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Summit Social

  • 08 Jul 2013

    5 Ways to Use Pinterest for Nonprofit Marketing

    According to a recent BizRate report, 70 percent of users are on Pinterest to get inspiration for things to buy.

     

    That’s great news for retailers. Your team at Summit Marketing also believes that maintaining a Pinterest page can really pay off for nonprofits, too. After all, according to the same study, the vast majority of people are on Pinterest because they “find it entertaining” and it helps them “keep track of the things I like.”

     

    Pinterest isn’t just about selling. It’s also about building a community that cares about – and shares – your story.

     

    Read on for some tips on making the most of this visually oriented social network.

     

    Image of Clean Water Pin

    Images like this, by Clean Water for the World, are Pinterest currency.

    Why should I use Pinterest?

     

    We know that people use Pinterest to curate images of things they like and desire onto different boards (i.e. Food, Fashion, Vacation, etc). These pins can be uploaded photos, but more often they are plucked from around the web and tied back to product pages.

     

    This means any organization with a website and fresh content can take advantage.

     

    The nice thing about Pinterest from a website-owner perspective, is that all pins are linked to their source. If you want to draw more people to your website, Pinterest is a great way of garnering traffic and potentially increasing your search engine rankings.

     

    Another benefit of Pinterest is that it can cement your brand image. For example, if you want people to view your non-profit as upbeat and impactful, you would probably want to pin inspiring quotes, photos of engaged and active volunteers, videos that show how you’ve bettered the world around you or infographics that show the influence of your Mission. These pins can inspire your followers or influence their perception of your organization.

     

    Five Ways to Use Pinterest for Nonprofit Marketing

     

    1. Create relevant boards. Before you create a board, think about the audience, and what you want to show them about your organization. Whatever you pin though, make sure that it is relevant to your organization’s mission. If you want to tell them about a fundraising event you just held, name a board after the event and start sharing photos. Remember to stay focused on your objective, and bear in mind it’s not a good idea to pin things that aren’t applicable to your organization because it will confuse your followers.

     

    2. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Recipes and crafts are very popular on Pinterest, so don’t be afraid to step out of the box and draw some attention to your organization in a unique way. For example, did you just hold a dinner fundraiser? Share some recipes from that night. Who knows, you might just get some more donors who followed your pins back to your website. Do you have a thrift store or a yearly fashion show to raise money? Pin some craft or fashion ideas with items for sale in the store. Link the pin back to more information on your organization, and include the store address/location.

     

    3. Follow other organizations and network. Pinterest is a social media website, so being social is a good idea. Are there other brands that support your mission or partner with you? Follow their boards. Charities that are helping to solve problems that align with your mission? Show them some support too! Start a board featuring your advisory members’ companies and the charities they support. You can gain more followers and grow your audience in this way as well. Also, repinning their pins is another way to create content on your page and network people between them.

     

    4. Fundraise. If you have products that supporters can purchase to further your mission, show them off on a board. In the past, if you typed the price of the item into the description box, Pinterest would add a price onto the corner of the photo. This feature is no longer available, but don’t let that deter you from promoting your organization’s products and services. Lots of Pinterest users shop as they pin, so a pin that links back to your organization is much appreciated and has the potential to increase sales. In fact, Danny Maloney, CEO and co-founder of PinLeague, a Pinterest marketing company, says the average online sale from a Pinterest user is $179, but only $80 and $69 for Facebook and Twitter, respectively.

     

    If you don’t want to sell specific items, how about posting a photo of a service you offer, such as a meal, and explain that with a donation of a certain amount will provide that critical service. Link the pin to your donations page so a gift can be made, as I did in this pin on behalf of The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread Club.

     

    Bed and Bread Club Infographic

    Include a CTA and link back to your site with every image pinned.

     

    Sometimes a powerful visualization of what can be done by your organization is enough to encourage a donation.

     

    5. Add Pinterest to your website. Lastly, at the Pinterest homepage, you can find “goodies.” These are items, such as buttons and widgets, that you can add to your website. Visitors can click “Pin It” buttons that will pin photos from your website to their Pinterest boards. This will create more exposure for your website and your cause.

