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What is A Net Promoter Score?

Your business is doing OK, but it could be better. It grows when things are going well, then stagnates periodically when the “news” or marketing budget runs dry. Many of you say that you get your business through WOM, or tout that as main marketing objective.

Most companies strive for customer advocacy (including your competition), but how well are you really doing in this department? Do your customers actively endorse and champion you? If you don’t know the answer, I’ve got good news for you – it’s easier to figure out then you might think.

Try to answer this question: “What is the likelihood that your customers would recommend your company to a friend”? Not anecdotally; a real quantifiable number. Think this might be valuable to know? You’re right, it is. Here’s how:

Just over a decade ago, Fred Reichland and his team at Bain and Co. uncovered the one question that worked best to determine customer behavior, which they coined, Net Promoter Score (NPS). Their research showed that this “likelihood to recommend” question was the MOST accurate predictor of how many repurchases, referrals, recommendations, etc, a brand was likely to receive.

As it turns out, Net Promoter leaders grew on average 2X faster than their competition! No other question tested provided a response that was a better indicator of the actions you want your customers to take: buy more, tell their friends, and generally share good-will about your business.

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Do your customers feel this good about your brand?

The value of measuring NPS is strongest in categories where customers can switch easily, have abundant choice, and there is high demand. Sound like the arena in which you compete? If so, you’d be well served to measure this easy to uncover metric.

There are many ways to make use of Net Promoter Score, but if nothing else, think of the value in identifying those detractors inside your customer base, then working to bring them around to advocacy.

Without identifying a single new buyer, you could potentially have a dramatic impact on the bottom line and raise the likelihood that they will rate you highly in the future; significantly enhancing the value of your existing customer base.

One question. Many implications. Huge value to your business.

What’s your net promoter score?

What Really Is the 80/20 Rule?

You’ve probably heard of 80-20 rule (also known as Pareto’s Principle), which when applied to business, states that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your consumers. Seems nice and tidy right?

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If it were true, it would definitely simplify your marketing efforts and narrow your focus to your most ‘valuable’ buyers. Unfortunately, doing so may dramatically limit your opportunity for success.

In 2007, Byron Sharpe and J Romaniuk from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Corporate Sponsors, concluded research that showed the ratio to be more along the lines of 60/20 (at the high end).

When they analyzed brands across many categories over the course of a year, they found that all brands, regardless of their market share, typically could attribute 50% of their sales to the top 20% of buyers. That means another 50% of revenue came from the remaining 80% of consumers!

The implications are far reaching, and on the surface, we can see that long term engagement with your less frequent or light spending buyers could prove more valuable than you once believed. Over time, they may even scale up to the top 20%, even if just for a short period of time.

Next time you are thinking of ways to improve sales, take a hard look at the buying patterns of your customers. Look for those who may have dropped out of the 20%, or have always been just a bit outside. That pool will be much bigger than you previously believed and could be the source of your greatest gains to come.

Please share this post with someone who still believes in the 80/20 rule!

 

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Mavriko Marketing is a business consultancy that helps companies Make Their Move™ with better strategy, digital marketing and design. If you’d like to improve your bottom line, contact us today!  anthony@brandmavriko.com

Business Strategy Part 1: Fundamentals

Business strategy is a difficult endeavor for many seasoned pros, let alone small business owners and startups. The details associated with crafting productive strategy require careful consideration, experienced shepherds and diligent attention to the right components. 

 

Many companies confuse brand strategy with business strategy, as the brand is the typical touchpoint of the business. Brand strategy is just as complex and important as an overarching business design, but it can at best serve as a band aid for a rudimentary business strategy.

 

You must first must uncover how your business will win in the long term before figuring out how your brand will come to life and engage your audience.

 

Business strategy ultimately boils down to creating unique and superior value for your customers, delivered differently than your competition.

One may communicate this through an intriguing brand or marketing plan, but the value needs to be delivered across the entirety of the value chain to drive ultimate performance.

 

Strategy is a very deep topic to explore, so it's helpful to first review the essential components that comprise a quality strategic plan. 

 

For a company to craft a winning business strategy, they must:

  • Set Measurable Goals

  • Establish Qualities of Distinction

  • Avoid Copying Competitors

  • Create Unique Value 

  • Choose & Ignore Customers Wisely

  • Accept & Make Trade-Offs

  • Focus Attention

  • Align Divisions

  • Execute Skillfully

  • Innovate With Care

  • Multiply Smart Choices

  • Become Flexibly Firm

  • Choose Proper Metrics

  • Exhibit Patience & Persistence

  • Ignore False Trends

 

That's a significant list to attend to for a burgeoning business, let alone a fortune 500 company. No wonder it often gets set aside for the sake of simply trying to make "the best" product possible.

