The ultimate main goal of a business’s digital marketing plan is to increase profitability. Chaffey and Smith (2017, p. 556) state that “a successful marketing plan is adapted for the digital media environment and then mixed with new digital marketing communications techniques.” This paper provides a digital marketing plan for a restaurant.
Business Idea – a Restaurant
The business idea is to open a mid-price restaurant, with offers aimed mainly at office workers. Seeing as it will be a small enterprise, the proposed number of employees is 15: 7 waiters, two chefs, three kitchen assistants, one manager, and two janitors. Among the key challenges the business has to overcome are: ensuring self-sufficiency by the end of the year, winning the trust of customers, and, as soon as possible, acquiring certain positions in the market.
Business Data, Brand Mission, and Purpose
At the moment, starting a restaurant business is the most attractive option in terms of investment since the demand for services in this sector is growing every year. Nowadays, many people do not always have enough time to cook lunch or dinner at home, so such establishments are very popular with business people. Thus, the brand’s purpose is to provide people with quality food and an atmosphere to relax during the day. The mission of the brand is to show the customers that the services the business offers are reliable, timely, and up to their standards.
Defining Business Opportunities
The analysis of the dominant economic characteristics consists of an assessment of the attractiveness of the industry according to Porter’s method, as provides the chart in the Appendix A. Dobbs (2014) explains Porter’s five forces as the threats posed by competitive rivalry, powerful buyers, powerful suppliers, potential new entrants, and substitute products. Busenitz et al. (2014) also claim that interest from both macro and micro organizational studies provide many new approaches to the field of entrepreneurship. Such analysis is necessary for choosing a strategy for the development of the restaurant.
In general, it can be noted that the profitability in this industry today is not as significant as, for example, in the financial, insurance and other spheres. Teixeira et al. (2017, p. 94) add that “it is vitally important that startup firms are firmly aware of the options when deciding whether to adopt a particular technology because they often have low resource availability”. Taiminen and Karjaluoto (2015) also claim that SME do not use the full potential of digital marketing. Difficulties in forecasting demand, requirements for promptness of supply and price of products, and strong competition in the market put many companies on the brink of survival. Rastogi and Trivedi (2016) also explain that, for example, an increase in inflation rate would definitely affect the company’s pricing strategy, and not in a favorable for consumers way. However, subject to the necessary requirements for the quality of products, service, competent pricing policy, the business can count on high and, over time, consistently predictable profit.
In the heart of any marketing strategy lies a value proposition. According to Mehmood et al. (2019), Schumpeter’s entrepreneurship theory associates the concept of entrepreneurship precisely with innovations and continuous development. The value proposition of a restaurant is fairly similar to the majority competitors, which makes the competition rivalry high. The business should determine a specific feature that will distinguish it from the competitors in the eyes of the customers. Thus, the proposed value proposition is that the assortment of meals must include:
- at least 10 types of salads and snacks;
- at least 5 types of first courses;
- at least 6 types of hot dishes and side dishes;
- at least 10 types of desserts;
- at least fifty types of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
The marketing activities will depend on the digital channels used for the brand development. For example, such channels as Instagram and Facebook will require establishing a monthly content-plan with different categories of posts. According to Soedarsono et al. (2020), Instagram provides a variety of cheap marketing tools for promotion and brand awareness increase. The main resources for promotion will be the social media, context advertising, and influence marketing.
As for the pricing strategy, the potential customers of the restaurant belong to the middle class in terms of social status and income level. Thus, the project will offer restaurant services at a price level and quality of service in line with the expectations of middle-class customers. Additionally, Katsikeas et al. (2019) emphasize on the importance of internet research in determining the worldwide price medium in the industry. Saura et al. (2019) also suggest that the internal organization of the companies has shifted towards digital environment. The main revenue stream is the direct sales in the restaurant; however, the business could also offer delivery.
