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Day Two Takeaways - Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit 2019

Blog post   •   Jan 21, 2019 13:24 GMT

David Fitzgerald, Director of Business Development at Tahola shares his thoughts on Day Two of the Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit last week.


Wow! An amazing day, packed full of incredible content!

James Hacon kicked off proceedings with a summary of the campaigns and innovations that raised the game over 2018 and suggested “your brand is whatever your last customer interaction was ” - a sentiment echoed by Roger Wade of Box Park later in the day who said “you are only as good as your last customer” BoxPark.

James’s intro was followed by a discussion about effectively leading a market driven proposition and product development process. Andrea Johnson of Wagamama, Luisa Fernandez of Yo Sushi and Tim Foster of Yummy Pubs shared their points of view. Recognising a good idea can come from anywhere, permitting input from everyone across the business and listening to everybody at every level were key themes. Luisa pointed out that explaining & sharing what you are trying to do and encouraging others to contribute builds engagement.

Luisa also spoke about the importance of marketing teams going into restaurants and working with ops teams to show “what good looks like” rather than sending a brief out and leaving them to it. 50/50 relationship is key.

Martin Morales of Ceviche then shared some brilliant insights as to how he uses his background in entertainment to drive differentiation and the pillars of Food, Arts, Culture & Charity.

Celia Pronto of Casual Dining Group shared their journey with Facebook Workplace and the transformation in group communication and engagement, explaining how it has helped to recognise their heroes, share new menus, best practise and instant tips. Ultimately helping them to deliver a better guest experience and grow their brands.

In a panel discussion re: better leveraging digital & technology in marketing, James Newman of Gusto referred to “single customer view” as the holy grail; Michelle Farrell of Novus highlighted the importance and value of investing where your data tells you, not where you ‘feel’ you should; and Mark Daniels of Wadworth explained how encouraging IT and Marketing to work closer together got buy in and understanding.

The New World Trading Company and Wireless Social shared data from a wi-fi case study tracking real life customer actions, email marketing results and a 54% increase in visit frequency!

Ailish O’Brien of Google said restaurant searches are up 12/13%, that 70% of searches are from mobile devices, ‘food near me’ is growing exponentially and local search is becoming key.

4 key tips from @Google for next year:

1) Be relevant, know your customers.

2) Be timely & last minute ready - habits of the demanding, impatient mobile first restaurant goer includes only booking 90 mins before dining.

3) Be on trend, use the data available to you.

4) Be near me, make your mobile site fast & great. (ie. no more than 3 seconds to load).

Following lunch there was a panel discussion on the importance of building strong links between marketing and operations and Mark McCulloch of We Are Spectacular shared his view on what needs to change for within marketing strategies for the year ahead.

David Gough of The Stable spoke about enhancing guest journeys and suggested generating ‘Guest Buzz right is the only thing that matters’ and Roger Wade of Box Park said “many of us make retail very complex. It’s simple: great content, drive traffic to it & then the conversion of customer comes last. Without the first two the third doesn’t come. People want to feel special, if you aren’t entertaining customers, it won’t work”.

Finally, Lyn Parker of Funny Women suggested, that as women make many of the purchasing decisions it makes good sense to market to them. Furthermore, that adding a touch of humour to your marketing drives engagement.

In short.......it was excellent!

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