• Restaurant Marketing

The Key to Digital Marketing for Restaurants: Build a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

by: Allen Graves On: March 21, 2022
6 min read

Digital marketing for restaurants has come a long way since the first eateries took their menus online. Customers are interacting with restaurants via multiple channels and in new ways all the time.

Whether they’re walking into your physical locations, ordering online on a mobile app, or booking a table on a reservations platform, customers are building you a picture of their habits and desires at every interaction.

restaurant digital marketing with customer data

Savvy restaurant operators know that to maximize the potential of your business, digital marketing, data collection, and analytics are just as important as sourcing suppliers, training wait staff, and hiring the right head chef.

In fact, restaurants have access to so much potential data, it becomes an ordeal to even process it. What you need to get to grips with digital marketing for your restaurant is a foundation of clean, organized customer data.

This can be used in all sorts of ways to understand your guests, remarket to them and others like them, and ultimately maximize your revenue per channel.

What is a customer data platform (CDP) and why do you need one?

A customer data platform takes in data from a variety of sources. From different marketing channels, POS data, and WiFi login, for example.

All sorts of data from online and offline behavior, demographics, email addresses, phone numbers, income, zip code, transactions, and visit history, is cleaned, organized, and aggregated into customer profiles that can be used to improve marketing in a variety of ways.

In other words, a customer data platform creates a database of guest profiles that gives you deep insights into your guests’ behaviors, habits, and desires. It can be used in conjunction with other software to improve the targeting of your marketing, boost repeat business, and help you make the right decisions going forward.

guest data platform for restaurant digital marketing

The benefits of a well-run customer data platform are numerous.

Firstly, it allows you to own accurate first-party data, which is far more valuable than third-party data you could purchase. It tells you what your real customers do and want, rather than giving you speculations about theoretical customers.

A unified platform also avoids data silos, where data is trapped in separate systems and can’t be used effectively across the whole business.

Overall, a customer data platform allows you to deeply understand your customers so that you can retarget with effective omni-channel marketing. It allows you to create a profile of a customer, down to individual clicks on a website, while also giving you a large database of customer profiles to market to.

You get a big picture of your customer base but also granular data right down to their movements, habits, and searches. You can track a customer’s behavior across any channel through which they interact with your business.

How do you build a customer data platform for restaurant digital marketing?

You start by collecting data wherever customers interact with your restaurant. These days, that means in-store, with WiFi data capture for example, online on ordering websites and apps, on reservations platforms, review sites, and anywhere else that customers input information.

It can take anywhere from 4 weeks to six months to gather enough data for your platform to become useful so it is an investment of time. But the results will quickly pay for that investment many times over.

Building a customer data platform in-house is going to take up a whole lot of resources and requires specialist expertise. You may even need to set up an entire IT department to manage the process.

Many restaurant brands decide to leave it to the experts and team up with data collection specialists to set up and run their customer data platform.

However, Bloom Intelligence makes it easy! We get you started right away with WiFi data capture, and from there you build your customer data platform with guests data from online ordering, POS data, and even real-time customer data.

restaurant digital marketing key: customer databases

Restaurant digital marketing with a customer data platform?

Now that your customer data platform is set up and collecting insights, it’s time to put it to use. The truth is the possibilities are endless and you’ll never run out of ways to improve your restaurant’s digital marketing using your guest profiles.

But here are some of the ways to get the most from your platform straight away.

Create lookalike campaigns

A lookalike campaign takes an audience of existing customers and find a whole load of new customers in the same demographics with similar tastes. The idea is that these people are also likely to enjoy your service and a good percentage of them will become loyal customers themselves.

Once your lookalike audience has been created with a service like Facebook or Google Ads, you can send out targeted marketing messages to your new audience. A successful lookalike campaign could unlock an entirely new market of customers similar to those who already love your restaurant.

And the key to creating a good one is to know your own customers as well as possible using the data from your customer data platform.

Execute personalized digital remarketing campaigns

Building detailed customer profiles allows you to understand your customers. And it gives you a ton of data points that can be used to demonstrate that understanding with targeted marketing.

A personalized marketing message is likely to be much more effective than a generic template message. You’re far more likely to respond to an email that addresses you by name and includes an offer on your favorite dish, than one that is clearly being blasted out to hundreds of people with no personal relevance.

Personalized marketing using your customer profiles can turn once-in-a-while guests into regulars, and regulars into life-long patrons.

Build ideal customer profiles for restaurant digital marketing

A smart customer data platform with a service like Bloom allows you to use guest intelligence to create an ideal customer profile. Then you can go after that type of customer with intent.

Online advertising, on search engines, social media, and banner ads, is far more effective when it is targeted well. Ideal customer profiles help you target the right customers so that your per-click advertising spend isn’t wasted on people who aren’t going to make a purchase.

Discover new market opportunities

You never know what your guest data will reveal. You may find a new restaurant marketing opportunities you never knew existed by observing your guests’ habits and searches.

