Updated: Jun 19, 2020
It's the first day of March, which means that we are fast approaching the end of the first quarter of 2020!
If you think that you can grow your sales month after month, without a concrete plan, that's going to be a pipe dream!
So let's talk about March marketing and your game plan!
We got to be maximizing every opportunity to dominate our communities and grow our sales in different ways.
To do this, we are going over our Monthly Planner, particularly for March. Ultimately, if you take the time and fill out this planner, and put it into practice, you can map out your whole month with your various marketing strategies.
Before we start I want you to please download the planner for you to keep up, as you read through this article, here's the link:
Now that you have the actual planner with you, let me dissect each page for you to understand better:
1. Set your sales goal
Begin filling out the planner by writing down the following:
Q1 2020 Sales Goal: _________
March 2019 Sales: ___________
March 2020 Sales: ___________
The first page of your planner must contain your sales goal. You've already gone through January and February, so you must know where your sales are at this time.
Based on your goal, what should our March 2020 goal be for us to hit our Q1 sales target?
Another thing you must write is sales for March 2019. As you know, we are always comparing month to month, especially if you want to grow, for instance, 10% every month. For example, last year, you made $100,000, so for March this year, you are making $110,000.
2. Conduct a Marketing Machine Assessment
You need to rate different aspects of marketing in your restaurant. Ultimately, you want to build a machine for your restaurant to operate without you working in it.
Somebody must be able to drive this machine, and ideally, it should not be you. What you must only do is to give the direction where the machine needs to go -the vision for different promotions, the sales goal, and how you are going to get there.
So you need to create systems aggressively when it comes to marketing of your business if you want your restaurant to continue to grow, especially without your physical involvement.
Assess your marketing machine using these ten questions below. Rate each based on a scale of 1-10, with ten being excellent and one being poor:
I am very happy with our restaurant's consistent sales growth (How satisfied are you with your steady sales progress?)
We have a strategic system in place to respond to our online reviews (Do you have a strategic system to respond to your online reviews?)
We have a pricing strategy that is profitable (Did you increase your prices? What is your system for that? )
We systematically and consistently capture phone numbers and emails of our customers (You must have a system in place to keep your customer's contact information so we'll have a way of direct communication with them no matter what happens to social media)
We are consistently marketing to our database via text and email marketing - weekly (Where are you at when it comes to sending direct messages with your current customers?)
We have a strategic content market strategy on social media (This needs to shift quite often, so where are you at?)
We track our marketing efforts and measure the return on investment ROI (Are you tracking and revisiting your results weekly?)
We have a written and posted marketing promotional calendar (Do have a calendar where you mapped out all your promotions for the whole year?)
Our websites clearly communicate what we do (Your website is your hub. Do people understand who and what you are by visiting your website?)
Our management team meets weekly to review our marketing efforts and plan the week ahead (How consistent are you meeting with your managers weekly? Do you review your marketing efforts?)
After rating each question, add them up, and divide it by 10 to get your Marketing March Assessment score.
Based on this assessment, what’s one aspect of your marketing machine you can work on?
Can you systematize, automate using software or outsource to a team member, or an agency if you see it profitable?
You need to pick a project that you can create for this month. Maybe it's your content strategy for your social media or whatever you see feasible, and build that machine of yours.
3. Outline the March 2020 Marketing Budget
Keep in mind that marketing is an investment, so you need to have a budget for that investment.
First, take note of your March 2020 marketing budget, and then allocate them to specific marketing strategy such as:
Text Message Marketing cost: $____
FB Ads budget: $____
Email Marketing Cost: $____
Mailer AVG Cost: $____
Outsourcing/ Marketing agency cost: $____
Sponsorships ($ donations): $____
Food donations: $____
In-store events cost: $____
Content creation cost: $____
Depending on your budget, you can add or reduce those items above. It is crucial to have a breakdown of those things for you to do the Math and help you accomplish your sales goal.
