We built a digital promotion to help KFC promote its launch. The program got huge numbers of email opt-ins and video shares. The trick was slight gamification.
We tantalized people with the ability to double their entries for each activity they completed (like downloading a coupon or joining the mailing list). As the carrot got bigger, so did people’s willingness to complete more activities. We got KFC literally tens of thousands of new email addresses for their marketing list.
Once you’ve collected emails, you can target list members with specials, new menu items, daily deals etc. It’s all about having that proprietary audience in the first place.
Of course, email isn’t the only way to connect with consumers. SMS is also a valuable tool for reaching consumers when they’re likely to be deciding what and where to eat. Incorporating tactics that prompt people to sign up for your SMS list will give you timely access to your customers.
There are several points in the dining experience where digital engagement and gamification can enhance the consumers’ experience and give you the data you need as a marketer or general manager.
Most people bring their smartphones with them while they eat, especially at casual restaurants. Incentives and gamification tactics can be very effective tools for helping you glean valuable consumer data throughout the dining experience. Offering discounts and coupons for entering some quick data points (like their age, dietary preference and happiness with their experience) will make sure you know who your customers are and what they like.
Consider offering rewards like instant win discounts or sweepstakes entries for checking in on Facebook, instagramming their meal, or tweeting about their dining experience.
Keep em’ coming back
In the days of yore, it was enough to have a fishbowl where diners put their business card to try and win a free meal. Today people want engagement on their digital devices to keep them loyal to a restaurant. Speaking of loyalty, it’s hard to beat a loyalty program as a tactic to turn customers into regulars.
Loyalty programs go together with digital marketing like birds and bees. Using digital promotions you can offer even more incentives for folks to join your loyalty program, and for the consumer joining can be as easy as tapping a button on their smartphone. Loyalty programs help you to build rich consumer profiles that allow you to target your messaging in future marketing efforts. You get more conversions, and the customer will get the deals that appeal to them, everybody wins.
Also consider digital coupons released during people’s dining experience that are redeemable for their next visit. This creates a strong incentive for repeat business.
Hope some of these thought-starters got you thinking about how your restaurant can take advantage of the digital technologies to increase you bottom line. Those technologies are only getting better so it’s high time to start leveraging them.
We’ll soon be hosting a webinar for restaurant marketers looking to add some spice to their digital promotions (a cooking joke, how impossibly clever). Stay tuned!
If you want some more tips on digital marketing for restaurants, call our restaurant specialist Steve Wilson at : 1-613-706-0619