• Marketing analytics may have determined what was on your menu the last time you went out to eat. That’s right, your burger or salad came with a side of data (and hopefully some fries, too!).

    A 2017 report from Toast, which tracked technology use in restaurants, found that new innovative tools allow managers to be more aware of how their businesses perform from day to day: 78% of managers can look at their metrics and finances daily compared with only 46% two years ago. These marketing analytics insights allow restaurants to provide customers with a more personalized experience so they’re encouraged to visit and return.

    Case in point—TGI Fridays and Subway have made headlines about how they are using marketing analytics to boost business. VentureBeat recently reported that TGI Fridays doubled its business and grew engagement by 500% in 14 months by using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data for personalized reach. Through its Fridays Rewards loyalty program, the restaurant chain collects data about its regular customers, such as a snapshot of who they are, how they interact with the brand, what they prefer to order, when they go out to eat, and which taste profiles they fit.

    Take a tip from restaurants and apply these three marketing analytics tactics to your data-driven strategies:

    Use Data To Know Your Customers Better

    In the past, restaurateurs used ledgers to track sales and jotted down notes about their customers’ preferences. Now, they have a lot more marketing data at their fingertips to create personalized dining experiences, even for people who haven’t yet visited their establishment.

    For example: Say you’re setting up your targeted ads on Facebook and you want to promote a new steak entree to potential diners. If you send that ad to a vegetarian or vegan, it’s wasted ad spend. An ad about a new quinoa burger special may be more effective. Make sure to use relevant data when setting up your audiences in Facebook, so the right ad lands in their feeds.

    To make a bigger data-driven splash, consider making marketing analytics the centerpiece of a new partnership. Subway recently announced that it’s partnering with media brand Tastemade to bring “data-driven menu inspiration, trend intelligence, global insights, and marketplace innovation.” So long, generic $5 footlongs — Subway is working with Tastemade’s network of food lovers, called “tastemakers,” to reach consumers and use insights to create menus that are more modern and relevant to the restaurants’ local communities.

    Optimize Through AI

    AI can help restaurants make decisions, like when it’s time to add another cocktail to the menu or when to remove a less popular sandwich. If something doesn’t appeal to your regular customers, then it likely won’t entice new people to come in. AI can also help restaurants make better decisions about menus, layout, and staffing.

    AI adoption is only going to grow across industries, according to a report by Oracle—34% of businesses have either already implemented AI or are planning to adopt it by 2020 (41%). These companies understand that enabling AI-powered experiences can better serve customers and help stay ahead of competitors.

    Make an Impact with Business Intelligence

    Business intelligence can help restaurant managers visualize and understand customers’ behaviors. It can also give a manager (or marketer) a new perspective on their business. Restaurants pull data from their owned channels, like their app and website, loyalty programs, and social media. They can also source information from dining reservation apps like OpenTable, or food delivery services like Seamless and UberEats.

    Analyzing all this data can unveil trends that may have gone unnoticed before. A study published by QSR magazine and using data from business intelligence firm SeeLevel HX reported that McDonald’s average service time (208.2 seconds) was well behind its competitor Wendy’s (169.1 seconds). Fortune reports that McDonald’s narrowed the gap by adding more drive-through lanes and removing products that took longer to prepare.

    Marketers in other industries can harness business intelligence to identify where the business can improve and which audiences to target over others. Being able to visualize and understand the big picture can only improve how your brand’s message is being conveyed.

    It takes more than mouth-watering photos of food and friendly customer service to get consumers in the restaurant and make sure they return. The same applies for marketers trying to increase brand recognition and sales. Using marketing analytics to drive decisions and boost positive results can take your business to the next level. Take a tip from innovative restaurants and use data to identify what your audience wants and how they want it.

    Is your company using data-driven ideas to help you know your customers better? Email us at rampup@rampedup.us or tweet us at @RampUp to share your marketing analytics tips.

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