Over the last 3 years at Xeno, while working with over 200 brands like Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell & Tarun Tahiliani, we realized one big mindset change that needs to be made to succeed at digital marketing.
We first experimented with the change in the mindset, but then we noticed the improvement in results & they were amazing. Today, I’m going to tell to you about that mindset, why it’s important, why now & the impact it can have on your business.
Our default marketing mindset
Early on our customers would say to us, just send everyone the SMS. Then we built a way to reach out to customers on Facebook and they’d say just send this post to everybody.
Brands just wanted to push things onto their customers, and I was curious, why? So I spoke to 100’s of restaurant & retail chain CMOs, marketing heads & owners across India & Europe and realized 1 simple thing.
Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or a mistake, but you’re not supposed to question the conventional, or the bigger players in the market because they make the rules. Maybe they know best but maybe they don’t. It all depends on who you are, where you come from. I mean, the risk of starting your company, that’s pretty salty stuff. That’s why courage is tricky.
Today, is the 14th of May 2018 when Xeno turns 3.
‘Technology is replacing manual labour in restaurants’ is a tall statement to make. While one may hear of robots preparing food, digital kiosks taking orders, there are certain aspects of restaurant operations that can only be taken care of by humans.
Everytime I meet an owner of a new restaurant and pitch him our analytics tool, I mostly get a reply along the lines of, “I have just started my restaurant and don’t want to invest time in analytics, I just want to acquire new customers”.
I completely agree that the initial focus should be on acquiring new customers but completely ignoring analytics from day one could be harmful to a business in the long term.
Analytics provides you with the correct facts which help in better decision making. The absence of analytics is nothing but a heady mix of subjective opinion, bias-tinged intuition, and blissful ignorance, often led by the HIPPO (HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion). A HIPPO is most likely to give you its opinion about everything without backing it with data or analytics.
Over the years of working on creating a platform for restaurants to improve their customer retention, I have repeatedly heard a common theory which is:
The best selling product is the best product.
If something is sold the maximum every day, every month and every quarter, I will also believe that it is my best product.
The Product Sales Report, which every billing software and CRM provides as a basic feature became the most loved report for any operations guy or a business owner. They started using this report to plan a lot of activities like:
- Remove products from the menu (products which are ordered less)
- Promote best selling products online and offline.
- Manage inventory based on the products sold.
It does help them manage a lot of operations related issues but should the product sales report be the only criteria for deciding which product to promote or which product to be removed from the menu? It was a rhetoric question..the answer is No, the product sales report should not be the only criteria.
At Xeno our business is helping stores improve repeat sales. We’ve spoken about it to 1000’s of retailers, restaurant and salons owners.
One thought that lots of owners have is, “My customers already come back. What will you do for me?”.
Ofcourse customers do come back to your store. But the reality is totally different from what you imagine.
In today’s day & age, no restaurant can run without online ordering. No restaurant. The biggest brands like Dominos and Mcdonalds have partnered with Zomato, Swiggy, and Foodpanda.
Most delivery restaurants get 50% to 75% of their orders through these channels. But what’s also happening is that discounts + commissions are eating into profit margins. Depending on how you look at it, you’d think that these platforms are good or bad; good for sales, bad for reducing profit margins. I believe a restaurant should look at Zomato & Foodpanda as partners.
At Xeno, we’ve worked with 100s of restaurants, understood their pain points & built a solution to help you, a restaurant owner better understand your online ordering channels, and maximize profit through them.
I want more customers, said every restaurant owner ever. Food & service is the most important, but you can’t grow your business if you’re not bringing customers in through the door. That’s why acquiring customers is critical for every business.
Let me ask you a simple question that I ask my prospective customer at every sales pitch.
‘If you had a budget of Rs.1 lakh each month to increase your revenue through marketing, how would you spend your money?’
What’s your answer? I’m guessing it more or less revolves around the below ideas:
- Newspaper ads
- Pamphlets and distribution flyers
- Offers & discounts through various online channels like Groupon, Zomato etc.
But is that right way to spend your marketing budget? Maybe. Maybe not.