If you do a google search for Beacon Technology, you will find plenty of articles talking about how this new technology is about to take the world by storm! Beacons have received a lot of hype but it's difficult to find help on how to actually implement them into your restaurant's marketing strategy. It can be daunting implementing new technology into your already crowded digital landscape!
To help you out, we've developed a 5 step plan to get you properly set up for using beacons at your restaurant, bar or venue.
1) To App or not to App?
If you have an app already, move on to step 2! If you don't, a question to ask yourself is what are you hoping to get out of your digital assets? Customer loyalty? A better on-premise experience? Faster ordering? Once you have this fleshed out, you have two options: to build out this experience in-house, or use another company that has this built into their software already. Whatever your answer is, let's talk about the kind of vendors you can speak with.
2) Choosing Your Vendor
If you want to use a 3rd Party:
It's entirely possible that the tech. you want to implement, whether it be a mobile payment service or a music service, has a vendor that uses beacon technology already! Companies like Cover and Rockbot use beacon technology in conjunction with their apps. While these companies don't currently allow customized messaging, they are increasing customer loyalty by reminding consumers that you are offering them a chance to use technology that was implemented to make their lives easier or make their time at your restaurant more entertaining!
A company that does allow customization, is Dash, a mobile payment company that wants to help businesses gain more traffic by using beacons. You can partner with Dash as your payment service and use their technology to customize discounts and rewards to lure people inside when they walk within the Beacon's pre-set radius.
If you have your own App:
There are a few key players in the industry you will want to take a look at who will help you use beacon technology alongside your restaurant's app. Check out the list below for top quality vendors:
3) Create an outreach plan
Creating a solid outreach plan is an important part of implementing a successful Beacon campaign. There are a few things you can think about to help you make decisions on what type of campaigns to develop: who are you trying to reach, what is your goal and what has worked well in the past.
Who are you trying to reach: The first step of your outreach plan should be defining your target audience. Are they younger or older? Are they thrifty? Are they staying for awhile or just there to grab and go? Defining who these people are will help you tailor your messaging and make your campaigns more attractive to those that you are trying reach.
What is your goal: Every campaign should have a goal you're trying to reach. Are you trying to increase sales of a certain new menu item? Are you trying to get more people in the door? Are you rewarding your most loyal customers? The answer to this question will drive your campaign messaging.
What has worked well in the past: Take a look at what has worked well in the past for accomplishing your goal. Did you have an extremely successful loyalty promotion? Did you sell out of a new menu item one month? Think about why you were successful and make sure that it's part of your campaign.
4) Set Up Metrics
Measure your success! It's important to start each campaign by setting up metrics and benchmarks to grade your success. Think about your goal and make sure you have the right measurements in place to be able to see how you are tracking against it. If you have never done something like this before and are unsure of what you should use as a benchmark, it's okay to use your first campaign as a test run and then build off that. You could also take a look at your past marketing efforts and use those numbers to build your initial benchmarks.
5) Get Feedback
The last step in your process is to get feedback. Remember, beacon technology is relatively new! Your customers aren't used to getting push notifications based on when they enter or exit a location so it's important to see how they react to it. Talk to them. Ask them how they like the messaging, if the offer was helpful/relevant to them and if they would appreciate getting another message like this in the future! Take your feedback and implement this into your next campaign!
Do you have anything to add to this implementation plan? Let us know in the comments section. If you're interested in learning more about using beacons at your restaurant and how you can personalize your customer's on-premise experience, click the link below for our white paper!