     

    These are just a few tips, but starting here will get you and your team started on a great path to generating more social media buzz and reaping new followers. Happy pinning!

     

    Looking to add more social power to your nonprofit marketing? Contact the Strategic Fundraising Team at Summit today. Call 1.800.843.7347.

     

    Post authored by Rachel Caldwell, Summit Marketing Copywriter. Connect with us on Twitter: @SummitSocial.

  • 18 Jun 2013

    What Is Responsive Web Design and Should It Be a Priority for Your Business?

     

    “Day by day, the number of devices, platforms, and browsers that need to work with your site grows. Responsive web design represents a fundamental shift in how we’ll build websites for the decade to come.”
    Jeffrey Veen, VP of Products for Adobe

     

    That’s a powerful statement as it relates to the online world. In the land of technology and design, a year is an eternity. So when someone like Veen says that responsive web design will fundamentally shift how sites are built for “decades to come,” we should pay attention.

     

    Think about how much web design has changed just in the past decade. How many iterations have been made to your company’s site in that time span?

     

    When it comes to your site’s next iteration, it’s safe to say that the writing is on your timeline. A responsive design will drive the process.

     

    Now that we’ve touched upon the importance of responsive design, I’ll provide a quick overview of it and answer some frequently asked questions. 

     

    What Is Responsive Web Design?

     

    Here’s how Stanford University’s IT Department defines Responsive web design:

     

    “A website that responds to the device that accesses it and delivers the appropriate output for it uses responsive design. Rather than designing multiple sites for different-sized devices, this approach designs one site but specifies how it should appear on varied devices.”

     

    I’m guessing that the last sentence made you sit up and take notice. Having only one site design that will form and function automatically for any size screen/device means efficient use of your web design dollars.

     

    Like any great business, you know that it’s not about you. It’s about your customers. Well, responsive design is also better for them too. Your site’s content will be so much easier to view and read on whichever device they choose to consume it. Every customer interaction is part of your brand experience.

     

    When your website is pleasing to view and interact with on every screen, your customer or potential customer is left with a positive experience with your brand.

     

    On the flip side, a negative experience with your brand is when a customer has to pinch and zoom and slide to read your content on her smart phone. Then the  links make her feel like she has big, fat sausage fingers because she just can’t seem to tap the one she wants and she bails out of frustration.

     

     

    Examples of Unresponsive and Responsive Design

     

    Two good sites to compare would be NYtimes.com and BostonGlobe.com. Both are news sites with massive amounts of similar content and information to consume. One site is built on a responsive design, and the other is not (as of this writing).

     

    Let’s take a look at the Unresponsive site first – NYtimes.com. Below are three different screen captures of the site. Each capture shows what the site looks like as I collapsed my browser window to replicate a user experience on three different screens.

     

    The first one is a full desktop/laptop screen view. The second is closer to a tablet sized screen. The third resembles a smartphone.

     

    New York Times - Desktop

     

    The full screen capture shows the NYtimes.com four-column layout.

     

    New York Times - Tablet

     

    As I collapse the window to form a screen size similar to a tablet, you’ll notice that half the site is simply not in view any longer. This would require mobile readers to have to scroll or slide over to see the other half of their content. 

     

    New York Times - Smartphone

     

    Lastly, this capture is around the size of a smart phone screen. As you can see, nothing good is happening here. We can’t even make out the full headline of the main story.

     

    Now let’s look at a responsive site – BostonGlobe.com. The same size screen captures are represented below. Again, the captures show what the site looks like as I collapsed my browser window to replicate a user experience on three different screens.

     

    The first one is a full desktop/laptop screen view. The second is closer to a tablet sized screen. The third resembles a smartphone.

     

    Boston Globe Responsive - Desktop

     

    The full screen capture shows the BostonGlobe.com three-column layout.

     

    Boston Globe Responsive - Tablet

     

    When the responsive site’s browser window is collapsed the Globe’s original three column layout responds to the new window size and is reformatted into a single column layout making the site easier to read and navigate on a tablet sized screen.

