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Effective marketing is vital to your restaurant’s success. An integrated analytics and marketing tool can help you get on with the business of managing your business.
 
The ability to understand your customers, preferences, and behavior is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. Turning customer data gathered from actual purchases, email and social media marketing, and individual interactions into usable, customized marketing requires insights. Most restaurateurs today deal with fragmented information. It’s like fishing from a whole bunch of small ponds. That’s because many businesses haven’t yet moved to a system that centralizes data. The better alternative is to fish from a big lake, and that’s the promise of an all-in-one customer engagement and marketing application.
 
As you begin to realize how much you can benefit from analytics, and how much time you can save by having your customer analytics data in one easy-to-use database, more companies will start to offer you solutions for bringing it all together.
 
It’s vital to examine your options before settling on a platform for your business. Below are six important features to look for in a customer analytics and marketing platform.
 
  1. Demand Longevity. While you may find a plethora of companies to choose from, take a moment to explore if they are a flash-in-the-pan outfit or if they’ll be around to support you and your business for the long haul. Vendors who can illustrate years of positive customer reviews and a robust customer support network should be at the top of your list.
  2. You’ll need an easy-to-understand dashboard. You have a restaurant to run, so you should not have to learn a new language. Demo any software to find out if you’re able to understand it. Just because a system offers a lot of bells and whistles doesn’t mean it’s right for your business. Make sure it works for your staff’s skill set and your business’s needs.
  3. Avoid locked-in terms and enrollment fees. Look for subscription-based platforms and steer clear of companies that try to lock you into a long-term commitment.
  4. Look for an integrated daybook. Integrated daybooks allow you to manage your events, schedules, calendars, and even schedule email blasts, all from the same dashboard.
  5. Ask about demographic and competitor information. Insights into the businesses and demographics surrounding your restaurant—including competitor data—will help you plan the messaging, frequency, and offers you include in mailings and other marketing promotions. Choose a system that will provide access to these important numbers.
  6. Social channel management. As you know, it is imperative to keep up with your social channels. An all-in-one customer engagement solution should allow you to easily track all of your social media sites and online reviews — and preferably those of your competitors as well — in one place.
 
Taking the time to choose the right customer analytics tool today will save you time, headaches — and maybe even the pain of switching to a system that will actually do what you need it to — down the road.
 

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