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The Visualogistix Blog

Informational content about the marketing, restaurant and retail industries. Newsworthy stories and ideas. Knowledgeable inputs from our team. Informative, interesting, and insightful – the Visualogistix blog.

puzzle

Stress is the worst, isn't it? As a franchise marketer, we're sure you deal with your fair share of stress on a day-by-day basis. And no one is blaming you... you have a lot on your plate!

Your main focus is creating your next great marketing campaign. However, while creating new campaigns, you also need to be in charge of managing the old ones. It's your responsibility to ensure your brand stays consistent across all your franchise locations.

Aha moment

As we’re sure you’re aware, connecting with customers today is becoming more and more challenging. Frankly, you are competing against an increasing number of other brands. And these brands are offering your prospective and current customers similar products and services, all wrapped up in a shiny bow we like to call marketing.

You want your bow to be the shiniest, don’t you? A great way to ensure your bow shines bright like a diamond is to provide the correct content for each moment of truth. In this blog post, we will focus on all four moments of truth and what marketing should be used for each.

email

It’s no secret how important email marketing is. In fact, I’m sure your store or restaurant already markets via email in some way, shape or form. But, how successful are your email marketing campaigns? Are they strategically planned and analyzed? Or are you frantically sending promotional emails out on Christmas Eve because you realized New Year’s Eve was much closer than you thought?

And, as a franchise, how are you managing your email marketing? Are all of your emails sent from corporate? Are your franchisees and store managers allowed to craft their own emails? Do they understand what separates a great email from one that inevitably lands your brand in the spam folder?

Magnifier

One of the first questions you should ask yourself when designing your marketing campaigns is: “How can I connect with my current customers?” The second question you ask should be: “How can I connect with my ideal customers?” Obviously, customer retention is more lucrative than customer acquisition. But that shouldn’t stop you from setting your sights on your ideal customers as well.

Your ideal customers can be described as the customers who will continually have a positive view of your brand, continually spend their hard earned money on your brand’s products or services (their ticket prices are usually higher than regular customers), and continually spread positive word of mouth reviews about your brand.

Cleaning

Spring has sprung! Tis the season for March Madness, April showers, May flowers, and spring cleaning. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to mean just cleaning out your closets, mopping your floors, and washing your windows. Spring cleaning can (and should) also take place in your professional life, mostly with your data.

Selfie

With 400 million monthly active users and 75 million daily users, Instagram is one of the most influential forms of social media available today. With that many users, it can be incredibly challenging for your restaurant’s Instagram account to gain a following, especially if you are a smaller brand. So, how do you gain followers, boost your engagement rates, and get more customers walking through your front door?

Through your customer’s Instagram feeds.

Your customers are your number one brand advocates. Their praise of your restaurant means more to their friends, fans, and followers than your paid advertising and marketing campaigns ever could.

statistics

The importance of in-store signage is something that should not be overlooked by today’s retail and restaurant marketers. Effective in-store signage boosts sales, increases brand awareness, promotes brand consistency, and satisfies customers. Below, we have listed ten signage statistics that every marketer needs to know to ensure the importance of this advertising tool is understood.

1) 68% of customers believe that signage reflects the quality of a business and their product.

Think of your in-store signage as your silent salespeople. Although it can’t verbally interact with your customers, it has the ability to communicate messages and make a sale as well as your physical salespeople.

warehouse

When you’re creating new marketing campaigns and promotional roll-outs you are probably preoccupied with the fun parts of the process. You want to brainstorm new ideas, create and design content, and envision your happy franchisees using your content in their local markets. But, what you probably don’t think about is one of the most important parts of this whole process.

That’s right, fulfillment services.

The best strategy and the most remarkable production do nothing without quality execution. Nobody cares how great your ideas are if they never get fulfilled!

Below, we lay out three of the most important fulfillment services and explain a little bit more about what goes into each of them.

