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The 7 Trends of 2011

The 7 Trends of 2011

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Aug 25, 2011
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The 7 Trends of 2011
You can’t afford to miss these expert predictions.
Restaurant operators have spent 2010 in wait-and-see mode. The economy seems to have survivedthe financial collapse of 2008
beingused quite literally here, as in,
not died 
and iseven slowly growing. But consumers are stillpinching pennies, and staying afloat in therestaurant industry remains about as difficult asever.Still, there are reasons for restaurant operators to look forward to the next year.Many expect the economy to continue to slowly improve, and there are a lot of exciting trends that promise to move the industry forward. With the New Yearhere, we look ahead at some of the trends that will shape the industry in 2011.
1. Mobile Tech
 The one rapidly growing technology seemingly everyone in the industry has an eye(or an ear) on is the mobile phone, as it increasingly becomes the portal throughwhich consumers interact with the digital world.
―It is the wallet of tomorrow, the WiFi of tomorrow, the Internet of tomorrow— 
contained in [one] device,‖ says
Dennis Lombardi, executive vice president of foodservice strategies for WD Partners.Gaining access to consumers as they go about their daily lives is a marketing holygrail, especially for restaurants, which can benefit immensely from being able toreach consumers at that crucial moment when craving strikes.
The mobile phone promises to allow restaurants to do exactly that. Furthermore, itcan help create a more enjoyable and efficient customer experience by allowingcustomers to text their orders in ahead of time, easily transfer their personalordering history from one location to another, and receive discounts on theirsmartphones at the point of purchase
 just to name a few developments.Besides increasingly using it to get customers through their doors, restaurants in2011 will begin to broadly integrate mobile technology into their in-storeoperations, says Peter Wolf, CMO at ParTech, which provides technologysolutions to the hospitality industry. From running entire POS systems on a mobiletablet to equipping servers with mobile ordering devices, Wolf says the restaurantindustry will continue to find new ways to leverage mobile technology in the yearahead.On the consumer side, he says mobile applications
ones that allow customers tobypass servers and cashiers and pay their bills directly, for example
willincreasingly define the experience of dining out.
―This is an area that in 2011 is just going to continue to explode and grow,‖ Wolf 
says.Cliff Courtney, who founded the Red Light Project, a department at ZimmermanAdvertising that studies consumer behavior in the restaurant industry, sees mobilephones as a way for quick serves to make inroads with teenagers. While brands
have strong loyalty among children, there is a ―precipitous drop‖ in loyalt
y among
young consumers ―as they pass out of being McDonald’s kids and become fickleteenagers,‖ Courtney says.
But with today’s teens sleeping with their cell phones, quick serves have a moreeffective line of communication than they’ve ever had before.
―There is one constant for teens and that is the cell phone,‖ Courtney says. ―Iexpect serious leaps in restaurants’ using mobile applications to try engage teens.‖
2. Leveraging Social Media
As mobile technology becomes more robust and pervasive, leveraging socialnetworking sites like Facebook and Twitter will only become more essential forrestaurants in 2011. Right now many restaurants are still in the process of buildingtheir Web presence, having gotten a late jump on the craze. The next step will be
turning ―fans‖ and ―followers‖ into regular paying customers or, better yet, ―brandambassadors.‖
 Developments in socialmedia marketing may helprestaurants achieve this goal.Jay Samit is CEO of SVnetwork, an advertisingagency that helps restaurants integrate their brands into popular online games likeFarmVille and Mafia Wars. In terms of revolutionizing advertising, the socialgame is the television of the 21st century, Samit says.
―The era when there were three television networks and you could reach
much everybody has been lost as television has fragmented,‖ Samit says. ―We now
bring back the ability to reach 200 million people, and get them to actually engage
and spend time with their favorite brands.‖
 As an opt-in proposition, social-games advertising is fundamentally different thanthe disruptive advertising of traditional media. The really exciting potential of thiskind of advertising, Samit says, is the ways it can actively engage consumers. Oneexample is of a recent advertisement in which gamers were asked to rearrange thesegments of a Kia Sol commercial. On average, Samit says, people spent severalminutes cutting the commercial
an unheard of amount of time for consumers tovoluntarily spend time with a brand.Samit also cited an iTunes campaign where the average person spent three minutesand 24 seconds voluntarily engaging with the advertisement. A Visa campaigndrew in people for an average of 90 seconds, while a General Electric campaignaveraged 144 seconds of face time with potential customers.
―That is a long time to engage with a brand,‖ Samit says. ―And this is really activeattention.‖

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