Steven Groves's Blog (20)

Who's Watching You Online? See Whose Cookies Are On Your System Now

I get to consume lot of content daily and one of my sources is an email listserv that Doc Searles runs which covers the topic of 'VRM' or Vendor Relationship Mgmt (think the other half of the coin to CRM, Customer Relationship Mgmt).  The underlying premise of the discussions in the group are that consumers can, and are preparing to, control the data relationship with the vendors they choose to…

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Added by Steven Groves on April 6, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments

Google+ for Foodservice - What's the holdup?

Google+ appears to be having a problem with connecting to the consumer audience out there - I want to know why.

Could it be that the brands that appeal to consumers, are not there yet enmass?  Could it be that the engagement options are limited?  Could it be that the 3rd party developer community that has made Facebook so useful is not yet invited to the party?

The answer is yes, yes, and yes - but I'm…

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Added by Steven Groves on February 9, 2012 at 10:08am — No Comments

Facebook Credits as Loyalty Rewards from Plink - If You Dare

I guess it should be expected that as the world awaits the highly publicised Facebook IPO that Facebook-related articles would crop up like weeds.  Well, here's another one...

On the heels of my post the other day on the essential use of a social login for loyalty programs, due to consumer fatigue in having to complete yet another profile on a new site.  The study by…

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Added by Steven Groves on February 1, 2012 at 12:34pm — 1 Comment

Using Social Log-in On a Website or In a Loyalty program

Consumers love you, love your place and love your food - but why are they going to share their contact information to join your loyalty program?  Statistics suggest that many of your customers would join a program, if it were available (50-80% in other industries) but online loyalty programs I think are…

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Added by Steven Groves on January 30, 2012 at 1:44pm — 8 Comments

McD's recent campaign in social; did they blow it? Blame it on the #Hashtag

Just read about the social marketing snafu with McDonalds and the high-j****** of the #McDStories hashtag by an audience that was, well, less than flattering to the brand image.  Over at BusinessInsider.com, Gus Lubin reported on it and discussed the response from Rick Wion, their social media director - here's my take on it.…

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Added by Steven Groves on January 24, 2012 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

NRN's 2012 Predictions - how many are happening now?

Lisa Jennings at NRN posted last week on trends in 2012 and I swear, it looked like she'd been reading from our playbook and been briefed on our product roadmap.

Here are the highlights from her…

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Added by Steven Groves on December 27, 2011 at 9:44am — No Comments

The closed-loop process in restaurant marketing - a new group!

John Wanamaker said it to illustrate how difficult it is to reach potential customers using traditional advertising: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." 

What I think he was looking for was Closed-Loop Marketing, but the idea was not presented…

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Added by Steven Groves on October 10, 2011 at 1:23pm — No Comments

Facebook Changes - Again... and what it'll mean to you

Facebook is rolling out a ton of new stuff and what it'll mean to you is pretty well lined out in a post by Jesse Stanchuk at SmartBriefs. (let me know if you need the link - FohBoh has told me that they do not allow posting links - how social is that?)

In the post Jesse says -

  • This will happen again.
  • This is an opportunity.
  • This kind of user outrage happens every time.
  • This will happen to you, too.

It's a good perspective that…

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Added by Steven Groves on September 22, 2011 at 10:27am — No Comments

Is GroupOn good for business? Over 80% of GroupOn customers are dissatified?!

I get to peruse through a lot of articles every day and one that stood out today was one that was titled "Merchants Split on Groupon Satisfaction" (seems I cannot put a link here, but you can search and find it on eMarketer.com)  The stat they report is that over 80% of merchants who use GroupOn… Continue

Added by Steven Groves on August 9, 2011 at 2:10pm — 3 Comments

WOM or Social Marketing?? Which one do you choose?

With 57% of the respondents citing that online marketing is either 'not essential to my business' or 'I don't know enough about it' but at the same time 50% declaring that Word-Of-Mouth (WOM) is essential, clearly there is a disconnect between what business people understand about social and how it…

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Added by Steven Groves on August 8, 2011 at 9:59am — No Comments

Making More Table Turns in a Social World

How will the customer experience vary from visit to visit?  The ability to create a consistent and repeatable customer experience has been a formula for success for brands for decades.  The ability to manage the expectations of the consumer has led many organizations from a small start to a raving success. You might get two chances to impress a new customer, but asking…

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Added by Steven Groves on June 21, 2011 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

What are the best characteristics for a Loyalty Program?

I'm preparing to interview one of the leaders in loyalty-based customer retention and have come up with some starter questions - 

  1. Loyalty has been called a tactic by some and a strategy by others.  Who's right??
  2. A loyalty program is built on rewarding the customer in some way for their…
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Added by Steven Groves on June 20, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Open discussion, the restaurant community and the old guard of restaurant marketing

It happened to me today.  I've been 86'd from a LinkedIn group focusing on independent restaurant marketing.   It's probably been coming for a long time though. 