Perhaps there’s an unexplored opportunity for a Neopolitan pizzeria in a certain neighborhood, for example. You might explore the idea of adding the offering to your existing kitchen as a virtual brand.

The more data you collect, the more likely you are to find new opportunities in the marketplace. Opportunities which will lead to more and better data capture in a virtuous circle of continued growth.

Understand your customers and maximize revenue per channel

A customer data platform is the foundation of your restaurant’s digital marketing. It informs strategy, provides data to improve marketing online, and reveals new opportunities for growth.

In a world where customers are interacting with your restaurant in so many ways, online and offline, you need to be marketing to them in the right places. In the omni-channel future of digital marketing for restaurants, businesses that fail to automate data capture and get control of their own customer data will be left behind.

Setting up an effective digital marketing strategy informed and powered by a customer data platform might be easier than you think.

Bloom Intelligence has helped numerous businesses automate data capture and build a database of guest profiles, starting with something as simple as taking a customer’s email address when they login to the WiFi network.

If you’re looking to maximize revenue per channel in the world of digital marketing for restaurants, speak to a Bloom Intelligence data expert today for a demo.

Final Thoughts on Guest Data and Your Restaurant Digital Marketing

Segmenting and personalizing your email marketing messages with reliable customer data has been proven as an effective way to deliver relevant and engaging marketing content to your customers.

This adds value to their experience and can quickly improve your open rates and subsequent revenue.

Using a WiFi marketing and analytics platform to collect a large volume of the right data, personalizing your marketing campaigns has never been easier.

You’ll feel confident as you make solid data-driven decisions, drive company growth and build a much larger base of loyal customers.

With the amount of competition out there, customer profiling can be one of the easiest methods of gaining a strong competitive advantage and ensuring lasting success.

Click for a free demo of the Bloom Intelligence platform, or call to schedule today at 727-877-8181.

learn more about Bloom restaurant digital marketing tools

Restaurant Marketing FAQs

What is Restaurant Marketing?

Restaurant marketing is the process of getting people to visit your restaurants. Restaurant marketing creates loyalty, provides data to research, analytics, and allows restaurants to gain a better understanding of their ideal customer profile. It utilizes all customer channels: guest WiFi, website, social, rating sites, mobile apps, email, text, and advertising.

Learn More About Restaurant Marketing Here

What is WiFi Marketing?

WiFi marketing is a marketing technique that uses guest WiFi to collect & clean customer data such as names, emails, phone numbers, customer behavior, and demographics. This data is used to personalize marketing campaigns to increase customer loyalty, build online reviews, and save at-risk customers. The performance of every campaign can be tracked down to the tangible ROI of a customer walking back in your door.

Learn More About WiFi Marketing Here

What is Restaurant Reputation Management?

Restaurant reputation management is the process for restaurants to manage customer feedback and creating systems to improve customer experiences, passively build positive online reviews, and save at-risk customers. It is a very important aspect of running a successful restaurant business.

Learn More About Restaurant Reputation Management Here

How Does Bloom Identify and Bring Back Lost Customers?

Bloom Intelligence uses machine learning to identify at-risk customers. When one is recognized, the system will send them a message with an incentive to get them to return and re-establish their visit pattern. Bloom users are seeing up to 37% of churning customers return.

Learn More About Saving At-Risk Customers Here


What our happy customers
are saying

Austin Eggleston
Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations
Ron Murray
Matt Thompson, Managing Partner
Jacqueline Martin

“I highly recommend restaurants, dental/medical offices, and other businesses look into Bloom Intelligence as 1) their marketing technology is very powerful and 2) their team is AWESOME. As a marketing agency, Bloom has helped several of our clients grow their businesses via building their database and re-targeting them at the right time. Thanks Again!”

Austin Eggleston

“We’re extremely pleased with the wealth of customer data that we’re able to gather, at a very attractive price.  In addition, we’re able to communicate our new product promotions by using  the landing page as a digital billboard.  A “no-brainer” for anyone working with limited Marketing $$.”

Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations

Atlanta Bread Company

“This is an integral part of our local store marketing program. We use the e-mails we collect to tell our existing customers about various promotions, specials and discounts, and the analytics tools are amazing at capturing and displaying smart device activity in and around our store.”

Ron Murray

Atlanta Bread Company

“They have always been attentive through whatever needs and questions we have.

They go above and beyond to make sure our team and customers stay connected while helping us with our marketing efforts.”

Matt Thompson, Managing Partner

Madison Social

“I am currently working with Bloom Intelligence with Matt Ronay and Edward Kennedy. They are great to work with, respond quickly, and provide great support for noth my company and my clients. I have used other WiFi platforms but never received this level of service. I was looking for a service that would make it easy for me to sell WiFi lead generation and analytics to my clients without a lot of problems. They have provided this above and beyond. I highly recommend them to any agency looking to add this type of program to your services.”

Jacqueline Martin

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