“Good Girls Gone Bad”

The trailer to the new Underbelly TV show declares "Good Girl Gone Bad" whilst showing snippets of the forthcoming show

Amazing how a phrase, headline or subject line gets your attention isn't it!

This is a perfect segue into talking about why and how good marketing strategies go bad. The one below is a lulu, one that every restaurant owner can learn from and most will agree they are guilty of too - read on...

As you know the most profitable thing you can do in restaurant marketing is cause a current customer to come back and dine again.  Its the cheapest, most targeted form of advertising.  It’s the most effective and it endears your customers to you because it also acts as a reminder that you care about them as individuals.

It is essential that you collect your customers data so that you can communicate with them.  So when I was dining yesterday I was impressed and saddened when I saw what one restaurant was doing with a perfectly good repeat business strategy.  I was impressed because the owner had gone to the effort of creating a data collection system, he/she even had some plastic membership cards (with key fob) created for the purpose.   The cards even had the restaurant's details on them BUT my sadness came when I watched how the whole thing was very poorly executed, condemning the thing to failure.  And guaranteeing that the owner would waste money on the exercise.

Here's what happened...

1. The wait staff  didn't mention the membership program at any point.

2. At the counter where I paid there was no marketing material about it whatsoever.

3. The guy who took my money didn't mention it (it was only that I saw the plastic membership cards sat in a glass and asked, "what are these?" that he talked about the program at all).

4. His answer would have put most people off going any further - he told me "they are business cards and a key ring" - no reason to join, no enthusiasm, no WIIFM, no passion NO CLUE!

5. When I asked if I could have one - he replied - "you have to fill one of these in", (he pushed a slip of paper at me with "Register Here" typed across the top of it) then continued... "and we'll send you a text every now and again telling you what's going on".  Not only was that piece of information a turn off it was incorrect because the data collection form had no space for mobile numbers.

6. Next there wasn't a pen for me to fill in the form, we both searched around until I found one hidden under the coffee machine, of course it was so dried out by the heat that it didn't work, eventually the guy handed me another pen and I filled in my details.

7. Finally he thanked me and wished me a nice day.

Please don't get me wrong - there was nothing wrong with the guy, he wasn't hostile or moody he was just doing his job, preparing coffees and taking money.  He obviously had no idea about marketing or why people should be encouraged to fill in their details.  IT WASN'T HIS FAUL!

Once again it was a case of an owner who had seen a strategy elsewhere and then implemented it half assed.  Another "good marketing strategy gone bad".

As an owner you have to realise that most people turn up to work to "do my job" they don't think about your business, they don't think about what they can do more or better, they turn up to do their job and that's all.  If you don't educate them that its their job to implement this new fangled marketing system 100% or that its their job to bring in more money so that you all get paid then they'll go back to "making coffee and taking money" and it's madness to think otherwise.

By the way I live in hope that the marketing piece this place will send me will blow me away - but I doubt it.

Now this same strategy implemented well can cause a database to grow at a phenomenal rate, sometimes 1,000s of names every week!  I am about to start working with a client that has a venue attracting over 2,000 people a week.  With the right offer, card and staff training we will pick up 50% of them like clockwork.  This same owner has added just shy of $500,000 extra profit to another venue and business this year - using this same strategy.

So lets look at who is responsible and why this kind of thing happens. Well fortunately its the owner who is responsible.  I say fortunately because with the right training and support the owner can put this right and into action in no time.  Also because he/she has their nuts (or home) on the line you'd hope they'd be motivated to do so - right?  Well here comes the difficult part, "why this kind of thing happens", it happens because the owner does not understand or believe that marketing is valuable or that it actually works.  So even though he/she starts something they do it half hearted.  They subconsciously expect it to fail (which of course it does).  Their lack of attention, lack of passion and drive to make the strategy a winner is communicated to their staff and consequently to the customer.  My experience from yesterday (discussed above) is a prime example of this.  Sadly I have watched this happen time and time again, business owners condemning their marketing and business to fail in order that the "real world" matches up with their subconscious beliefs and expectations.

I know that this isn't the intention of the owner, I know they would love their strategy to work but it's like putting 3 wheels on a car and hoping it will drive like a sports car, its not going to happen.

How to make sure your marketing strategies cause your profits to surge:  Next Monday and Tuesday (18th & 19th July) at The William Angliss Institute in Melbourne you will get the best restaurant marketing training in the country.  You will also get motivation, support and passion from our speakers and a chance to speak to our very happy clients who will also be there.

I suspect that the restaurant discussed above has no such training and support so they are unknowingly sabotaging a thoroughly good strategy.  But they are not alone 99% of other restaurant owners are doing exactly the same thing  - don't let this be you.  Join us at the seminar in one weeks time and you too will see your profits surge.