Make a Lasting Impression: How to Create Meaningful Offers that Spark Long-Term, Loyal Customer Relationships

Make a Lasting Impression: How to Create Meaningful Offers that Spark Long-Term, Loyal Customer Relationships

It can be especially difficult for a restaurant owner to turn new customers into loyal ones if those people are new to the area. New residents often sample a variety of restaurants before choosing their favorite spots. That’s why it’s important to do more than offer incredible food and focus on creating a great first impression. Obviously, those things are important, but it’s vital to create a relationship with that customer.

To begin building what will hopefully be a long-term relationship, you often have to offer an incentive — special offers or some kind of deal.

So how do you do that? Incentivize those new customers.

Offer Discounts Based on Age

This is a classic. If parents know that every time they come to your place — even if it’s just on a particular day — they’re going to shave a bit off their bill, that may encourage them to visit more often instead of going elsewhere. Just make sure your discount is well promoted.

Promote Specials Based on the Day or Time of Day

Dynamic pricing at work here. Bars have their happy hour, not just because it makes customers happy, but it makes bar owners happy to see customers coming in earlier, at a typically less-busy time. If you often see a lull on Monday nights, offer an awesome Monday-night special that your customers will have trouble refusing. Again, make sure this is well promoted, so customers coming on, say, Friday, will be reminded about what they can have when they come in on Mondays.

Market to People who just Moved into Town

If you aim your marketing at residents who are new to the community, and you can get them in the door, it’s extremely important to offer them more deals so that they return. That might involve sending them home with an added incentive to return (half-off your next appetizer!) as they leave — or using a service that will send them a thank you note for coming paired with another special offer for when they return. The new movers are the people in your community who haven’t picked out any favorite restaurants yet. You could be their first.

Loyalty Programs

This is an obvious idea. But I bring it up because it would feel silly not to. If you haven’t developed a discount program for your most loyal customers yet, it’s definitely something to think about.

Theme Days

Your customers aren’t just people who like food. They’re dog lovers. They’re sports fans. They’re marathon runners. Maybe some of them are birdwatchers. Depending on your restaurant, you could have days where anyone dressed as a TV character or their favorite superhero gets a 25 percent discount. Or hold a singles night and see who shows up. Or — if you won’t be breaking health codes — invite your pet parents to bring their dogs.

Not every interest is going to be worth catering to, or practical, but if it’s conducive to your dining establishment, you could host book clubs in the off-hours, where people gather for a drink and appetizers.

The point is — your customers are more than just anonymous people receiving a delivery, sitting at a table or standing at a counter, ready to pick up their food. They have interests. They also have challenges, ranging from time-management to finances and everything in between. If you can remember that and cater to their personality or situation as much as you do their taste buds, you’re going to make a much stronger connection — the first step to building that oh-so-important relationship.

You may have to do that with some clever incentives, but getting your customers to come through the door (and keep them coming back!) is the ultimate goal. Because another fact of being a restaurant owner is that you need your customers more than they need you. That is, until the relationship is no longer one-sided. That’s the day when your hungry and time-starved customer realizes that he or she needs your restaurant’s help more than they thought.

Read more at: https://marketplacetechniques.wordpress.com/2019/11/04/make-a-lasting-impression-how-to-create-meaningful-offers-that-spark-long-term-loyal-customer-relationships/

Make Your Content Appeal to Gen Z-ers

Make Your Content Appeal to Gen Z-ers

Over the last few years, talk has gradually shifted away from Millenials to Gen Z-ers, the cohort born roughly between 1995 and 2010. Now that Gen Z-ers are estimated to make up a third of the world’s population, ignoring them would be a risky strategy. This is especially true if your business largely targets Gen Z-ers since they’re notoriously active online. Find out below the ways you can better create content to attract these online natives.


Branch Out from Facebook

For Gen Z-ers, Facebook certainly is no longer seen as ‘cool’. Above all else, it’s seen as a platform to organize events or create group chats. So promoting your content solely on Facebook probably isn’t a great idea.

In contrast to Facebook, Instagram is a much more popular alternative for Gen Z-ers. Most influencers that Gen Z-ers follow post links on their Instagram stories. The platform works a lot better because users can swipe up and go straight to your blog post or video.


