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Millennials Bank on Word of Mouth in Choosing Restaurants

Waist Apron, 11 inchWhat was it that we said about the most inexpensive way to advertise our business?  Word of mouth.  Word of mouth advertising is extremely powerful, the most influential means in a customer’s purchase decision.  One exceptionally satisfied customer leaves your restaurant today and he’s sure to tell seven other friends tomorrow- many of whom are sure to come and visit your restaurant one day.

Barkley, who partnered with the Boston Consulting and Service Management Group, came up with a new report which showed that word of mouth highly influence consumers in the ages of 16 to 34, also known as the Millennial Generation, the Generation Now or the Generation Y.    This age group, encompassing all 80 million of them, deviates from their parents’ brand and buying inclinations, but heavily depends on the opinions of their friends when they’re making decisions.  They use social and mobile technology to collect advices, one being their choice of restaurant to dine at.  Sixty eight percent of this demographic would not make major decisions unless they have run it through their network of friends.

Other Trend Results

One of the trends that also came out from the report was that supercenters are here to stay.  Target and Walmart, known as the mass retailers, are still favored by about 32% of millennials, which almost has the same tally as traditional grocery chains Kroger and Safe way, noted down at 34%. Another market trend that Barkley saw was that millennials need company when they go to stores — often they choose to be with their family, spouses or partners, and their friends.  As for food, they were found to love deli foods, with a 60% rate compared to the 50 percent of the older generation. Millenials also prefer exotic food offers, child-friendly shops, new food products to taste, creative food menus displayed on restaurants’ table tents, and online ordering systems.  They support rewards and loyalty programs–their loyalties quite flexible according to circumstances. Among all the generations present in Facebook, millenials are most likely to have the most number of friends, and most of them are more inclined to c
hoose brands with a well developed online and mobile network presence.

Increasing Your Restaurant’s Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of Mouth marketing is the transfer of marketing knowledge and information from one person to another in order to promote a product.   It has been proven to be very effective because of its presumed credibility, supported by the testimony of the person who endorsed the product.    Today, word of mouth is not only done through oral communication, but also includes other styles of human communication, such as email, text messaging and using social media networks.

One of the best ways to increase this type of marketing technique is by making sure that your service is memorable.  Not just remarkable, but memorable.  Create memories that would make it easier for your customers to remember and narrate the experience to their family, friends and colleagues.  Adding simple “wow” factors like a small birthday cake for a birthday celebrant or a serenade during their meal makes their dining experience more unforgettable and more worthy of sharing to other people.

Another is by using diversion tactics.  Diversion methods mean you are intentionally focusing your marketing efforts to activities that would make people notice and talk about your restaurant.  Sending an apron-clad waiter to the office of one of your most loyal customers with a sampler of your restaurant’s new food specialty is sure to be noticed by his colleagues and would bring about questions.  Questions pave the way to conversations, and thereby word of mouth promotion of your establishment.

Develop your online presence.  Facebook and Twitter are easy tools in reaching as many customers as possible.  A substantial, interactive profile in these social networking sites makes it easier for your pleased and overly-satisfied customers to spread the word.

Yes, your existing marketing efforts are great. But the best way to go is spending less and capitalizing on your existing customer base–enhance your word of mouth marketing and maximize your millennial market’s buying power.