     

    Boston Globe Responsive - Smartphone

     

    Here’s how the BostonGlobe.com responded to a screen about the size of a smart phone. The single column layout got narrower than it was on the tablet-size screen. The font size remained the same so readability isn’t an issue. Navigation is a simple swipe of the finger, up or down. No pinching, zooming and scanning.

     

    The responsive design of BostonGlobe.com simply responded to the size of each screen. It takes multiple column layouts and automatically stacks the content in a way that makes it easy to navigate, interact and consume. 

     

    More Examples Of Responsive Design

     

    Responsive Infographic

     

    This infographic from ResponsiveDesign.ca does a great job of showing how each size screen flows in the content.

     

    Should Responsive Design Be Moved To The Top Of Your Priority List?

     

    So, now that you know a little about what makes a website responsive. The big question is, should you make a responsive site a top priority in your business?

     

    That question can’t be answered in this simple post. Responsive design isn’t cheap, and for smaller businesses, an adaptive or a separate, mobile-specific solution (such as “m.mybusiness.com”) may make more sense.

     

    As with any big decision, it’s going to require some data analysis. The main factor you need to determine is: what percentage of your site traffic is coming from mobile devices? And then: How could this impact your sales and revenue?

     

    Even if you’re still on the fence, it’s no secret that mobile usage has exploded and shows no signs of slowing down. According to mobile expert Greg Hickman:

     

    • • Over 60% of Facebook and Twitter usage is from mobile devices
    • • Over 25% of global YouTube views are from mobile devices
    • • 41% of email opens are from a mobile device
    • • By 2014, more people will access the internet from their mobile devices vs. their desktop PCs.

     

    It’s also important to note that mobile users, especially tablet users, spend more money online than their non-tablet counterparts do.

     

    If it’s determined that a responsive web design isn’t a top priority for your business now, make a habit of revisiting your site traffic data. Every day more and more mobile devices are being sold to consumers. It’s only a matter of time before your site is generating enough mobile visitors to make a difference in your bottom line.

     

    If you’d like a free analysis of your website traffic to help determine if a responsive web design needs to be moved to the top of your to-do list, let Summit Marketing know.

     
    Post Authored by Kevin Duy, Senior Copywriter at Summit Marketing. Connect with us on Twitter @SummitSocial.

  • 22 May 2013

    Infographic: The History of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services

     
    When disaster strikes, The Salvation Army is never far.
     
    Minutes after a two-mile-wide EF5 tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2013, The Salvation Army of Arkansas-Oklahoma had crews on the ground, serving meals and drinks to first responders and counseling tornado victims.
     
    As you read this, relief operations continue in Moore, as well as in other places around the country that have been struck by recent disasters. To follow the news and find out how you can support the efforts in Oklahoma and nationwide, visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org, or simply text “STORM” to 80888 to give $10 instantly to the victims in Moore.
     
    Of course, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services did not begin this year – nor even this century. The EDS has a 100-plus-year history of aiding the victims of disaster all over the world!
     
    We at Summit Marketing created the following infographic to showcase – and salute – the great and essential work The Salvation Army’s units have done in mobilizing quickly time and again to provide material and spiritual comfort to those in need.
     
    DisasterComm_Infographic_Moore_v2
     
    Share this with your friends, and find out how to give – in times both bad and good – at donate.salvationarmyusa.org.

    Authored by Jason Harper, Manager of Interactive Strategy at Summit Marketing. Connect with us @SummitSocial.

  • 13 May 2013

    Sign Up for Summit Marketing Portfolio Days!

    PortfolioDays_Facebookpost
     
    Are you a freelance copywriter, art director, graphic designer, production designer or a creative director? Well, we’ve got some awesome news for you!
     
    Whether you’re a recent college graduate or a well-seasoned veteran, Summit Marketing would like to invite you to our Freelance Portfolio Days, May 22-24, 2013. It’s happening right here in the Summit Marketing Kansas City HQ: 10916 Strang Line Rd., Lenexa, KS, 66215 (map).
     
