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I was jolted back into reality this morning when I read Seth Godin's blog posting on data, and the importance of using it when making making decisions.You can read his entire blog post here: http://bit.ly/Dbfo9Here's the take-away for restaurateurs: For too long, data has played second fiddle to gut-feel, nebulous brand building and an "everybody's doing it, so I need to do it as well" mentality. Restaurant marketing has devolved into a never ending spend-fest on special events, promotions and the latest social media crazes, with little specific knowledge on what really works...what really pays the bills.As Seth points out, "counter-intuitive data-driven findings" are everywhere, including your business. If the vast majority of your spending on marketing and promotions can't be proven to work by cold hard data, then you'll continue to be a marketing victim.Instead, invest in marketing that has a proven, data driven, and direct impact on the bottom line of your business. Choose marketing systems that you can share with your spouse and say "Look, honey...I put $1,500 into this system last month, which resulted in 184 new guests and $4,500 in new sales."If you can't prove to your spouse, without a doubt, your marketing systems work, then you need to put your money elsewhere. Once you find the systems that do work, instead of dreading those conversations with your spouse, you'll look forward to them!Rod BrantYour Marketing Works!
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  • HI, Mindi...

    Well, I don't think there are any magic measurement tools that restaurants should absolutely be using. There certainly are good tools, both low and high tech, to measure results. But, most restaurants don't use them.

    The important thing is that no matter what media is being used there should be a direct and measurable impact on your business. So, if you are spending 10K on yellow pages ads, how can you measure the impact on your business? If you are buying clicks on Adwords, how can you measure the response to your ads?

    If you can't measure the results, don't do it. If you can measure the results, it becomes very easy to decide where to spend marketing dollars.

    Rod
  • Hi Rod,

    I read Seth's post this morning and I agree with you that it's critical to utilize data in analyzing any marketing program. I agree, too, that we as restaurant marketers aren't necessarily ignoring the data so much as we need to determine which data is relevant. Does the fact that I have 200 followers on Twitter deliver anything to my bottom line? What return do I receive from $10k in yellow page advertising? It's my personal belief that online systems provide the most useful and relevant data streams from which to analyze the efficacy of the programs put in place. A sophisticated website tracker will record whether that reservation or online conversion came from Google, Facebook or Yelp. With just a bit of forethought it's also possible to utilize website analytics to determine revenue generated by offline advertising. I've used both Yahoo Web Analytics and Google Analytics and found that both can give in-depth information from both on- and offline campaigns. What data systems do you recommend for restaurant marketers?

    Thanks for starting the conversation!

    ~Mindi
    TwoTables Internet Marketing
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