Principles Are Important

Gen Z-ers don’t just want to know who you are, they want to know what you stand for. They admire people who care about the environment, human rights, and body positivity. Take the rising YouTube star Grace Beverley as an example. She isn’t ‘just another fitness influencer’ — she has a degree from the University of Oxford, is an advocate for plant-based diets, and has launched a fashion brand that aims to be 100% upcycled and inclusive for different bodies. She has 1 million Instagram subscribers. She’s also just 22 years old.

Be careful not to superficially takes on social causes because they’re trendy amongst your Gen Z customers. It’s very easy for them to see right through your marketing tactic and can turn them off.


Authenticity is Key

According to CNBC, 67% of Gen Z-ers agree that “being true to their values and beliefs makes a person cool.” To show that your brand is authentic, you first need to define what your brand is and the mission it stands for, and be consistent in supporting both. Take TOMS for example. TOMS’ ‘One for One’ branding strategy promises to donate a pair of shoes for each pair purchased to those in need. The company’s philanthropic mission was highly consistent with their brand and has made them profitable for over a decade.

To Gen Z-ers, traditional advertising such as TV commercials also appears inauthentic. However, they are more receptive to brand messaging on social and mobile media platforms – content that is very much still advertising but does not look or feel like traditional ads. Hence, Gen Z-ers are driven towards social media influencers who they believe are much more relatable and therefore authentic.


Visual and Audio

Word on the street is that Gen Z-ers have an attention span of just 8 seconds. But they definitely like their YouTube and Tiktok videos a lot. It’s not uncommon for Gen Z-ers to spend multiple hours browsing these platforms. If your content is well-suited to videos, it’s a great way of accessing this younger generation.

If video is not your thing, you can make your blog posts more suitable for Gen Z-ers by adding the occasional meme or GIF.


To appeal to Gen Z:
  • Be active on Instagram and other social media beyond Facebook.
  • Be transparent with your audience.
  • Produce original content that reflects your personality.
  • Avoid excessive and superficial promotional content.
  • Talk and act on causes you care about.
  • Use GIFs, memes, and videos if appropriate.
Why the Second Sale is More Important Than the First

Why the Second Sale is More Important Than the First

There’s this three-visit strategy in the restaurant business. If you can get a person to return a second time, the chances are about forty-two-percent they’ll return a third. But if you can get a third visit, the odds you get a customer for a fourth visit are something close to seventy-percent. Then, you’ve got a customer for life.

Why you should care more about the second sale

The first sale is easy. Anyone can sell something to one person, once. You can trick a customer into a buying decision. You can give a ridiculous, money-losing discount to make the first sale. You can pay for a ton of advertising to make one sale.

To establish a buying relationship, however, is a different animal. Whether you own a restaurant, you write books, or you paint walls — the longevity of your business relies on the second sale… and the third.

Photo by Michael Morse on Pexels.com

Going further with this thought…

Example: I bought a mattress, sight-unseen, through the interwebs. The website was beautiful. The offer — amazing. The promises and guarantee — perfect. These folks got me to spend almost a thousand dollars on a mattress I never met.

But they only sold me once. I expected something different. I was sadly mistaken.

Their email marketing is terrible. Instead of re-categorizing me into a buyer’s list, all I get is a continuous stream of emails to convince me to buy a mattress I already own. They’ve done nothing to make the second sale. They probably never will.

They put all their effort into the first sale. All their marketing and affiliate plans. They’ve got very little to offer on the back-end besides more mattresses.

  • They could’ve up-sold me two-for-one, special pillows.
  • They could’ve sent me a great deal on sheets
  • or sleep masks
  • or those cooling pads
  • or a sweet alarm clock
  • or blackout curtains
  • or a sleep book
  • or sleep vitamins
  • or a meditation course

I spent almost two thousand dollars with these folks and I got little more than a “your mattress is on its way” email.

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Think of how many other offers they could send me in a weekly “sleep newsletter.” I was a big-ticket buyer and they totally missed their opportunity.

The following tips below can help you attract returning customers
  1. Send a soft ask on a frequent basis.
  2. Don’t hard-sell your customers. Instead, give them great reasons to return.
  3. Don’t wait too long to make the second sale.
  4. If you never ask for a sale, and a year later you make us a big offer, the rare offer may seem off-putting.


