The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Marketing
Know your audience (customers) in and out. Seize the opportunities to study the data on your current customers from every interaction you’ve had, including their purchase patterns.
You might have just found your ground-breaking moment in coming up with a new menu or set of ideas for your F&B set up, but they might not reach their greatest potential if not built upon your customers’ needs. Yes, your customers’ needs. Who exactly are you targeting to, anybody, a certain age group or specific income- level individuals? What would be the core purpose of your existence, is it based on a certain need in the F&B industry, or your rooted belief that you strongly feel for – a new revolution that will uplift a certain concept?
If you have not exactly found your target patrons, start by studying the data on your current customers from every interaction you’ve had, including their purchase patterns. From there, build your brand identity and reflect them in all your social media platforms and promotional materials. Perhaps you may still hold a strong belief that being generic might catch the widest net of customers possible.
Allow us to offer an alternative set of views on this. A business niche can actually be more profitable, as you serve needs that may be overlooked by competitors, and by having a certain niche of customers would help you in your marketing strategies as well. Moreover, niche marketing usually costs less as you would have already figured out where and how to find your customers.
Enhance your customers’ experience
It is of no surprise to ascertain that the F&B industry is one that is tied closely to consumer confidence. Having seen many reviews online (Facebook, food reviews website), F&B businesses like yours might feel that it is almost impossible to maintain a clean slate before it is smeared with negative reviews. While this negative feedback may harm your brand’s reputation, and probably daunt potential customers to patronising your shop, you can turn this into a fruitful opportunity still.
You have the power to turn these complaints into opportunities through your social media platforms, by dutifully acknowledging and apologising for your team’s mistake and work on the shortfall. You can also personally follow up with that particular customer offline if it was a grievous mistake on your side, with a personalised letter and placate them with a voucher or sort, in the effort of recognising that their review is still valued.
Another way to enhance your customers’ experience is by recognising the support of your existing customer base by having attractive loyalty programs. With the rising number of online food apps that you can tap on, you have incorporate that as part of your restaurant marketing plan, offering visitors a free purchase or discounts for visiting a certain number of times.
Add human personality to your brand
According to Nielsen, more than two thirds of Singaporeans base their choice of restaurants or F&B related purchases (68% and 67% respectively) are based on social media websites or online product reviews. Direct correlation is seen between positive social media sentiment and actual intent to purchase products and services. Moreover, social media can serve as an integrated real-time platform to test new ideas and product strategies in obtaining real-time feedback, with which savvy marketers can harness the growing influence of social media to impact business.
Millennials aged between 15 and 34 years old are found to be the generation that frequent the different types of restaurant the most, with at least once in the last 3 months, compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers. Marketers can certainly capitalise on this trend, coupled with the trend that millennials too are among the group most active in their social media profiles.
Especially when you are first venturing out your business idea in this F&B scene, you may find it challenging to generate reviews and hype about your business. Hence, it is only a smart move if you develop a personal and intimate engagement with your diners, or even by having a photo contest – asking customers to share their favourite meal at your shop and share their entries on a dedicated content page.
By having personal voices speaking about your brand in authentic ways, you will turn occasional visitors into die-hard devotees. Even just one write up or mention from a major foodie can be huge for restaurant promotion efforts and their followers will be motivated to try it personally too.
Catch on the Social Proofing trend
We all know the food porn Instagrammer on our newsfeed that often leaves us drooling at the juicy burgers they boast about. It just entices us even more to be on the café hopping bandwagon, so that we too can produce such Instagram-worthy images that will in turn drool our followers. There must be good reasons why food business like yours, take much pain and effort in plating your food so beautifully, celebrating their harmonious colours – just so that your diners can start their meal routine by snapping their glorious food before they begin tucking in.
In addition, we subconsciously believe in the power of word of mouth so much, that perhaps F&B bosses like you might realise that you are letting your customers to do the promoting of your business visual content just the way they desire on their social media profiles. Then, it will appear that your food creation is the new and correct trend that all these diners’ friends and relatives should set their eyes on for their next meal, to be part of the social influence.
Strategise the ambience of your shop, right from where your customers walk in
While food involve taste, smell and touch, it also heavily relies on sight. Professor Staphani K. Robson, lecturer at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration revealed that colour not only affects people’s perceptions and attitudes, but can actually elicit a biological response. F&B founders are well familiar that they have to consider the colour combinations to covey a certain mood, brand associations and energy that speak of their brand identity. If you have much meat dishes on your menu, be sure to include brown colour as it exudes a sense of comfort, wholesomeness and reliability. Red, being the colour passion, love and romance and is the colour of many foods, in certainly enhances the appetite and is also found to stimulate the hypothalamus of the brain, which is activated when we get an energy boost.
To design your menu using some of the psychological tips, be sure to place your best dishes in the middle of the menu, as our eyes typically move to the middle portion of the menu first, before travelling to the top right corner and then finally to the top left – known as the Golden Triangle by menu engineers. Also, deliver your menu with some storytelling weaved in at the descriptions of the dish – it turns out that menu with longer descriptions are sold more, and restaurant owners can benefit from this higher profit margins.
This article was contributed by Kobe Technologies. For more info, please visit http://getkobe.com
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