Target audience is a certain group of people potentially interested in company’s proposal. Kanten and Darma (2017, p. 1) conclude that “in order to gain better business performance, the marketing department has to combine consumer behaviour, marketing strategy, and customer satisfaction”. The target market for the restaurant are people over 25 years old, married, mostly with children, of moderately high income, and predominantly office workers. Mostly use Facebook and Instagram, also may click on context ads out of interest.
The proposed digital marketing strategy will exploit the current trends of influence marketing to attract customers through opinion leaders. Lopez Garcia et al (2019, p. 130) state that “digital marketing is a key part of growth and user loyalty strategies”. Thus, it will help create a reliable brand that the customers will trust.
Strategies for Mitigating Impact of Threats or Seizing Opportunities
The first strategy will mitigate the impact of competition and other market threats. Within in, funds will be invested in advertising which will specifically form a positive brand image in the eyes of end consumers. Sokolova and Titova (2019) claim that digital marketing helps strengthen other types of marketing, as well as customer-brand communication. Moreover, De Pelsmacker et al. (2018) suggest that online reviews volume mediate the effects of digital marketing strategy. Such an approach will stimulate them to purchase within the framework of existing goods or services of the business, and choose it over the competitors.
Another strategy that can help the business seize the market opportunities is diversification. According to Williams et at. (2018, p. 43), “the true benefit for a firm appears to lie not in any one particular action but in a conglomeration of strategic thinking approaches”. For example, the restaurant can launch seasonal meals that are available for a limited time.
The current digital market of food business is rapidly growing. Production and marketing in digital is becoming more customer-centric. Wadhwani et al. (2020) claim that historical assumptions play one of the crucial roles in entrepreneurship research. Nowadays, businesses make decisions based on the needs of the current and/or potential consumers, and this is an easy way to enter the market. It is hard to determine what market share could be taken; however, it is clear that this share will not be big due to the high competition. Currently, there are no equally effective alternatives to the digital market, seeing as the Internet and social media dominate the society.
Digital Marketing Plan
The goal performance of this strategy is to ensure the brand recognition, build a strong brand image, win the trust of the customers, and establish reliable communication with potential clients. Yasmin (2015) claims that digital marketing allows the customers to interact with the brand. The customers seek the opportunity to eat a quick and tasty meal for a reasonable price, seeing as they are mostly office workers with no opportunity to cook lunches for themselves. Moreover, they also prefer a wide assortment of meals to choose from.
According to the table from the Appendix B, digital market has various opportunities to establish a strong brand online and ensure a steady flow of interested followers. Moreover, NIBusinessInfo (2021) adds that digital marketing allows the business to reach its target audience in the cost-effective and measurable way. However, the competition is high, and the trends in digital communication are changing with a very fast pace. Johnson (2021) states that marketers should keep up to date with all the changes in digital marketing. Moreover, a digital communication for a restaurant exposes a few weaknesses: lack of direct leads and, therefore, sales, which makes it hard to evaluate the strategy’s effectiveness in the long run. Bell and Rochford (2016) highlight the critical role of SWOT analysis in integrating internal and external analysis in the marketing strategy. Thus, it would be wise to ensure that the brand is perceived by the online community as reliable and enjoyable in order to attract the customers. Currently, there is a wide variety of digital communication tools that can help build a strong promotion strategy.
The “Sell” goal performances of the restaurant on the digital market are the following: increase in the number of subscribers on every digital channel and high conversion rate from the influence marketing. The “Serve” objective refers to the constant online communication with the customers to ensure their best experience with the brand. Through “Sizzle”, the strategy will provide high-quality content for every advertising channel to attract potential customers. Balteș (2015) adds that the company’s success largely depends on the quality of its content-marketing. “Speak” performance should result in well-established communication with the followers on every channel and high rates of engagement in social media. Finally, the “Save” objective will provide quantity results for the analysis of the strategy’s effectiveness.
Various target markets must be determined in the marketing strategy in order to properly address customers and build communications competently. Here, two different target markets are presented for different positioning the restaurant can offer:
- A three-course dinner with one season-excusive dish.