In my efforts since beginning in online and social marketing, I've always approached the question with glasses tinted in ROI.  I've always…

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Added by Steven Groves on May 20, 2011 at 4:27pm — No Comments

How do the Myths of Social and Online Marketing for Restaurants Hold You Back?

We're all bound by ideals, beliefs and myths around what we think is true.  We take a look at "8 Myths of Social Media for Restaurants" in this post.  We assembled the list, in no specific order from anecdotal sources; conversations and ongoing industry research. 

Here are 8 prominent myths about social media in the restaurant industry… Continue

Added by Steven Groves on May 13, 2011 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

Do you know what the #1 wish for online marketers is? (besides a lot of click traffic)

Love, LOVE, love - (or at least strongly like) coming across data like that posted in the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Review from the really smart people at Social Media Examiner. 

In it they cover so many things that online marketers should know.  We've highlighted about 9 of…

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Added by Steven Groves on April 25, 2011 at 2:08pm — No Comments

Will your marketing change customer behavior? Should it?

It seems to be an underpinning of many solutions introduced to the market that in order to leverage the technology, there seems to be some expectation that consumers will somehow alter their usual behavior.  Not a bad thought and yes, I think some marketing activities can alter a consumers usual behavior, but how far do you think we (as an industry) can expect it to…

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Added by Steven Groves on April 25, 2011 at 9:03am — No Comments

What Does Consumer Privacy Mean to Restaurant Marketing?

Does the consumer have a say in the online world?  You bet!  Look at how social media has exploded!

Does the consumer have a say in what data you track about them? umm... I guess so... I dunno?!

The Big Issue

Here is one of the great debate now…

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Added by Steven Groves on April 13, 2011 at 1:57pm — No Comments

Signed on the the latest discount coupon vendor? How's that working for ya'?

It's a mixed blessing to have a dining room full, but full of people who paid .20 cents on the dollar for the meal in front of them, drink water and tip poorly.

Discounting your product and service to the market is, as many restaurants have found, not always the best way to drive traffic - particularly if all they come in for is the discount offer, nothing else on…

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Added by Steven Groves on April 8, 2011 at 12:31pm — 1 Comment

Safety, security and Richard Simmons?!

What a riot!  Other than Southwest Airlines, the safety briefing on an airline is a reasons to tune out before you takeoff (you shouldn't - but hey... after about a hundred of these it's hard to pay attention sometimes).

Air New Zealand came up with this video that combines humor and safety to remind passengers.  Whats the lesson learned? 1) try not to take yourself too seriously and 2) be creative in your engagement to connect to your audience. 

The video has earned more than…

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Added by Steven Groves on March 31, 2011 at 3:04pm — No Comments

Why Is Social Media Hooey in Restaurants?

I just read an article at the MustHaveMenus.com blog and they pointed at a post at Technorati by Brooks Briz where he cited results of a survey that I think he said MustHaveMenus.com posted (it was a circuitous reference and it confused me too) but the short of it is that somebody, somewhere said that over half of restaurant owners from somewhere suggested that social media would never work for them or in the restaurant industry. I have to question these finding.


I get how…
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Added by Steven Groves on December 1, 2010 at 3:00pm — 5 Comments

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

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Read the latest food and beverage coverage by SmartBrief in SmartBrief Originals: -More

Kids LiveWell turns 3 with 42,000 participating eateries

NRA's Kids LiveWell program has grown from 19 restaurant brands to 150, with 42,000 U.S.  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

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National News

Ward Whitworth Named President for On The Border Mexican Grill

On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, which was recently acquired by Border Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Argonne Capital Group, today announced the appointment of Ward Whitworth as President of On The Border.

The Melting Pot Targets Houston and El Paso, Texas for Franchise Expansion

Restaurants, Inc. announced today that it is actively seeking franchisees to expand its presence throughout the Lone Star State, naming El Paso and Houston as target markets for future franchise development.

Encore Restaurants Purchases 8 Existing Five Guys Restaurants, Plans to Develop 45 More

Encore Restaurants, LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Encore Enterprises, Inc., has announced the purchase of eight existing Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants across central California including Elk Grove, Fresno, Lodi, Natomas, Roseville, Stockton, Tracy, and West Sacramento.

Takeout Orders to Hotels Jumped 125% in Popularity in Last Three Years

For many Americans, hotel room service is considered a travel luxury; however, data from PFK Hospitality Research1 suggests that room service revenues fell 9.5 percent from 2007 to 2012, with some hotels shuttering unprofitable operations altogether.

National Restaurant Association Praises House and Senate Commerce Committee Passage of Travel Promotion Act

Yesterday the National Restaurant Association (NRA) praised the House passage and Senate Commerce Committee markup of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act of 2014. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes Brand USA, the nation’s first global marketing campaign, to promote the United States as a destination for international travelers.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

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