Brands face up to marketing challenges

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Fostering loyalty and mastering social media are the two big marketing challenges for eating-out businesses this year, CGA Peach’s exclusive Business Leaders’ Survey shows.

The findings of our poll of around 250 senior execs across the sector serve as a reminder of the importance of branding and consumer engagement ahead of our Consumer Insight & Marketing Conference next Thursday (6 April).

More than nine in ten leaders think building loyalty will be a very important (56%) or important (38%) operational issue this year. That reflects the enormous value of building loyalty in a marketplace that is packed with choice for diners and drinkers.

Our poll also highlights how much of consumer marketing has moved online, and to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in particular. Nearly nine in ten leaders think social media will be a very important (40%) or important (46%) issue this year.

By its own admission, the pub and restaurant sector has more to learn about marketing. Only one in nine (11%) leaders thinks their business is ahead of the competition in consumer research, for example—but more than two in five (42%) feel they are behind the game. Only a tiny proportion (5%) of leaders think data insight is being used to its full potential in their businesses, and there is scope to make better use of technology in marketing—especially on mobile platforms, which only two in five (41%) leaders have used to deliver targeted offers.

These concerns explain why well over half (61%) of leaders told our survey that they will increase investment in digital marketing this year. And there will be plenty of opportunities for operators to sharpen up their marketing and insights efforts at our Conference next week, which will hear tips from a host of directors at big casual dining brands and insights from our own wide range of intelligence services. With the battle for market share so fierce, it will be a timely opportunity to reflect on past achievements and set new targets.

For more about CGA Peach’s Business Leaders’ Survey and Consumer Insight and Marketing Conference, contact Nil Khalifa on 0161 476 8361 or nil.khalifa@cgastrategy.co.uk.