 

Great products are surprisingly easy for customers to come by and replace, hence why smart strategy is not only an offensive tool, but a good defense against new entries into the market.

 

Perhaps this is a good place to pause for now. More to come!

In the meantime, what are your thoughts or questions as they relate to strategy?

 

 

 

 

How to Build Better Business Plans by Challenging Assumptions

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Whether negotiating a partnership, forecasting the results of a new project, or pitching investors on your startup; you most likely calculated the intended outcome by layering in facts and assumptions that allow you to make a guess about the future.

This is a core element of any new strategic endeavor or plan, which unfortunately can be quite perilous if not done correctly. Much of the time, the peril lies within your assumptions, not with your inherent ideas.

In most instances where intelligent parties are involved, a carefully crafted prediction of the future is formulated with multiple assumptions that must prove true to obtain the desired results.

 

The end game becomes crafting a 'story that sells' instead of rigorously evaluating the assumptions in order to develop a model of the future that is as certain as possible.

Startups are major culprits of this because of their uncertain future, lack of a viable business model, participation in an ecosystem that embraces uncertainty, “pivoting” and constant adjustment. This is fine in the earliest days, but if you have raised money with assumptions that you did not fully vet, you might be in for a rude awakening at your next investor meeting.

 

Forecasts are often presented with a “best case/worst case” scenario in mind, but more times than not, this “worst case” is a “low end” prognosis crafted to increase the likelihood of approval or acceptance. The fear in genuinely revealing the “worst case” is that you might never actually get approval to move forward with your plans, the funding to make it to market, or the partnership you seek. Unfortunately, this might be the most positive outcome!

 

Here is the crux of the problem: 

 

Many times people exploit their assumptions to tell a positive story without conducting the rigorous work needed to determine their accuracy, let alone their likelihood. This leads to miscalculations, errors, omissions and sunk costs that can take years to recoup, if ever.

Worst of all, they do this because it’s often endorsed, overlooked or rewarded!

 

A better way to plan:

First, admit that your projections may indeed be inaccurate, hence the need to test your assumptions. When leadership acknowledges and supports this process, team members are less inclined to falsify the prognosis, and a more rigorous examination can take place in plain view.

 

Then, ask yourself or your team: “Given our projections, what are the most important assumptions that must prove true for us to be successful, and how will we track them”? List these assumptions in order of importance, with the most important/uncertain at the top.

 

Once you have this list, you can then find ways to economically and rapidly test them for validation. Invariably, you will gain confidence through this process, as you either affirm or refute your assumptions. This knowledge can then be interlaced into your strategy with forecasts that gain greater assurance and transparency. Buy-in from third parties becomes easier when the story is told not simply with assumptions identified, but with those assumptions tested.

 

It comes down to the willingness to ask the right questions, the patience to investigate your variables, and ultimately answering the simple question, “What must be true for this to work”.

 

The next time you need to develop a vision for the future, first examine your assumptions. You might not be able to precisely predict the outcome, but you’ll come a heck of a lot closer to success.

 

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Mavriko Marketing is a business consultancy that helps companies Make Their Move™ with better strategy, digital marketing and design. If you’d like to improve your bottom line, contact us today!  anthony@brandmavriko.com



 

How To Market Your Bar or Restaurant On Instagram

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Instagram is becoming more competitive by the minute.

 

With over 100 million new photos and videos posted every day, you'll need to work smart to reach your fans and customers.

 

 

Here are 5 tips to grow your bar or restaurant on Instagram.

 

1) Don’t show photos of food!

 

I bet that caught your attention! And yes, I'm serious. 

 

You should NOT show photos or videos of your food....

 

....ALL. THE. TIME. 

 

Do your photos look at least this good??

 

We get it, you can plate a dish and take a solid photo. The thing is, attractive food & drinks are but one element of a quality restaurant, neighborhood pub, or dive bar.

 

Think about it for a second...

Our favorite bars and restaurants are the culmination of 100’s of intentional decisions regarding the location, design, decor, lighting, music, products, partners, ingredients, tableware, suppliers, staff, etc…

 

100+ decisions that result in a unique experience. 

 

Tell this story.

 

A bar or restaurant's unique blend of attributes has a tremendous impact on the perceived quality of the experience, which can even influence the perceived quality of the food.

These combined qualities are essential to differentiating yourself in your market and offer you countless opportunities to share your unique story with the world on Instagram. 

 

Show us the space and tell us what inspired the design.

Show us the space and tell us what inspired the design.

 

Keep in mind the majority of restaurants are stuck in the same groove of posting food shots, so you are competing with every other bar and restaurant for Instagram Likes and Followers if this is all you post. 

 

People can only see so many plates of food in their Instagram feed before they decide they’ve had enough and choose to Unfollow (or refuse to Follow) restaurants that don’t offer something unique, interesting, and useful.

