Four Ways To Utilize Location-Based Restaurant Marketing More Effectively

Stores and Restaurants Building ExteriorsTaking advantage of location data to reach consumers and drive restaurant visits.

In today’s technology-driven world, more American adults than ever report owning a smartphone device (68% according to a recent Pew survey) and, depending on the settings of that device, technology companies around the world are collecting location data like it’s going out of style.

Marketers across multiple verticals are using that data to reach consumers more efficiently and more effectively. So the question is: how do restaurants take advantage of location data?

Reach “Near Me” Searchers

Today it is easier than ever to find nearby restaurants, gas stations, and retailers through searches performed on smartphones. According to Google, the restaurant industry is the most searched for industry on mobile browsers in part due to more consumers searching for keywords like “restaurants near me” and “restaurants nearby.”

Make it easy for your consumer to get important information such as your location and hours simply by showing up in their search results when they are within 5-10 miles of your restaurant.

Message Consumers Near Your Restaurant

On a typical day, how far are you willing to drive to get dinner? According to eMarketer, most diners are only willing to drive 5-10 miles to visit a QSR. Additionally, location-based ads have proven to lift casual dining visits by 10.4x.

Utilize your marketing dollars more efficiently by focusing your media on those consumers who are close to your restaurant to help influence their dining decisions. Don’t waste your time and media budget targeting someone who would have to spend an hour in the car just to get to your restaurant.

Take Advantage of the Rise of Mapping Apps

When was the last time you pulled out a map or atlas to figure out how to get somewhere? With smartphones such a major part of our daily lives, the same information is now available at your fingertips – and it’s more dynamic than ever! If there’s an accident on your normal route home from work, any mapping tool is going to give you a quicker way to get home. Over the last few years, these apps have been looking for ways to monetize their offering.

Waze is probably the best example of a company doing this well with their use of “mobile billboards” – so well in fact that Google Maps is working on launching its own version of a similar advertising platform. This is a great way to reach consumers when they are on-the-go and possibly looking for a lunch or dinner option.

Don’t Completely Ignore Diners Further Away from Your Restaurant

Those consumers who live further away from your restaurant shouldn’t be ignored but rather reached strategically. For example, if someone searches for your restaurant, make sure your information shows up regardless of their location. These consumers are obviously interested in your brand and could be more likely to drive further to visit your restaurant.

Set up your website to make it convenient for these users to get the information they’re looking for. Provide a location finder that shows exactly how far away the restaurant is located and if your menu differs across locations make sure you use the user’s current location to determine which menu should be shown.

With so many location-based targeting options available to restaurant marketers, now is the time to help bring your customers to your door a whole lot easier. Get on board now before they pass you by for the next restaurant down the street.

About Sean Baker

Sean Baker has 17+ years marketing the restaurant industry. He is the President/ Partner at IMM, a digital ad agency located in Boulder, CO.
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