4. Plot Possible Promotions for March
The next part of our planner is going over potential promotions that you can focus on for this month. You must use this section to create engaging and timely content, plan for social media giveaways, food drops, menu specials, events, and more!
I have listed down a calendar of celebrations or events that you may use to promote your restaurant weekly for March.
However, we highly recommend focusing on 1 promotion per week and use our 10 Steps to a Successful Restaurant Promotion to blow it up!
(Go to the home page of our website https://www.makingdoughshow.com/, look for the Free Marketing Resources, and download the 10 Steps to a Successful Restaurant Promotion.)
5. Settle your Restaurant's Weekly Specials, Promotions, and Deals
After deciding on what promotions you are going to use weekly, it's time to come up with the actual game plan.
I have this section of the planner for you to put what you are promoting every single week of March.
Is it going to be a particular dish or a menu that you are highlighting for week 1 in celebration of International Women's day, or St. National Pi day for Week 2? and so on...
For instance, in our restaurant, we have this weekly "Feed the Family Deal" that we text out to our customers every single week. It's a different combo deal every week.
And I would write down, for example, for Week 1, it's a cannoli and a 16-inch two-topping pizza, for Week 2, tiramisu and a 16-inch specialty pizza, and the list goes on.
I do this because I know I'm going to highlight these dishes on our social media platforms and create content around them.
6. Strategize on how to Promote the Deals and Promotions
For you to implement the deals and promotions that you have outlined effectively, you need a strategy to promote them. Here are some of the ways you can achieve this:
Email Marketing - you need to have a subject line, text for the email, and photos
Text Marketing - it's only 160 character text, so it's very simple to do
In-store - print an image necessary for your promotions
Facebook - post and image or video + text caption
Instagram - post image or video + text caption
Local Facebook Groups - join your local FB groups and share posts that you have created for your promotions
Mailer - if you use this as a method to promote, you must design it, print, and mail
FB/ Insta Ads - these are paid posts, come up with an image or video + text caption
Just like your marketing budget, you may add or narrow down your list for this section of the planner, depending on what you think is attainable.
Remember, it is not enough to spend time creating a special promo, event, or even worrying about your logistics, you also need to focus on your marketing strategy.
7. Prepare the Media Creation to Promote the Deals
Conclusively, whatever the promo or the deal is, you need to efficiently create media that you're going to use across your social media platforms as part of your promotional tactic.
The first step is to write the promo itself. Then think of a caption to tell a story about it. And lastly, take possible media -photos and/or videos that are appropriate for the promo.
If you come up with all the captions and media that are associated with your promotions for the next five weeks of March and involve your team to capture those photos and videos for you, then the work is done.
8. Map out Strategic Partnership and Food Drop Strategy
Another thing I'd like you to consider this March is to identify strategic partnerships and food drop strategy that you're going to put in place.
For instance, there are three things we know that are happening this March, such as the National Dentist's Day, the National Doctor's Day, and Employee Appreciation Day.
Are you able to contact your local dentists or doctors and offer some free food for them as part of your food drop strategy?
Ultimately, your goal here is to build relationships with individuals around your community.
For Employee Appreciation Day, maybe, you can offer exclusive deals or discounts for establishments that would like to appreciate their employees with food.
9. Design your Content Strategy
Finally, the last section of the planner would be designing your content strategy. Aside from the promotions that you have listed on section 7 of this planner, what else do you want to highlight for March?
Maybe, it's a dish that you want to feature for this month. Choose one item on your menu and highlight it once a week.
You may also come up with different ingredients, your people, or events that are worth posting on your various social media platforms.
Tell a story, think of possible photos and videos that you can utilize for your content.
And again, you don't have to do all of this, yourself. You can always delegate a team member to do the scheduling task, photo and video taking, for you. Cast them your vision by telling them how you would like things to look like.
For us, we use Later.com to schedule all our social media content for the whole month. We set it up and forget about it.
By having a game plan, whether it's your email marketing, social media, text message marketing, or on-the-ground promotions, you'll be able to find success. Use this planner to your advantage, bring it into action, and make some dough!
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