    This three-day event will give you the opportunity to spend 15-30 minutes with our team of creative professionals to review your portfolio.  You may also choose to have an optional team critique, where Summit Marketing’s creative staff will point out strengths and weaknesses of your portfolio and give advice on how it might be improved.
     
    This is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and potentially develop an ongoing relationship with Summit Marketing. There is only one important rule: As the name of the event suggests, you must bring a creative portfolio to show the creative directors.
     
    For more information and to sign up, call us at (913) 888-6222. We look forward to seeing you!
     
    Follow us @SummitSocial and like us at Facebook.com/SummitSocial for more job and internship opportunities.

  • 03 May 2013

    Study Shows: CMOs Are Unprepared for Marketing Changes

    CMO Turbulence Report

    Is your marketing strategy ready for the changing tides of social and digital?


     
    It’s hard out there for a CMO.
     
    That’s the message conveyed in a new research report from Accenture Interactive.
     
    And we agree.
     
    Titled Turbulence for the CMO, the third-annual survey collects responses from 400 CMOs in 10 different countries. It shows an interesting cross-section of the struggles senior marketing officials are facing in a digital/social age where customer interactions are becoming increasingly complex and fragmented. This makes it difficult for companies to deliver a seamless customer experience.
     
    By way of executive summary: The overall findings clearly show that not only must CMOs shift their marketing strategy to meet customer expectations across all touchpoints, they must also develop a “digitally oriented” internal workforce. The company must adapt to and leverage channel proliferation and changing customer behavior. Finally, CMOs must also choose the right partners to help them manage the new marketplace complexity.
     
    Let’s take a deeper dive into a few of the findings:
     
    Not Ready for Change
     
    Seventy percent of CMOs are certain that a paradigm shift will occur in the fundamental operating model of marketing over the next five years. But how many feel ready for this change? Surprisingly few. Nearly 40 percent of the CMOs surveyed expressed a decrease in preparedness over the previous year.
     
    These CMOs believe they don’t have the right people, right tools, or right resources to meet their marketing goals. This is especially true in digital, where 66 percent of CMOs are expecting to allocate more budget dollars to these resources, which leads to another problem…
     
    The Digital Divide
     
    Even with more investment in digital, the report indicates a disconnect at work on multiple levels.
     
    While CMOs recognize the need to ramp up digital marketing efforts, those surveyed rated digital’s importance and performance lower in 2012 than in previous years.
     
    Why the drop off? According to the report, one in five CMOs described their company’s digital focus as below average, citing factors such as “inefficient business processes, proliferating channels, and talent gaps.” Nearly 20 percent believed that a lack of internal integration of digital is hurting their business, and 22 percent cited organizational inefficiency as a cause of digital underperformance.
     
    Solutions? Having a digitally up-to-speed workforce is crucial as the market becomes more and more complex, as is choosing the partners who understand the new connected-customer journey. Are you incentivizing your employees to keep learning and improving their skills? Are you working with the right agency partners who understand your marketing objectives and can fill in the talent gaps?
     
    Where’s the ROI?
     
    Meanwhile, as channels proliferate, CMOs feel they are getting farther away from quantifying marketing ROI. Twenty percent scored themselves as below average in their ability to measure multichannel attribution. Given an increasingly complex marketing mix – one that ranges from direct mail, to TV, to smartphone interactions – this anxiety is understandable. With so many customer touchpoints, it gets more and more difficult to measure where sales came from.
     
    Yet, despite this challenge, the vast majority of CMOs still try to manage customer data (67 percent) and ROI (71 percent) internally. But if you don’t have an internal team who can effectively manage and understand customer analytics, how can you place the right message before the right customer at the right time – and on the right channel?
     
    Solution: Developing a measurement strategy is critical in building a multichannel approach that makes sense for your company and meets customer expectations while driving sales. Remember, all channels may not be right for you. For example, before investing in the “hot new thing” in digital, take a look at what’s working and not working on other fronts first. For decisions like this, data analytics – and people who understand it – is your friend.
     
