving sales campaigns ever.
While this is a rather extreme example, the lesson is clear. All it really takes is a bit of creative ingenuity, the right customer data, and an effective way to get your messages in front of your customers.
Fortunately, restaurant marketing opportunities are plentiful, potential creative ideas are countless, and the secret ingredient for increasing customer engagement and loyalty might just be producing the right content experience for your customers.
Why Content Marketing for Restaurants?
There are two primary reasons to consider content marketing for your restaurant or retail business. First, consumer confidence is high, but so is competition. According to Deloitte’s 2019 Retail, Wholesale and Distribution Outlook, U.S. retailers will quite possibly face some headwind this year. “Retailers should look beyond tiered programs built around traditional loyalty and benefits—points, dollars off, gifts, mailers—that at best elicit “transactional” loyalty. In an industry shifting toward experience-based models, retailers should look to make emotional connections, not just transactional ones.”
Content marketing is the perfect strategy to generate that type of loyalty.
This brings us to the second and equally important reason for making content a part of your marketing strategy – cost savings.
Cost containment should always be a major part of planning, and economic tension between the U.S. and other countries might result in trade wars, resulting in much higher cost of goods, services and shipping. Amid this turmoil, cost saving becomes even more imperative. Even if trade wars do not develop, retail profit margins are known to be thin, so saving on advertising and marketing costs is essential.
Fortunately, content marketing is one of the most inexpensive and sustainable marketing strategies available today, and well within the reach of companies at any budget level.
The Key to Successful Brick-and-Mortar Content Marketing: WiFi Analytics
You obviously want to engage your customers in a way that will have them coming back to your store again and again, and then translate that engagement into tangible ROI. To do this, you need to be able to segment your customers into specific groups and measure the behavior of each customer individually, based on the marketing messages they receive.
There are several ways to collect customer data, such as through your POS system, loyalty platform, or your website. However, for most brick-and-mortar restaurant and retail establishments, the ideal solution is a quality WiFi marketing and analytics platform.
These platforms allow business owners to use their WiFi access points to collect anonymous customer behavior data while they are visiting your establishment. When customers log into the WiFi, the platform collects even more valuable data, allowing you to build individual customer profiles including data like: email address, phone number, popular visit times, frequency, age, gender, birthday, and much more.
Using WiFi Data for Content Marketing
With all this data collected, it becomes easy to segment your customers into groups and send targeted, personalized email messages which can include any type of message, newsletter, event reminder, promotion, coupon, etc.
Furthermore, since each customer is tracked individually, you’ll be able to see who comes back into your establishment and/or redeems an offer after you have sent them a marketing message. This allows you to accurately track the individual ROI of each email marketing campaign sent through the system.
With this type of data at your fingertips, the marketing ideas become as endless as your imagination. You can send specific emails to specific customer segments about:
- Weekly specials
- Monthly freebies
- Events (such as local craft beer/wine tasting, kid’s night, etc.)
- Newsletters from the company CEO
- Or even create a new sales holiday, like Amazon!
With a WiFi marketing platform, you can also send out marketing messages based on demographics and user behavior, triggered by things like:
- Customer birthday
- Customer age or gender
- Milestone number of visits
- Customer ratings
- Evidence of churning
This is content marketing at its finest. The important thing to remember is that you need to gather as much data as possible about your customers so that you can segment them and personalize your messaging to each segment.
This leads to increases in customer engagement which can build loyalty to your brand and keep them coming back. And this, in turn, leads to higher customer lifetime values, which increases your profit margins and helps you hedge against an unpredictable and possibly volatile economic future.