- People over 22 years old, single and married, mostly without children. They have a moderately high income and like to spend money eating out. They also tend to look into the market more closely and search for an offer that fits their needs best. Mostly use Instagram and follow opinion leaders, a small part also uses TikTok.
- Lunchbox four-in-one: one hot dish, one salad, one drink, and a small dessert for a low price.
- People over 18 years old, single, mostly undergraduate students or novice workers, of moderate income. They tend to save money and like to choose options that offer many things for a lower price. Mostly use Instagram and TikTok, spend a lot of time on mobile apps and games.
Value propositions are also a major point of any marketing strategy. Here, three different online value propositions are presented:
- Order a lunchbox for three from our website, and get a big portion of dessert for free!
- Share your opinion with us and get a promo-code for a free salad!
- Tag two friends in the commentaries and get a chance to win a free full-course dinner for two!
The phenomenon of attracting users to the process of creating content for a brand, and therefore creating the brand itself, has changed the hierarchy of communications. Yamin (2017) states that radical changes occurred in the modern marketing. The visibility of the brand, and what the brand is promoting, now determines its credibility. The popular AIDA communication model is quite useful when building the digital strategy. Its modifications relate to the ability of consumers to share their experiences with other users through social networks, sites, blogs, forums and mobile applications. Smith (2010) supplies that marketers should adjust their strategies specifically for millennials, who are very vocal with their experiences. Chaffey and Smith (2012) also add that through social media, brands are encouraging the users to create their own content. Through users’ experience, brand’s credibility is build, based on its visibility and openness.
The integration of the strategy is carried out through digital campaigns, the goals of which may be to increase brand awareness and sales promotion. An example of activities aimed at increasing brand awareness is the placement of videos regarding online value propositions made in collaboration with opinion leaders. The database here is the brand’s auditory, as well as the auditory of the opinion leader. Additionally, the videos can be advertised further to reach even bigger audiences
Digital marketing tools include events that allow the business to notify a large number of people or draw the attention of the target audience to the company’s products or services. Piñeiro-Otero and Martínez-Rolán (2016) state that SEO and SMM are currently the most effective tools for digital communication. Most often, several digital marketing tools work together effectively. For example, search engine marketing can be used to provide the best position for the business on search engines like Google. Loggie (2021, pp. 3) adds that “analytics and keyword analysis mean you can find out what you need to do to get traffic moving through your site again”. Additionally, social networks and the related set of SMM events convincingly demonstrate the close relationship and interaction of channels and marketing communication tools, which function in a single digital environment.
In the context of marketing mix, promotion is understood as all aspects of marketing communications. Zook and Smith (2020) claim that a blended approach is absolutely essential for digital marketing. Prof. Joshi and Mandal (2017) also add that digital marketing is the crucial point of the marketing mix today. It attracts the attention of the consumer to the product, forms knowledge about the product and its key characteristics, and generates the need to purchase the product and repeat purchases. Horst and Murschetz (2019, p. 1) also highlight how “the convergence of strategy and entrepreneurship adds to organizational success through developing visions, and exploring and exploiting opportunities”. Within this framework, it is important to understand the value of the products the business offer, and implement a marketing strategy that is fully adjusted to it. Soegoto and Utomo (2019) support also state that the social media currently became a very influential force of increasing sales and promotion. Thus, it would be wise to use multiple social media channels to ensure the widest reach possible.
Promotion of the restaurant would include such marketing communications as advertising, promotion at points of sale, search engine optimization, PR, and direct marketing. Carayannis et al. (2015) also add that the biggest competitive advantage for companies now lies in the capacity to introduce new offers before the competitors, which provides better market share. In order to develop the best promotion strategy for every product, the business would need to test different channels and find out which works best for which offer. Katsikeas et al. (2019, p. 6) state, that “firms can now analyze the content of the messages exchanged by consumers across markets and obtain useful information about their attitudes, habits, interests, and preferences, as well as their perceptions about competing brands”. The main placements for the business would be Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Google search engine, advertising on YouTube channels and context advertising in mobile apps and on websites.