    Conclusion: Turbulence to Transparency
     
    It’s definitely a turbulent world out there for CMOs. Building new skills internally, choosing the right agency partners, and delivering consistent customer experience across all touchpoints – these are all important objectives in preparing for success in an increasingly chaotic marketplace.
     
    But we’d like to offer one more solution: Why not make your customer part of this mix?
     
    There’s never been a more open environment in marketing than right now, and customers are more willing than ever to engage with your brand and tell you what they want from you. Social media is a great platform on which to have this dialogue. (Note: the CMOs in the survey showed a clear weakness here. Only two thirds believe social media use is important, and fewer than half think they are engaging effectively!)
     
    If all this turbulence is stressing you out, maybe one of the best things you can do is listen.
     
    Authored by Jason Harper, Manager of Interactive Strategy at Summit Marketing. Connect with us @SummitSocial.

  • 18 Apr 2013

    Is Social Media Right for Small Business?

    social icon collageAccording to a recent social media small business study in USA Today:

     

    • 61% of small businesses don’t see a return on investment on social media activities
    • 49% of businesses spend more time on social media than last year. 7% spend less
    • Small businesses cite Facebook as the hardest social media network to maintain

     

    So what should small businesses do?  First, is your product or service really that interesting that people want to learn more about it through social media?  It’s okay if your product or service isn’t that sexy.  Audiences expect certain industries to be on social media, think restaurants, retail, sports, and entertainment.  But what about the B2B business structure?  Perhaps all you need is LinkedIn and an established blog strategy on your website.  Or if your business is somewhat complex, perhaps you maintain informational videos on your YouTube channel.

     

    Second, know your audience.  Is your audience on social media and if so – how often are they on, and are they just on Facebook to keep up with family and friends, or do they follow and engage with companies?  Keep in mind that just because there are several social networks available does not mean you need to be on all of them.  Be discerning and match your social media strategy to your audience.  And most importantly, do not use social media as a blow horn.  Truly engage and speak with your audiences.

     

    Third, put social media in its place.  Social media is one form of getting your message out.  Focus on your business objectives, then create strategies that achieve those objectives.  Social media will likely be a part of the strategy, but the key is reaching those objectives. Don’t lose sight of your goal.

     

     

     

  • 04 Apr 2013

    Class Action Lawsuits & Zip Code Marketing

    Interesting and more importantly – scary – article regarding class action lawsuits being filed against retailers/advertisers that are zip code targeting residents with their direct mail efforts.  Apparently Massachusetts passed a consumer privacy law that makes it illegal for retailers to ask for your zip code, when you make a purchase within their stores.  Retailers are not allowed to ask for customer zip codes and then use those zip codes for direct marketing purposes.  First Michael’s was taken to the cleaners and now Bed Bath & Beyond is facing a similar suit.

    You can read the article yourself at: Bed Bath & Beyond Lawsuit

    Enjoy,

  • 29 Mar 2013

    Google Services Won’t Always Be Free

    As noted earlier this week, Google is getting rid of Google Reader.  Yes, that is due to privacy reasons, yet ideas of Google charging for currently free services, are already being floated out.  Be in the know of the changes that are bound to come by reading this article:

    Google Services Won’t Always Be Free

    Of note, YouTube, Google Analytics, Gmail, and Google Drive, will at some time, require payment for use.  Search however, will continue being free and this is what comprises 75% of Google’s revenue.

     

    Enjoy,

     

  • 05 Mar 2013

    Union Station: Viral Marketing in the Land of Oz

    Summit client Union Station is bringing the Emerald City back to the land of Oz.

    We’ve heard the term “viral gold” when it comes to web content that spreads like crazy.

    But viral emerald?

    That phrase could very easily describe the attention our client Union Station has been getting the past two weeks.

    For those not familiar, Union Station is a 100-year-old train station that has, in recent years, reinvented itself under visionary new leadership into a destination for tourists and local families drawn to attractions like the KC Rail Experience, the Science of Rock ‘n Roll exhibit, Science City, and big events like Maker Faire. Civic initiatives like the Digital Sandbox and Launch KC have also brought in new, previously untapped crowds: local tech entrepreneurs and business leaders.