You can read more at: https://marketplacetechniques.wordpress.com/2019/10/05/why-the-second-sale-is-more-important-than-the-first/

Lighthouse Digital Results – A Case Study

Lighthouse Digital Results – A Case Study

The Local U Blog is dedicated to helping local businesses build and grow their companies and tackle any challenges they may face. We have interviewed Lighthouse Digital Results, a new digital marketing agency based in Washington, DC, to understand how the founder helped advise a small non-profit on best social media practices and the success that followed.

About Lighthouse Digital Results

Lighthouse Digital Results (LDR) is a digital marketing agency founded by Kate Zickel in January of 2019. It specializes in helping small businesses and non-profits build and grow their online presence through digital branding and social media.

Kate was inspired to start LDR out of the desire to offer a more personalized consultation service that traditional agencies fail to provide. Ever since opening its doors, LDR has always focused on delivering 1-on-1 service to its clients. The company’s clients include non-profit organizations that Kate is very passionate about, as well as product and service retailers.

Educating a Non-Profit on Social Media Best Practices and Growing its Presence Online

Kate’s Lighthouse Digital Results had recently secured a non-profit client for social media consulting. LDR’s goal was to educate the Non-Profit on the best practices of Facebook, showcasing the tools available on the platform and demonstrating strategies to leverage these tools (Facebook live videos, Insights, etc.) to increase reach (the number of people who’ve seen the content) and engagement.


Kate’s priority was not to only establish the Non-Profit’s content strategy but also to set up an editorial calendar for the Non-Profit’s Facebook page, scheduling content posts ahead of time and on a regular basis. Since videos encourage engagement over other forms of content, Kate also posted a combination of relevant video clips and Facebook live videos.

A strategy that LDR employed to dramatically boost reach was to form strategic partnerships with other like-minded and better-known organizations in the local community. Through these partnerships, the Non-Profit was able to increase the exposure of its Facebook page via backlinks (having the partner direct their readers to the page) and outbound links (linking to the partner’s website).

Although LDR’s social media consulting focused on Facebook, the firm also educated the Non-Profit on how to use Twitter to better engage and communicate with its audiences.


At the end of the contract, Lighthouse Digital Results helped the Non-Profit triple its reach to 1.3 million thanks to the content strategy and use of strategic partnerships. The result also made the Non-Profit very excited about the new Facebook tools and the future possibilities these tools represent.

Kate’s Lighthouse Digital Results now has 15 and growing clients on the roster. The drive to produce high-quality content and achieve tangible results have not only attracted returning clients but also generated testimonials that build up a strong reputation.


Click HERE to Read the Full Case Study!

Understanding the Power of Experimentation for Your Next Marketing Campaign

Understanding the Power of Experimentation for Your Next Marketing Campaign

Is it worthwhile to carry out experimentation if you’re a marketer within a small company? The answer is a definite yes! Experimentation generates data that is turned into actionable insights, which ultimately lead to better marketing decisions. In today’s world, experimentation is crucial for growth and innovation. Below are easily implementable ways to get started on designing experiments and making them a key part of your marketing operations.

Work Backwards (and Make Results Actionable)

To make experiments well worth your time and effort, the experiments need to be able to provide results you can actually implement. Hence, actionable results should always be the goal of any experiment you carry out. Ask yourself what kind of marketing decision do you want to make at the completion of the experiment and let this decision guides how you collect data. This approach, in which you start from the end and work backward, prevents you from conducting an experiment that generates vague, unusable results.

Think Short-Term 

The most accurate and actionable experiments deal with actions that can be measured immediately, such as measuring purchasing behaviors to determine if the changes lead to higher profits. You don’t want to be measuring things that would take 20+ years to gather results like lifetime customer value.

Start Small

Experimentation can also be small at first. In fact, it’s highly encouraged as you don’t want to be overwhelmed when doing something unfamiliar. You can use experiments to determine optimal pricing for your product/service or even experiment on which type of email content is going to generate more leads.

Be Incremental

In conjunction with doing small yet manageable experiments, you also want to design experiments aimed at incrementally changing each interaction with your customers. You don’t want to overhaul an entire company website in one go. Rather, start by tweaking the landing page.

Seek Out Natural Experiments

You don’t need to treat experiments like they’re supposed to occur in a lab environment. The key to identifying natural experiments is to find treatment (affected group) and control (status quo group) groups that are influenced by external factors. For example, a new state law requires that you now have to collect tax from online purchases. You can create an experiment out of this external factor by measuring the number of purchases on your website before the online tax initiative against the number after the initiative.