(Blogger’s Note: This is the first in a three part series on cyber advertising and marketing. The good, the bad, and the confusing of what’s out there and how organizing your message is more important than blasting fruitlessly into cyberspace hoping a noodle or two sticks on the wall.)
Are we getting the message on where to send our message? That’s a mighty big question in the vast world of free cyberspace marketing options, isn’t it?
Let me start with this disclaimer: Sondra Bernstein appears in this space frequently. And although I do occasionally dine in her restaurants, I view her as a small group operator focused on her business, keeping it successful while setting trends, dissecting fads, and implementing formulas for the future. She is a respected culinary force, along with business partner, John Toulze, and runs one of the best handful of restaurants in
While over seeing The Girl and the Fig, The Fig Caf?, Estate Restaurant, a catering division, a private label product division, and the authorship of a cookbook or two along the way, Bernstein is busy. The culinarian is constantly scouting for techniques and formulas to keep her group on top of the restaurant list. While others open and close in her marketplace, and some copy her formula and style instead of coming up with an idea of their own, Bernstein has had a strong run and has an award winning track record. Not an easy task in any market or economy. Amidst all of this, she decided to develop her own iPhone app.
Just what everyone needs, right? An iPhone app. So now we can stay connected in yet another way.
“I needed the app to stay current,” Bernstein said, defending her latest cyber marketing tool, adding, “Look at this; it has wine notes for the customer to read while drinking the wine they just ordered. It offers directions to the vineyard, daily specials, and a moveable treasure chest that offers a changing complimentary appetizer or dessert if the find it within the app.”
I know many restaurant owners are researching the possibility of this new cyber module, while others are still contemplating the need for a website. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Foursquare, and who knows what else will be launched in the net day, all appeal to the masses and as they struggle to stay on the communication ladder what do we really need to use to climb to the top?
For many, these marketing and advertising tools are as obscure as Foie Gras and truffle oil. And the answer to cyber advertising is still complex. But one thing is apparent: organization is the first key to success.
Last week when Bernstein showed me her new app I immediately responded that I had just written a column about over-connectivity. And, although a definite proponent of cyber marketing and advertising, I don’t see bombarding customers with electronic activity- just to let them know what we are doing- is an asset. As a matter of fact it may be classified by customers as an annoyance.
But, the Girl and the Fig styled iPhone app does have a place in a restaurant’s overall cyber advertising program. Its functionality is a good example of putting your restaurant’s tips at your customer’s finger tips.
Bernstein’s office resembles a cubicle at NASA. Her desk, lined with monitors of monumental size, doesn’t broadcast security camera videos of her bar, kitchen and dining room areas. Instead she is monitoring her Twitter, Facebook and now, her iPhone app activity, while continuing to oversee her operations. It would be foolish to assume all of us have developed an organization running smoothly enough to allow us the time to monitor monitors.
I spent so many hours dousing fires I had little time for the late night news, never mind Foursquare. Plus, I’m a old fashioned in the respect that I don’t want my friends on Foursquare.com to vote me “mayor” of any bar. I live by the rule that the person with the biggest tab at the end of the day is mayor of the bar for that day. Run large for a week and become governor should be part of the owner’s creed. Run large for a month, and there is a potential buyer sitting at the bar.
But these times, they are a changin…
Tomorrow: Which way to we go? Do we Twitter, Facebook, app or just nap?