    Keeping up with this atmosphere of innovation, in recent months Summit has helped Union Station revisit and revamp its digital and social efforts to drive engagement around its cycle of unique and inventive attractions and offerings.

    The latest event we’ve helped to successfully promote lands not too far from our shared Kansas heritage.

    OZ-some Energy

    Our most recent social-digital work has been geared toward a bigger push to drive awareness and attendance at Union Station’s newly renovated Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre.

    An IMAX-like 80′x53′-screen with high-tech digital 3D projection, the Extreme Screen is opening this week with showings of Disney’s new 3D movie Oz The Great and Powerful.

    A 3D movie in a train station, you say? It’s all a part of the new Union Station. And audiences are catching on — just like they did 64 years ago, when the original Oz changed cinematic history.

    But this time, the methods are different.

    Viral Emeralds

    Over the past week in particular, we’ve worked to leverage Union Station’s social and digital tools to harness the energy online, connect it to local events, and ultimately drive ticket sales — all on a quick-turnaround timeframe.

    Glinda, the Good Witch

    Glinda was a hit with Facebook fans.

    1. Facebook Ticket Giveaway

    First, a week out from the opening, Summit helped Union Station conduct a ticket giveaway on Facebook that did more than generate likes.

    Because of Facebook’s strict promotional guidelines, we had to be careful about asking fans to enter directly via Facebook. Instead, we created excitement by posting an image from Oz tied to an enticing message about a giveaway the next day.

    This image of Glinda the Good Witch (Michelle Williams) got nearly 800 likes, more than 60 shares, and was viewed by an audience of 13,812 — just over Union Station’s 13,000+ fanbase. Then, with awareness at a high, we posted another image the next day with instructions to enter via a third-party platform.

    The result: In addition to reaching more than 22,000 users, Union Station collected 440 entries, with 287 people (65%) opting to receive future emails.

    After all, getting likes is great, but the real value of a Facebook promotion must transcend intra-network virality — in this case, by growing Union Statin’s email subscription list.

    All of this buzz was driven organically, by the way, without paying a cent toward ads or paid post promotion. (It’s also worth noting that it took place while a record snowstorm effectively shut down the city, forcing everyone involved to work from home.)

    2. Emerald City

    As we got closer to the movie premiere, Union Station reached even more people in a faster period of time.

    On the day before a sneak preview, we posted a breathtaking Facebook album featuring professionally shot photos of the building lit up green in celebration of Oz.

    Emerald City

    Union Station's green turn was fit to be shared on Facebook.

    Not only did the album itself rack up shares and likes by the hundreds over the ensuing evening hours, individual photos within the album also drew buzz.

    Without spouting too many stats here, this single content maneuver engaged 3,116 users, or about 23% of Union Station’s fanbase. In a time when Facebook allows business pages to reach only 1-2% of their fans with any given post, this is a triumph. And thanks to some paid ad support, this number will only grow.

    Additionally, every photo includes a trackable bit.ly link to buy tickets at the box office — because, as any good marketer knows, that’s where the real action takes place.

    Not including the time spent setting up the lights and taking the photos, this entire mini-campaign required only a few hours’ work and yielded great ROI.

    Click to check out Union Station's new homepage

    3. A New Look

    Last but definitely not least in the grand scheme, Summit launched a brand new look for Union Station’s homepage at unionstation.org.

    Not unlike the social media surges that came before it, this entire reskin was also completed in a matter of days, from final design tweaks to go-live.

    The new homepage skin also prominently features Oz and the Extreme Screen, so that when Facebook fans land on the website, their excitement is greeted and amplified by Union Station’s fresh and dynamic branding.

    Though box office data will ultimately determine the impact of these campaigns, it’s been rewarding to work with such an imaginative and bold partner in Union Station, giving followers some fun and engaging viral gems to share with their friends.

    Authored by Jason Harper – Manager, Interactive Strategy at Summit Marketing. Connect with us @SummitSocial.

