April 18, 2011

Citing a recent report from the National Restaurant Association (NRA), PowerDirect Marketing announced increased focus on front-door marketing programs for its restaurant clientele. According to the NRA 2011 Restaurant Industry Forecast, restaurant industry sales are expected to reach a record $604 billion and post positive growth in 2011 after a three-year period of negative real sales growth. Whether launching a new menu item, promoting a signature dish, trying to reach a specific customer segment (e.g. Hispanics), or build traffic around a specific day or week part, front-door marketing is well-suited to help restaurant chains capitalize on renewed consumer foodservice spending. PowerDirect's own customer base in QSR (quick serve restaurant), fast casual, family and casual dining categories has grown due to significant advances in geo-demographic and behavioral segmentation, creating specific guest profiles that enable the most effective front-door marketing.

"Establishments that engage, deliver value and reach potential diners at home – where they consider options and plan their time and budgets – have an advantage in a distinctly competitive restaurant marketplace. Due to its ability to quickly reach the right customer with the right offer, front-door marketing is highly strategic in introducing new stores, boosting frequency of dining visits, party size or value of average checks," said Barry Gilbert, VP marketing, PowerDirect. "As restaurants have become more and more innovative, developing creative pricing strategies, locations and food concepts, they are taking care to connect these strategies with the right audience. The competition demands it, and so do customers who care more than ever about price and value in family dining."

While many restaurant operators anticipate increased consumer spending in 2011, they are still acutely aware of new long-term attitudes toward being frugal. CIT Group's 2011 Outlook for the U.S. Restaurant Industry however points out consumers may be fatigued enough by ongoing financial stresses that they may be willing to allow some minor indulgences in family dining. Capturing the consumer's attention is essential to cornering these dollars, as well as maintaining a brand identity that is meaningful to the customer – expectations all met through effective targeting of front-door campaigns.

PowerDirect's thoughtful analysis enables development of target groups that consider not only the best prospects, but where they live and the likelihood that they will visit a particular restaurant chain. PowerDirect's data modeling extends targeting resources by further identifying "look alike" prospects whose demographic or behavioral profiles mimic those of best-performing customers. These groups can be targeted in much smaller units, based on using "block groups" of about 400 households rather than entire zip codes, and include variables such as type of chain user, brand affinity, and usage occasion. Block groups can also be segmented according to visit frequency. In particular, heavy fast food users (known as "HFFU's") can be reached. Leading restaurants such as McDonald's, Wendy's and Denny's have leveraged this level of sophisticated data, along with high-quality physical media, eye-catching creative and an attractive offer. Further, advanced mapping technologies enable detailed visualization of the delivery area, supported by GPS technology that verifies the when and where of delivery execution.

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