Football is almost upon us…and with it, increased traffic and a return to high volume. It’s likely that few of you would argue that increasing that volume is still a goal you want to achieve. Unfortunately, finding solutions isn’t always easy. Marketing for an independent or small group operator comes with lots of challenges. Limitations like budget, design/creative resources, and spare time can derail even the most organized operators.
So, what can a smart operator do to drive their marketing on a razor thin budget? Start by not doing it alone.
Recent research suggests that 76% of consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant that partners with a leading brand*. Since we have been long advocating for using your current spending to amplify your marketing, we decided to give you three ways you can leverage your vendor partners to market your location.
Look in Your Pantry for Partners
If you stop and think about it, you are spending significant amounts of your revenue buying products from national brands. A quick sweep of your storage room will likely inspire a list of great partners you can call on for marketing support.
For example, Frank’s RedHot King of Wings is offering a targeted national promotion surrounding the college football season. This promo allows operators to offer their guests a shot at seeing the College Football National Championship game by leveraging social media. It’s simple to explain and delivers a prize opportunity that an individual operator could never offer on their own.
Programs like this Frank’s RedHot King of Wings contest allow smaller sports bars and restaurants to access the advantages and scale that the big chain operators have simply based on their size. By connecting to an easily recognized national brand you are telling guests that the promotion is real, the prize will be awarded, and they can connect with a national brand they know and trust. So, start with this Frank’s RedHot King of Wings promotion and see just how excited your guests get as proof it’s a great formula.
Don’t Forget the Beer
You don’t have to stop at your pantry to find logical and quality partners to support your marketing for football. In addition to Frank’s RedHot King of Wings, the folks at Heineken USA are also contributing to their College Football National Championship contest. This is a great model for building relevant promotions. Your beer vendors have resources that can make up for your own limitations from design/creative to prizing to marketing materials. Enlisting a company like Heineken USA with their numerous brands like Dos Equis or Tecate improves the look and quality of any promotion you run.
Likely, you are already carrying multiple labels from their portfolio and both Heineken USA and the local wholesaler in your market are both eager to make sure you have all the tools you need to promote football. Whether they deliver a great prize, create custom marketing materials, or sponsor an event you are hosting, brands like Heineken already allot resources to your support. It’s up to you to make sure you get your share.
Think National, Act Local
There is no shortage of national brands that have local outlets that you can partner with for a promotion.
For example, if your location is in a mall or near a cluster of businesses, try inviting another brick and mortar retailer to participate in your promotions. Let’s say there is a Target or Walmart near you. Ask them if they want to contribute merchandise to be included as prizes in the promotions you are running.
No doubt either of those businesses carry branded clothing of your local teams that they might be willing to provide for inclusion in your marketing. Again, you are leveraging the reputation of a national brand, but making it work for you locally. The key is to think creatively and invite as many resources to help you as you can.
There you have it. Whether it’s a partner from your pantry like Frank’s RedHot, a great beer like Dos Equis, or a powerhouse retailer like Target, enlist anyone whose interests align with your own. It’s a perfect way to make the big guys help us little guys compete.
Dos Equis® is a registered trademark of HEINEKEN USA; Frank’s RedHot® is a registered trademark of The French’s Food Company, LLC.
* Study from HEINEKEN USA Internal Research, based on imports’ increased profitability over DPLs