  • 01 Mar 2013

    When It Comes to Choosing a Restaurant, Age Matters and Local Drives (Food & Fuel Report, part 5 & Conclusion)

    Money in the tank.

    Rising costs at the tank could hit restaurants in the bank. Make your messages count.

    In case you’re just tuning in, all week long here at Summit Social, we’ve been dissecting the results of research we conducted into how rising gas prices are impacting restaurant business.

    Specifically, we wanted to know what makes customers choose to go out to a restaurant when it costs so much extra money to fill up the car for the voyage.

    The Food & Fuel Report has produced some surprising insights. They paint a picture of how people’s dining habits are being shaped by economic instability.

    • • $4 per gallon is the tipping point at which people indicate a decrease in dining out
    • • With $4-per-gallon prices in effect, “availability of a coupon/discount” was the leading motivator among women, but men chose “previous positive experience”
    • • 75% of dining-out decisions are made by women in family/couple situations
    • • Only 15% of respondents had taken advantage of a kids-eat-free deal in the past three months
    • • 21-to-29 year-olds were most likely to decrease dining expenses in a $4/gallon environment

    Findings like these should be of use to restaurant owners and marketers looking to protect against would-be cocooners and keep a fresh stream of guests through the front doors.

    Before we conclude this weeklong series, we have two more findings to share.

    F&F Finding 5: Age Matters in Choosing Whether to Dine Out

    Given the $4/gallon scenario nearly all age groups in our survey ranked “Entertainment” as the first expense they would decrease to save money. That sounds like good news for restaurateurs.

    But wait.

    Among the crucial 21-to-29 demographic “Dining Out” was reported as the first expense they would cut back on. This group values something higher than Dining Out. Can you guess what it is? Yep: Entertainment.

    What lesson can we apply from this to your marketing messaging? It may seem that younger diners and their older peers are at odds – one seeks practical value, the other seeks entertainment. However, with the right messaging, you can appeal to both.

    • • Insight: Remember that your older customers were once young, and while they may be older and wiser now, entertainment is still important.
    • • Takeaway: In your marketing, how much emphasis do you place on the experience?

    Great entertainment, great value — that makes for a great proposition to customers struggling with the daily stresses of cost of living.

    F&F Finding 6: Locally Driven Messages Motivate

    As an agency with experience working with both local restaurant owners and multi-unit frachisees, we’re always interested in marketplace perceptions of the local vs. chain debate.

    With Food & Fuel, we wanted to find out how $4/gallon gas affected those perceptions.

    Quantitatively, there was an even 50/50 split when it came to preference for a national chain vs. locally owned. However, when asked in person, those who responded “National Chain” showed a noticeable pause

    What does this indicate?

    • • Insight: Though customers were split between local/national, given the context of economic anxiety, an empathy factor for local business will likely emerge.
    • • Takeaway: If your brand is associated with a national chain or franchise, how are you communicating community involvement? Are you talking about the number of jobs, service hours, or charity contributions you give to the community? Are you letting your employees speak? Communicate locally about what your business is doing locally and how much you appreciate the loyalty of your — yep — local customers.

    That’s Local Store Marketing at its purest.

    And with that, we conclude our week of Food & Fuel at Summit Marketing. We’re jumping in the car and heading to the nearest burrito joint.

    In the meantime, you can browse past blogs below or download the entire Food & Fuel Report here.

    Also, let us know how we can help. Gas prices are definitely going up this year. At Summit, we’ve done the research, and we know how to craft messages that resonate in times of economic turmoil. Call us today at 1-(800)-843-7347.

    Other Food & Fuel Posts:
    Part 1: How Do High Gas Prices Affect Dining Out?
    Part 2: How Do Men and Women Differ in Choosing to Dine Out
    Part 3: Parents Not Impressed by Kids-Eat-Free Deals
    Part 4: Happy Hour Makes Young People Happy

    Post Authored by Jason Harper – Manager, Interactive Strategy at Summit Marketing. Follow us @SummitSocial.