Talking recently with two very dear friends, who have just opened a very cool restaurant in Paris, Les Bobines, (website in French) I found some interesting links between restaurants and marketing integration. The concept of Les Bobines is serving high quality, beautiful “French” tapas style food in a surprisingly inviting concrete and metal environment. Warm colours, bespoke furniture, references to cult films engraved on the tables, and displayed as art on the walls, lots of light, a great terrace and a wonderful welcoming make it a very good restaurant indeed.
But it does not stop there, after the meal customers go downstairs to the projection room to watch a carefully selected movie, which is included in the price of the meal! The cinema room features soft sofas, great sound and image, and a bar to enjoy a drink during the projection.
The managers’ view on integration is that “…at Les Bobines the most important thing is that our customers fully understand our food and film concept, and that they have a seamless experience from the moment they enter the door to the moment they leave. We work very hard to align every touch point and to make it a memorable journey.”
It is not always easy to point out the exact reason why we really like or dislike a restaurant. Obviously good food and good service are a good start, but what is it that really makes a restaurant customer journey exceptional?
A customer books a table on the phone or online, or just walks in… The first interaction or look through the window, the look on the faces of the staff that welcome them, the music, décor, execution of the restaurant concept if any, correct order taking, speed of service, staff body language, relationship between staff, their politeness and behaviour, the words they use, obviously the quality and taste of the food, the presentation, the aromas, the table layout, the quality of the drinks, the cleanliness, (I could go on forever…) all have to be aligned, understood, explained to, learnt, and rehearsed – by the staff, to be able to transmit perfect integration to the customers, consistently every time.
A restaurant where these things are aligned operates as an integrated ecosystem, which if dysfunctional, disrupts the customer journey and transmits broken messages to the customers who, sometimes without really knowing why, will never come back.
Alignment between every single touch-point, along the entire customer journey, is the key for the best restaurateurs. If the importance of the customer journey seems obvious for restaurant customers to decide to come back again and again, securing consistent sales and business longevity. Why is it that the best marketers cannot take their customers on equally aligned and integrated journeys? After all is this not that what marketers should do, make customers feel amazing to increase sales and secure longevity?
Discipline, planning, collaboration, the right skills and resources, defined roles, communication, and understanding the chain of events that needs to happen for a plate of heavenly food to appear in front of someone, makes the difference between a mediocre restaurant and the restaurant you cannot stop thinking about. And what do you know; these are also the ingredients of an optimised marketing ecosystem only from which, amazing integrated campaigns can be borne.
At Flock, we have recently helped one of our great clients plan their customer journey for a particular campaign, in order to make sure they know exactly how to deal with every potential customer anywhere and at any time along the journey. From that customer journey we were able to work together on a communications plan that actually takes into account the customers! See an example below:
We describe our own Flock customer journey, or “Flock Flow” as an interactive tube map of stations and stops. To read more about it click here, and see an example below:
So, marketers could take some precious advice from restaurateurs (or at least from the best ones) when it comes to building exceptional customer journeys to deliver integrated campaigns, which from our own research, carried out with 46 top marketers could save you up to 20% of your marketing spend, click here for more information about the research.
If you need help when planning your next campaign, to make it integrated, to get your departments and agencies to talk together, to cover all relevant media and channels, to avoid duplication, to use all content wisely, to not forget SEO and PPC, and of course, to make sure there are no “dirty toilets” that could put your customers off a so far wonderful customer journey, give Flock a call here.
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