Sale tags

Take a look around your retail store. How does it look? Does the design excite you? Does your signage illustrate your brand’s messaging and latest promotions? More importantly, how does your store make you feel? Does it put you in a buying mood or does it bore you?

All these factors are important when evaluating the current state of your retail environment. Below, we have laid out five signs that you need to upgrade your retail environment, as well as five ways to fix those problems.

cupcake

Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is happening this weekend... and it’s the perfect time to promote your restaurant as the go-to destination for romantic diners. Whether you are a sit-down restaurant or a QSR, there are definitely ways you can use the holiday of love to your advantage.

Specialty Menus

If you are a sit-down restaurant, you need to deliver a quality dining experience to your guests, especially on Valentine’s Day. Some couples spend months planning this special night, and you need to live up to their expectations! That being said, it will be easiest for your kitchen, staff, and diners if you only offer a set menu on Valentine’s Day. This menu should feature best-sellers, as well as new, exciting items made with ingredients already in the kitchen.

Football Fan

The biggest game in America is this weekend. That’s right, Super Bowl Sunday is almost here! If you’re a sports fan, it’s time to bust out your Carolina Panthers or Denver Broncos jersey. If you’re not a sports fan, it’s time to eat far too many hot wings and get prepared for this year’s ads.

The concept of looking forward to commercials may seem a bit foreign. That’s why we have DVR, right? So that we can skip through and get back to our regularly scheduled programming? The craziest thing is, we’re actually excited for these commercials. We look forward to them all year long and talk about them for weeks after the crowning of the Super Bowl kings.

Super Bowl commercials aren’t entertaining by accident. Targeted, funny, and well thought out, football fanatics and bystanders alike appreciate these ads. Marketers and advertisers spend months planning, organizing, and designing these ads. They analyze exactly how these ads (and their entire marketing campaigns) must perform.

Space shuttle

It’s that time of year again! No, I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day or even National Hot Sauce Day (a holiday that happens every January 22nd, apparently). I’m talking about trade show season. It’s time to bust out those trade show booths and organize those pre- and post-show marketing campaigns.

One of the main (and most exciting) parts of a trade show is designing your booth. With the high exhibitor prices at trade shows, it only makes sense that you make your booth the best it can be. You’re wasting your money if you show up with a table cloth and simple backdrop and expect to get qualified leads. That’s not exciting, and no one is going to stop by your booth, no matter how great you are.

So, how do you make an awesome trade show booth that commands attention and attracts quality prospects? Keep reading to find out.

losing-money

“That much? For a screen and some software?!” A sentiment heard far too often from franchise corporate offices nationwide. But the individuals expressing these feelings aren’t completely wrong. Digital signage is expensive at first; there is no way around that. But what’s even more expensive is eating your competitors’ metaphorical dust. As your competitors adopt digital signage technology, your customers will flock to them. And you will lose your place as their most sought after brand.

But you’re in luck, even if you’re on a tight budget. Research shows that it hardly takes any time at all to recoup your digital signage investment. According to QSRWeb.com, it takes, on average, 7-12 months to see ROI on digital signage. Also, 25% of brands who use digital signage see a 1-3% increase in sales thanks to the technology. Digital signage doesn’t seem so expensive now, does it?

menu

A bad menu is to a great restaurant as a broken leg is to a championship sprinter. No matter how great your restaurant is, it simply won’t live up to its full potential without a great menu. The way your menu looks is almost as important as the food that is prepared in your kitchen. (We’d like to say it’s more important, but a great menu design isn’t going to save undercooked hamburgers from the wrath of a negative Yelp review.)

Below we’ve listed ten ways to ensure you are making the most out of your menu designs (and getting the most out of your brand):

Fireworks

With 2016 quickly approaching it is time to start thinking about all of our New Year’s Resolutions. Some of us may be resolving to go to the gym more, some of us may be resolving to eat healthier, and some of us may be resolving to spend more time with family. Although New Year’s resolutions are generally focused around personal goals, why shouldn’t we apply them to professional goals as well?

