Remember when a pizza order used to involve a slip of paper and a pencil?
The amount of data involved in promoting, securing, and processing an order nowadays is mind blowing. From social media to POS systems to loyalty cards, text messaging and email lists, things can get pretty overwhelming.
You’ve been taught over the years that you need to use all of the above tactics to bring in–and keep–new customers. However, how many times have you heard the word “integration?”
I had the same question, which is why I went to Dan Bejmuk, co-founder and CEO of DreamBox Creations in Los Angeles, for a quick lesson. “Integration means that all of your systems (email, online ordering, marketing materials, etc.) are aligned to reach every guest.”
Bejmuk explained that when you have several systems working independently of one another (i.e., one person running the email, another doing social media, and another creating marketing materials), your message gets diluted and you aren’t reaching the same customers each time. “It’s important to know as much as possible about each guest,” says Bejmuk. “You should be able to easily connect the dots between your POS, online ordering and email database.”
Easy ways to start integrating include:
1. Make sure that if you have a POS system, it collects–and stores–customer data.
2. If you offer online ordering, collect and integrate the data into your POS.
3. Have your e-newsletter/loyalty club tied into other marketing systems or your POS.
“Look at the consistent data you have in place already and start from there,” says Bejmuk. “Once you’re able to connect the dots, you’ll start to see the effects of your marketing efforts and be able to justify your expenditures.”
According to Bejmuk, your customers can also help integrate themselves into your business when you announce specials such as, “Like us on Facebook and show us your phone when you visit for a discount.” You will instantly be able to connect Facebook to a real visit when they come in. Same goes for placing hashtags on the back of menus and following customer activity that way.
Integration not only helps with efficiency, but also allows for more meaningful connections with guests who may patronize your business more than you know.