by Cherryh Cansler
EVOS worked with ShopAdviser on a six-week mobile marketing campaign across four locations in Florida. Provided.
Although most restaurant brands try to employ an omnichannel marketing approach to tapping traditional media — newspapers, radio, television, direct mail — as well as new media — digital, mobile, social channels — 75% said they relied more heavily on traditional media, but less than 50% rated those channels as providing excellent results, according to a survey conducted by ShopAdvisor. Earlier this year, the marketing solutions company polled dozens of QSR and fast casual restaurant owner/operators to uncover what was missing in their marketing strategies.
"The results of this survey are eye-opening," ShopAdvisor CEO Jeff Papows, said in a company press release. "We think it reveals a significant and likely widening gap between how restaurants spend to create awareness and attract customers versus how the consumer is actually finding them."
Most consumers — especially GenXers, Millennials, and GenZers — rely on their smartphones for everything, including finding places to eat, obtaining special offers, placing orders and scheduling pick-up or deliveries.
"With research predicting that by the end of 2019, mobile advertising will account for 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending, those restaurants that increase their digital promotion spending — particularly mobile — have the opportunity to set themselves apart and grow their market share with these audiences," Papows said.
How one brand got it right
Tampa-based EVOS Restaurants is a prime example of how effective a mobile campaign can be for a restaurant. Earlier this year, the healthy fast casual concept worked with ShopAdviser on a six-week mobile marketing campaign across four locations in Florida. The campaign included media creatives — mobile ads and landing pages — that engaged diners on mobile devices, which provided information on the restaurant's offers, special deals and directions to the nearest EVOS Restaurants location.
The strategy yielded a 9% lift in sales and increased website visits by over 110% — results that EVOS Co-founder Michael Jeffers said speak for themselves.
"Working on this campaign with ShopAdvisor has been nothing short of a fantastic experience," he said during an interview with FastCasual. "Their team acts with the utmost professionalism and was very hands on and constantly in contact with me and provided diligent notes and reports about how the campaign was performing at every restaurant for each of the eight targeted offers including brand building ads."
Jeffers was also happy with the creative efforts produced for his brand, which included marketed ads on mobile devices in and around the restaurants.
"With increased redemptions on our annual free organic milkshakes Earth Day promotion and a sales lift of 9%, we're more than pleased with the outcome of the campaign."
Is it time for mobile proximity marketing strategy?
A myriad of studies shows that smartphone usage is at an all-time high and growing. For example, more than three out of four consumers use their mobile devices as an integral part of their shopping and dining experiences, according to Quora Creative. With this, the majority of consumers are targetable via their smartphones for mobile ads and relevant promos from restaurants.
"This shift in consumer behavior underscores the urgency for owner/operators to invest more in mobile than any other channel," said Papows who believes that by implementing a mobile proximity marketing strategy, brands can target consumers more effectively and build brand loyalty not only for the duration of a singular campaign but for years to come.
"They also provide many more ways to measure effectiveness, including engaged audience demographics, most popular offers and times of the day, foot traffic and sales lift analysis," he said. "These campaigns can deliver invaluable information for building long-term, opt-in relationships with customers."
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