 

IDEAS To get You Started:

 

  • Post a beautiful photo of the local farm where you get your cheese/produce/meat (or even better, tell us the story of the farmer who works their ass off to provide it).

 

  • Reveal the diligence and daily effort that goes into prepping your food, or bring us into the kitchen to learn how to make a unique dish.

 

  • Introduce us to the story of your best customer, complete with their favorite menu items, a bit about them, and what keeps them coming back.

 

  • Teach us how to mix the original craft cocktail your bartender just came up with.

 

  • Show us smiling patrons celebrating a special occasion, or an impromptu night out (be sure to get permission to post).

 

 

At the end of the day, the best bars and restaurants on Instagram bring in new customers by:

 

 1) Standing out with original and dynamic content that gains/retains new Followers 

 2) Showcasing a unique experience/promise that conveys value

 3) Sharing stories that inspire people to show up at their door and tell their friends.

 

 

Customers need to be energized to visit, not simply shown a visual menu like a Chinese takeout restaurant menu board!

 

 

 

2) Make your customers the hero

 

Smiling faces of happy customers = guaranteed likes

 

Share their photos!

 

Create a dialogue by asking them questions. Seek feedback on how you can get better.  

 

Develop an original Instagram hashtag that includes your brand name (like #XYZrestaurantlove), encourage patrons to use it, then repost quality user photos with credit. 

 

Reply and like every comment and direct message (especially any negative comments). 

 

Host contests to give back to your Followers (think gift cards, branded apparel, cooking lessons, private dining events….)

 

Send direct messages to your best customers that you haven’t seen in a while. Invite them in with their friends. Offer them something for “free” to say thank you and incentivize them to visit.

 

 

3) Plan to get serious

 

Instagram enables bars and restaurants to directly engage their Followers (for free) on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean you should spend valuable time each day trying to figure out what to post. 

 

The most successful Instagramers plan their posts many days in advance, organizing the messages and media they want to share according to the story and key selling points they want to convey.

 

They know what the goals are for the restaurant or bar on a macro level and organize that into a plan for communicating their story on Instagram

 

We’ve developed a simple planning calendar for our clients that organizes and streamlines the planning process, so they never have to wonder what they will post that day, who is responsible for executing, or what is the best time to post. 

 

This tool helps them be consistent with the posts, which is essential to growth. Ask about getting a copy for your restaurant. 

 

 

4) Mix up your media

 

Still photos are nice and all, but like Facebook, Instagram is beginning to reward video posts with extended reach, and short videos are a perfect format for Instagram Stories. 

 

Give us a tutorial, a tour, or a time-lapse of a dish coming together.

 

Boomerangs can be a cool way to show “the perfect pour”, ninja knife skills, a beautiful plate served to a table, guests raising a “cheers”…etc…

 

Check out this cool Cinemagraph by The Wayfarer:

202 Likes, 5 Comments - The Wayfarer (@thewayfarernyc): "Drop by 💧☕️ for #NationalCappuccinoDay ✨ #WalrusWednesdays #TheWayfarernyc #wayfarer #cappuccino..."

 

You might also try going Live in Stories from a staff event or outing. 

 

Why not Broadcast a wine education class/staff training or shoot a clip of the tour you take of a brewery/vineyard that you source from. 

 

Whatever you do, mix it up. Your target audience will appreciate that your content is always fresh. Remember, you are competing with EVERYONE who is vying for attention on Instagram, not just other bars and restaurants.

 

 

5) Post at the right time

 

The right time to post is different for every bar and restaurant, but generally, you should post when the majority of your Followers are online (obviously).

 

To reveal this data, convert your profile to a business account (tied to your Facebook page) and use the in app analytics to see the highest traffic times for your account. 

 

 

Access Follower activity here in Instagram App analytics:

 

 

 

Instagram chunks these times into 3 hr blocks, so you will have to experiment with the best times for your account. 

 

Based on our work growing Instagram accounts with 50+ clients across industries over the past year, 6-8pm is generally a good default time to post, but you may also find success around 9am, or 12pm. These times can vary Friday-Sunday.

 

 

Post to Stories any day, all day. Stories are fast becoming the best way to resonate to the top of your Followers feeds, and you can be a bit more casual and of the moment. Get creative!

 

 

Pro tip: We have seen evidence that posting to Stories at the same time you upload a new gallery post helps extend the reach of the Gallery post. The Instagram algorithm is complex to say the least, so try this technique for a week to test it for your account.

 

 

Finally....

 

These are the basics of how smart bars and restaurants are growing with Instagram marketing.

There a many other ways to optimize and refine your Instagram marketing strategy, but if you execute in these areas first, you have the best chance to improve your Following, increase engagement, and drive the ROI for your business!

 

 

Drop us line if you would like to dramatically accelerate your growth on Instagram!

 

 

 

 

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