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Restaurants & Pubs face inevitable difficulties in 2014 without a strong marketing strategy!
We have been working with around 30 restaurants and pubs in the Southeast of England for around two years now. It has come to our attention that things need to change...
By: XA Digital
I always wanted to be a chef, having watched the celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and Rick Stein obsessively for the most part of my teenage years. This passion grew to become more of a career opportunity, and after many desperate career choices i landed inside a Japanese restaurant kitchen. This was going to be tough! After a good stint I realised that i had to make a choice and focus on personal priorities which left me with an issue. Do i give this passion up for good, or, find a career that involves working around the industry and being hands on, but without the difficulties experienced previously. That is where it all started, XA Digital was born.
So, what have i seen so far?
I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in regards to marketing & websites, however this industry seems to be leaving marketing and web presence at the bottom of the pile, allowing it to become outdated and useless for their business.
Many businesses that i met in the early stages did not value or perceive the value of what we were offering to do for them. For example, one pub simple said " i have a website, goodbye". After hearing this a lot, it got me very worried indeed, were businesses simply seeing this as an asset and not as a vital part of their business, that could make them more business if used correctly?....The answer is yes, 80% of businesses see it exactly like that.
After some research into this theory i decided to look at 200 Surrey and Sussex pubs and restaurants. Next i wanted to go through every website and score it from 1-5 on its effectiveness to promote the business and to interact with a potential customer.
The results were interesting to say the least. 30% of the chosen businesses did not even have a web presence at all. This has been proven to lose such businesses in this industry up to £40,000 a year with lost web-traffic and potential online customers. With these figures any business within an already difficult time would stand little chance of profit, if surviving at all.
Around 100 of the businesses required an upgrade or brand new website. This analysis was based on the platform the website was built on, it's mobile compatibility and the simple content of the site. The content, especially imagery is a key promotional tool that will not only promote products but will invite customers to interact with other features of the site, such as booking. With this being missing or inadequate customers will struggle to visualise the business and most of all the products that they will be buying into.
The clients that we have worked with at XA Digital, in some cases, took a leap when we created their first, or greatly improved website. This leap has encouraged them and helped the business to grow and the results have been fantastic, up to 40% year on year in most cases.
Using our in-house photography we were able to capture their business effectively and using these resulting images we promoted the products to potential and existing customers via simple marketing tools. By charging a monthly retainer, we're able to reduce overall costs and increase the level of service that we offer each client.
Looking back at our findings again, the remaining pubs and restaurants had an adequate web presence with a functional and well presented websites and the simple functions a customer would expect. Some lacked social links, email sign up forms and imagery, however still scored highly for the overall experience. That means that only a 3rd of the chosen businesses had a website that would work for them as it should, that could highlight a serious set back for the food and beverage industry if agencies like us don't fix it.
Our main focus this year has been on changing the above results, increasing the effectiveness of the marketing and websites that we come across with as little financial cost to our customers as possible. By offering added value such as; photography, email design, creative, branding and web services in an all-in-one package the business can be sure to have a lot of momentum and service for a very small retainer each month.
This has proven very successful for us in the recent year and we will continue to offer such cost effective solutions and keep seeing the results of the change in the industry. Things need to change otherwise we will lose more great independent businesses in this sector. Not on our watch...
For more information on what XA Digital can do for your business please visit www.xadigital.com or contact them on: 0844 567 9005 E: email@example.com
0844 567 9005