Throughout 2015 we heard a lot of talk about the importance of personalization and localization in both restaurants and retail stores. New technology and marketing strategies are allowing customers to receive a more personal experience than ever before when they interact with their favorite brands. Across all touchpoints of communication, brands are ensuring that each customer feels as if the experience was tailored to fit their wants, needs, and preferences. One of the best ways to ensure a personalized marketing strategy is by creating a great local marketing strategy for your brand. Doing so will ensure your brand maintains a competitive advantage in today’s ever-changing restaurant and retail industries.

Holiday sale

It's hard to believe that the holidays have almost come and gone. Arguably, one of the best parts of the holidays is the decorations. Who doesn't love going to the mall around Christmas time to view all the lights, tinsel, sights, and sounds?

Even before Thanksgiving you will start to see stores and restaurants strategically incorporating red and green into their design strategies to celebrate the season of giving (and to promote their holiday sales). After Christmas, the red and green is quickly taken down and replaced with shiny, metallic colors that are perfect for ringing in the New Year.

Personalization, personalization, personalization. It’s a buzzword in the marketing world as of late. But there is more to this word than claiming “customers like personalized service” or “personalize that promotion”. To meet today’s consumer’s wants and needs, personalization needs to be the overarching theme for every marketing endeavor. With the New Year right around the corner, there is no better time to delve deeper into this topic and the yearly trends that make it tick.

As Avi Dan writes in Forbes, “Personalization is not a trend. It is a marketing tsunami, here to stay, which will transform how we think about and how we manage global brands.” And he’s right. Personalization is not a trend. But it does need trends to make it tick. And although the hottest trends may seem intriguing, there is no sense in wasting energy adopting them. Instead, channel that energy into transforming the tried-and-true trends from the previous year to boost personalization in the coming year. Below are three of the best trends we observed in 2015 and examples of how they can be applied to your 2016 personalization practices.

Computer science

Technology is growing at an exponential rate. Thanks to Moore’s Law, we can expect the abilities of our technology to double about every two years. In your personal world this may seem like a double-edged sword. Yes, the new camera on the iPhone 6S is amazing. But how long until Apple releases the iPhone 7, complete with its updated bells and whistles?

It’s hard to keep up in the professional world as well. These updates call for advanced employees who understand how to use this new technology. To maximize the effectiveness of this technology, the employee must understand it completely. Unfortunately, Moore’s Law applies to these skilled employees as well. They are becoming harder and harder to find as technology continues to grow.

Laptop from overhead

Recently, Amazon opened their first brick-and-mortar store in Seattle, Washington. This store, Amazon Books, got many people thinking. Why would the world’s biggest retailer open a brick-and-mortar store? Were online sales declining? Were consumers getting sick of paying for shipping and handling? Did this have anything to do with their failed Prime Day promotion?

Amazon’s online-only presence helped them gain competitive advantage against other retailers, such as Wal-Mart. Regardless, customers’ desires to have physical interaction with products before purchasing is undeniable. Retail trends statistics are supporting this claim. According to Retail Next, the current sales value of US brick-and-mortar retailers is $3.9 trillion. That’s about 87% of the $4.5 trillion US retail industry. Despite the popularity of online shopping, brick-and-mortar stores generate about 94% of retail sales. It only makes sense that Amazon would dip their toes into omnichannel retail.

Thank You sign

With Thanksgiving just around the corner (this Thursday, to be exact), it’s time to think about all the things you are thankful for. Your family, friends, co-workers, and your health and wellness are sure to be at the top of your list. But have you thought about how you’re thankful for your customers? How can you show your gratitude towards them?

Thankfully (are you seeing the theme of this blog post, yet?), giving thanks to your customers isn’t a huge feat. It won’t take hours of market research, persona building, and brainstorming complicated strategies to show them how much you care.