Despite the delicate consumer environment, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) forecasts restaurant sales to grow in 2014 to $683 billion, according to a recent article.
And as U.S. bar and restaurant operators continue to vie for their share of the profits in a highly competitive industry, here are 6 marketing strategies that we can expect to see more bars and restaurants focused on to drive sales and consumer loyalty.
1. Mobile marketing:
Recent data from SinglePlatform at Constant Contact reveals that restaurants lead the way for mobile searches; in fact, 81% of mobile consumers have conducted a search for a restaurant via their mobile device. To respond, more bars and restaurants are investing in mobile-friendly websites, running geo-targeted mobile marketing campaigns, offering mobile ordering capabilities, and building custom mobile apps.
2. Marketing to different demographics:
In a FastCasual.com article, Restaurant Trend Mashup: What to expect in 2014, three demographic targets that will become focal points this year, in addition to Millennials, are Hispanics, women and baby-boomers, expect to see more restaurant marketing campaigns demographically targeted to appeal to these specific audience groups.
3. Rise of videos:
In one of our previous blog posts on Smarts, we wrote about Top Social Media Marketing Trends In 2014, where we emphasize the importance of video marketing and the rise of video-sharing tools like Vine and Instagram. Both platforms provide an easy way to share short videos that are more unique than the photographs consumers have been used to seeing.
4. More marketing integration across platforms:
A recent article in Nation’s Restaurant News, 5 restaurant marketing trends to watch in 2014, states that fragmentation will be the name of the game in 2014 when it comes to how restaurants invest their marketing and advertising dollars. As a result, marketing efforts will be more integrated and utilize multiple communications channels to generate brand awareness and consumer interest, including a mix of traditional media, digital marketing, social and mobile.
5. More focus on a great content strategy:
Content marketing will remain a paramount focus for bars and restaurants in 2014. With the continual explosion of social, mobile and digital marketing, content marketing is a vital way for bars and restaurants to share their brand, increase their organic web presence, and build customer loyalty. And because a great content marketing program requires focus, consistency and expertise, more restaurants are seeking professional marketers to carry out their messages, instead of relying on their service and management staff.
6. In-venue digital signage and entertainment platforms:
In 2014, more bars and restaurants will be embracing digital signage and entertainment platforms like Buzztime’s BEOND solution. Research shows that these tools drive customer loyalty and increase sales for bar and restaurant owners.
Have you integrated any of these above strategies into your bar and restaurant’s marketing plan for 2014? Are there others that you think should be on this list? Share your thoughts in the comment box below. Cheers to a successful New Year!
Article provided by Buzztime.
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Trusted by over 3,200 bars and restaurants in North America since 1985, Buzztime integrates trivia, card and sports games with in- and out-of-venue messaging and communication tools. With over 4.2 million player registrations on the Buzztime platform and over 52 million games played each year, Buzztime players spread the word and invite friends and family to their favorite Buzztime location to enjoy an evening of fun and competition.