It’s not often I get snail mail these days, in fact it’s hard to remember the last time I got a written letter in the mail. Sometimes cards at Christmas and around Birthdays, but not much mail. Generally I forget to check my mail box for days on end, and the only mail I seem to get is from banks and real estate agents. There is however another piece of mail that ends up in my mail box every so often that I love to receive, and that is restaurant takeaway and dine-in menus.
In the world of marketing where everyone is all about digital first, business owners often forget the impact of offline marketing. Social Media and Online marketing has without a doubt been a game changer in the marketing world, but there are still a lot of people who don’t turn to social media to make a dining decision, and there is still a benefit in marketing your venue offline.
So when I receive a takeaway menu in the mail I almost get excited, looking through them with interest to see what offering is around my local vicinity. Some people might find them junk and toss them in the bin without even reading them, with the other catalogues and mail that comes in. I see them another way, as a business owner really giving it a go to get customers in their venue. I see a business owner trying hard to entice new customers through the doors, and unless we are talking mass-produced chain stores, a small business owner has gone to the effort to spend their hard earned money on marketing their venue, getting menus printed and distributed (often by the owner themselves pounding the pavement) to get you through their doors and bums on seats.
That might not seem like much, but to me that speaks of a venue owner that cares about your business, that cares about people voting with their feet and coming in to their restaurant, or ordering take away from them. It’s also somewhere, and someone that I would like to support. By supporting a local business you are supporting another person’s dreams and adding to the quality in your own backyard.
There is often so much complaining that goes on about restaurants around customer service and lack of feeling welcome in big venues with big marketing dollars.
So maybe instead of looking at the latest venue posted about online, why not try somewhere in a 5km radius of where you live. Is there somewhere you’ve been meaning to try but always walk past it?
Is there some local business that sends you ‘Junk mail’? If there is, give a local a go. Give someone the support you’d like to see offered to you if you went out and started a new business, and think about the effort and care they are showing to get noticed in a heavily crowded market space?
Any business owner can tell you that getting noticed is hard, especially when you are starting out. You are small and every interaction online, offline, and in your venue matters. So remember to back the little guys and maybe check your junk mail once in a while….
Just a thought…. And as always, I’d love to hear yours.
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: