The problem with marketing that is easy is that it usually is not very effective. It’s easy to sign up for a monthly ad in the local coupon mailer- but how many of those come back and of the ones that do how many turn into regular customers?
It’s easy to sign up for Groupon- but how well did that work out for you? Probably not well.
It is harder to create a marketing plan that acknowledges exactly who your best customers are likely to be and the best way to reach them with the best offer. But that is how you are going to get your best return on investment and make a significant dent in your growth goals.
This is known as marketing with a rifle- you take fewer shots but you spend a lot more time aiming so those shots are effective. The opposite is the shotgun approach- where you spray out a lot of little efforts in the hopes of hitting something with one or two of them.
Unless you are bird hunting, shotguns aren’t very effective, and certainly not for something that requires as much focus and planning as restaurant marketing.
When going over a restaurant’s marketing history, one of the things that consistently comes up is the fact that many of these restaurants started out with a pretty decent marketing plan, but as time went on, this plan started getting diluted and less and less effective. Sometimes it’s because the cavalcade of vendors that come into the restaurant to sell them the “newest, best thing”. Sometimes though it’s simply that the restaurant finds it tough to stay the course and follow the disciplined plan they set out in the beginning, opting instead to do a little bit of everything, when time permits, and to try and be a little bit of everything to everyone.
Is what you are doing today, to market your restaurant, building on what you did yesterday or are you starting from scratch…again? So often we find that restaurant owners and management are jumping from one thing to another, to another, to another but never getting any significant results, never getting ahead.
Why? Because they are spreading themselves too thin.
To have a quantum leap at almost anything in life and really have a significant impact, it is not going to be the result of trying to do everything. It is going to be the compounded result of doing only the most important activities for your restaurant and it’s marketing plan, over and over again. You need to do fewer activities more frequently. You should be shooting at your targeted activities with a rifle and not a shotgun. If you do those few, most important activities, consistently, over and over again, at some point your restaurant will reach the tipping point. It will explode into a quantum leap.
Getting the desired results you want, and reaching your goals for your restaurant is not complicated, but it is difficult. It involves doing the important activities, not the urgent ones. The difficult part is being disciplined enough to do those important, not the urgent activities consistently, and doing them over and over again until you have that Quantum Leap breakthrough.
Why is it so hard? Because you have to do it over and over and over again for long periods of time with what appears to be little or no results. But if you have the discipline to stick with it, all of a sudden out of nowhere, one day you will have a radical breakthrough. The hard part is not to quit when you feel like you are running into a brick wall with no results. Because when the wall comes down, it won’t come down one brick at a time. The accumulation effect of hitting it over and over again will bring it tumbling down all at once. It will happen when you are exhausted and beyond wanting to quit. You will hit it again and BANG!!!!
That is one of the things that make the restaurant business so difficult. Your job is demanding, requires an inordinate number of hats to be worn, and can max out your time like you wouldn’t believe. Think of it this way:
Your restaurant is known for it’s great service and fantastic menu, not because of a single meal, but because of the cumulative effect of many diners eating there, over a period of time and having a great experience.
Even though you are tired and busy, you always take time to ensure that these things stay consistent. Treat your marketing with the same dedication, discipline to stay on course, and cumulative strategy and you will be amazed at what you will accomplish.
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