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.
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.
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 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.