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Here’s the real restaurant marketing “magic bullet”

There is a burning need in restaurant marketing. I hear about it daily. If I distill it down to one word, it’d be “results.” It seems that so many restaurateurs, brand managers, and C-level executives can’t seem to ace effective marketing. And so the conversations I have, or overhear, are ultimately akin to these one-liners: “Our marketing isn’t working”, “we need new thinking”, “what can we do to drive traffic?” Essentially they start the search for the mythical magic bullet that’s going to produce amazing results. We usually end up at the table around this time.

At some point during our presentation on approach and thinking someone will try to get down to brass tacks; cut through the perceived “marketing speak.” They’re looking for tactics, and, whether they say it or not, that magic bullet. They’re hoping for an epiphany, an a-ha moment, that will show them a simple, inexpensive tactic that they’ve been missing.

Something is missing from their marketing efforts, but it’s not tactical which will shake the core of any analytical, tactical-minded exec. The problem is somewhere in the three levels of effective marketing.

Make it visible. This is where most marketing begins and ends. Visibility is the basics of reach and frequency. Get the message out there into the world is a tactical endeavor.

Make it noticeable. This is where most marketing fails. Most marketing messages and creative outputs are self-centered relying heavily on outdated, snake oil salesman tactics: New and improved, get a percent off, can you believe this deal?! This isn’t noticeable. It’s easily ignored, and forgettable if someone actually does see it. Effective marketing is different and unique. It’s unexpected. It stands out of the din and demands attention.

Make it matter. Once their attention is attained, the message and content has to matter to them. It should make them feel something. It should establish relevance in their day-to-day. It should leave them feeling like it was worth looking. This is absent from the majority of restaurant marketing.

If you’re looking for a magic marketing bullet, stop sifting through tactics and start creating noticeable, meaningful, and worthwhile marketing content. That’s the real magic bullet.


Written by Joseph Szala, Principal of Vigor, a restaurant branding and marketing agency in Atlanta — have a look at our work, our thinking, and do follow us on Twitter and Instagram




New thoughts and strategies for the restaurant, food, beverage & hotel industries

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Joseph Szala

Joseph Szala

Restaurant & hospitality branding, marketing & design leader. Managing Director: Vigor / Host: Forktales / Curator: Grits&Grids / Author: The Bullhearted Brand

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