I recently exhibited at the IFA (International Franchise Association) convention in Orlando. As the CEO of a neighborhood marketing company, I posed a question to every franchisor and franchisee that walked into my booth. Does your local store marketing budget evaportate with little or no measurable return on investment? 100% answered yes. Nobody is happy with their 1-1.5% of sales that are often focused on local marketing efforts. Yet we know that the biggest opportunity to increase top line sales is in your backyard. That is where more than 90% of yourcustomers come from (a 5-10 minute drive from your front door).Over the past several years, we have helped thousands of locations nationwide tap into that market for less than $200 a month. The focus? Building new trial and concentrating on specifc life events that increase the propensity of the consumer to respond. Specifically, we focus on a 4 pronged neighborhood marketing approach. First, new neighbors. This lucrative group (when comnigled with a free offer) can consistantly produce double digit redemption rates and are hungry to try a new place. Next ,we already have birthday data on every market in the USA (no need to collect names and addresses of those that are already a customer). We send out a birthday card to new prospects right in your local trading area to stimulate new trial once again. Then comes Business to Business. We send out a monthly campaign to a select group of neighboring businesses with a BOGO offer to induce new trial and increase party size. It all gets rounded up with a quarterly or semi annual saturation mailer to round out the mix. The bottom line? Double digit top line sales increases, double digit redemption rates and a marketing budget that fits nearly every location in the USA.Would love to hear your thoughts on small budgets for local store marketing efforts. If you are interested in learning more, I would love to discuss this topic in more detail for those that have questions.

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  • Brad

    With all due respect, we disagree on this. New neighbors and birthday cards can be effective- but why waste that money before exhausting all the FREE creative marketing locally.

    Here's a short list that any and all restaurant owners can and should pursue first-

    Fundraising with high schools (Huge upside, when you get in)


    Local Business partnerships and cross promotions

    Creative strategies to build lunch time business (UPS drivers, policemen, firemen, cable tv drivers, etc.)

    and the list of networking opportunities goes on.

    Most of the restaurant owners I work with throughout the country spend very little cash to accomplish these objectives.

    Just my spin on it.
  • It sounds great, but how do you make it happen for $200 a month? I am very aggressive in local store marketing and have raised sales but it costs my company more than $200 a month. (Please share your secrets.)
  • Also, the answer is unequivocally YES. I helped build sales in Ryan's of Akron form 40,000/week to 60,000/week over a 6 month period through our local store marketing efforts. It got me promoted to GM and then I did the same thing in Columbus....raising sales from 19,000/week to 29,000/week over 6 weeks. It's really not that hard, it just takes organization and footwork....

    I'll be posting those effective synergistic strategies in the not to distant future on the LSM group here on FohBoh.

  • Hey Brad,

    We do have a Local Store Marketing Group here on FohBoh with about 50 members. It would be great if you would consider joining the group and contributing your knowledge and expertise.

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