If you’re in the business of running a restaurant, you likely already know how much of a challenge marketing is, particularly in today’s COVID-19-influenced environment.
Instead of using traditional marketing techniques to bring customers to your restaurant, now that public gatherings are back in action you may want to consider turning your focus to experiential marketing. Experiential marketing is marketing that creates a face-to-face branding experience to your clients. It’s less about sending a message to your audience and more about memorably communicating with your audience.
Restaurants are especially positioned to succeed with experiential marketing because customers develop bonds with the food they love. They’re likely to be vocal about brands they love and even more vocal about brands that have let them down in the past. If you can create a meaningful connection with your guests through experiential marketing, you’ll gain vocal brand advocates and lifelong customers.
If you’re looking for a creative way to get more customers into your restaurant while simultaneously building brand loyalty and customer relationships, partnering with a nonprofit or popular event is a great way to make that connection. A few years ago, LivingSocial partnered with World Central Kitchen (WCK) and invited guests to try restaurants all over Washington, D.C. to promote WCK’s message and get new customers to try the LivingSocial platform. Customers paid full price for the experience and it sold out. Consider partnering with a local nonprofit to donate a portion of your proceeds to them for the night. Just make sure the nonprofit is aligned with your core messaging and brand. A steakhouse would look foolish donating a portion of its proceeds to PETA or the ASPCA, for example.
You can also partner with a popular event in your area that needs local vendors to provide food services. You’ll draw a new crowd and build authentic customer relationships along the way.
No matter how you choose to market your restaurant, the most important thing is to be genuine in your interactions and allow customers to be a part of the conversation. These positive interactions matter more than almost anything else about your business or marketing strategy. In fact, 72% of customers say they think positively of brands that provide good experiences for their customers.
If you’d like to learn how your restaurant can benefit from experiential marketing, contact Auctus Agency today. We can work with you to design the perfect experience for your customers, staff your events with trained brand ambassadors, and help turn your customers into loyal brand advocates.