Digital hunger: online marketing to tantalise the tastebuds

The proof is in the pudding. Digital media is becoming the tastiest option when considering cost-effective, broad-scope marketing for almost any industry, whether it is retail, tourism, events or services. Fast on the trail is food and restaurant marketing, an industry that previously relied on television, radio and principally print advertisements in relative publications.

Restaurants, food products and food and wine festivals are leaving no crumbs in their use of digital media, enabling a platform for customer interaction, exciting promotional advertisements and developing sweet (and savoury) relations with the public. As founder of Royal Resorts and Grand Residences Simon Crawford-Welch says of the food industry, conventional marketing wisdom will lead to a conventional marketing result: failure cialis 20mg vidal. It’s time to spice things up.

Going to dinner tonight? Long gone are the days of collecting the crinkled restaurant brochures posted outside doorways before opening hours, leaving much to the imagination of the restaurant’s culture and taste inspirations. A menu and price range leaves the glass half full. Or empty. With the omnipresent rise in social media and portable technologies, restaurants have too taken to the flame on the effectiveness and prominence of digital media.

Think Spice Temple of Neil Perry’s Rockpool Group. Google the name and find immediately the page on which visitors can view the menu, drinks list, photographic gallery and contact details for making reservations. Visually speaking, the page is striking: dramatic colour contrasts of an oil-black background, white side-bar text and a striking image melting into the foreground. No bold digital food coupons, nor tacky Surf Club bistro style food photography. The page intrigues with sensual design and mystery of expectation.

Notably, the page also directs visitors to the restaurant’s blog, which features current promotional competitions, Neil Perry recipes, links to other related blogs and pages and monthly updates on the establishment’s involvement in the community and public events. People aren’t just looking for Spice Temple; Spice Temple is looking for people and how they can connect, drawing in new customers and strengthening loyalty amongst fans.

Neil Perry’s Rockpool Group also has a hearty following on social media empires Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, allowing customers to be constantly linked to the restaurant group. Who has checked in here, and what have they said? Its featured reviews and awards are also listed on the page, heating up its prestigious online presence.

Sadly, Spice Temple’s mobile site lacks every ingredient for a handheld visit to the restaurant. No colour, no oriental flavour, nothing. Its digital marketing team has left this access point undercooked, with completely uninspired design and incoherent navigation, inciting confusion as to whether this is even the same establishment. Consistency and care would have saved this dish.

Online public review forums such as TripAdvisor and Urbanspoon are also fast becoming the first phone-a-friend option for recommendations. Though often written with loose colloquialism and infuriating grammar, these public reviews constitute an up-to-date indication of an establishment’s performance. If you love it, you’ll review it.

Digital marketing is the way of future marketing, and this dynamic and internationally prominent industry will do well to keep up with the times. In terms of multi-platforms, too many cooks will not spoil this broth, and utilising as many digital tools and trends as possible will prove to be very helpful for restaurants’ presence and popularity. Order up and bon appétit.