First, a SEO audit would be made, which will prepare the site for SEO-promotion, and does not require monthly payments. Demers (2021) adds that traffic is an extremely powerful tool due to its high specificity and intent. To test sales volume and get quick results, contextual advertising will be used, which will immediately attract the first customers. Hole et al. (2018) add that more impactful promotion programs are accessible through service marketing due to its distinctive approach. With that data, a client profile can be developed that includes information on customer preferences, site behaviors, hobbies, habits etc. Then, using Facebook, the business can display ads that are most relevant to the customers in the News Feed and Facebook Messenger.
The main responsibility for implementing and developing the marketing plan lies with the marketing team. According to Royle and Laing (2014, p. 65), “blending digital skills with current marketing approaches is a key strategic challenge”. The marketing team should also have SEO skills, as well as the comprehensive knowledge of current marketing trends. According to Kingsnorth (2019), a step-by-step framework is required for a proper implementation of a marketing plan. Among the resources necessary for the implementation of the plan is the proper funding and strategic human resources. Perhaps, it would be wise to hire a professional external agency for the first three months of promotion to ensure the right launch of the brand. Farooq et al. (2021) state that to one of the two goals of stabilizing a digital business is to shift operations towards digitally supported system. The maximum return on investment in sales promotion or performance marketing is ensured through the use of management systems. Sorescu (2017, p. 695) also supplies that “big data offers many opportunities to update business models and create new ones”. Thus, it could be wise to use CRM-systems to track KPI’s and overall performance.
A large flow of traffic to the website or brand’s pages is not yet a guarantee of high turnovers and sales. Saura et al. (2017) claim that web analytics and KPIs are indeed an important part of a marketing strategy. Morgan et al. (2018) also specifically state that only the systematic analysis of different approaches can provide insights for further development. Work with a potential client should begin with an analysis of their interests and fears – for example, it might be useful to make a map of their needs according to their psychosocial and economical portrait. Ritz et al. (2019) supply that customized behavior models require speicalized skills from marketers. Based on the results of the analysis, the marketing team would identify the factors influencing the decision-making and address them pointwise with specific benefits of our unique selling proposals.
Sales strategy is a plan for the development of sales in a company, which contains a set of activities and checkpoints to control their effectiveness. It can be used to enhance business’ opportunities and attract potential investors. According to Purba and Bimantara (2020), the company’s financial performance can be estimated through the analysis of profits. Additionally, Jakub et al. (2015) state that the economic profits are based on the concept of opportunity costs from the economic theory. Thus, sales strategy is inextricably linked with marketing and development strategy of the company as a whole.
Another tool for enhancing business opportunities is the investment analysis, which evaluates company’s performance using KPIs, cash flow and financial assessment. Vernimmen et al. (2018) specifically states that the financial analysis provides insights into the company’s sustainability in the current situation. The investors seek out businesses with good marks, and the analysis helps them quickly and efficiently evaluate the company’s investment potential. Malozyomov et al. (2018) emphasizes on the importance of calculation of the break-even point as a risk assessment tool for investors.
Saebi and Foss (2015) add that according to research, companies have different benefits from adopting open innovation strategies. Thus, one of the main recommendations would be a constant, thorough research of these new approaches in order for the company to implement the best marketing strategy. Moreover, Morgan et al. (2018) also specifically state that only the systematic analyses of these different approaches and methods can provide the company with the insights into the innovative development.
Finally, the last possible strategy for ensuring business success is creating a unique selling proposition. It helps convey to a potential client the special benefits they will receive by contacting this certain business. If the business knows what its potential consumers are afraid of, it can easily sell its unique product by reassuring the customers that with it, they have nothing to worry about anymore.
Conclusion and Reflections
Expensive restaurants are gradually fading away due to the need to save on food and a sufficient level of service in bars, coffee houses and other establishments. A sufficient assortment of enterprises allows consumers to choose the quality of food and prices, tuned to places of work and residence. Strategic marketing should come first in developing the brand, because it provides the necessary data to make important decisions regarding the future direction of the business and its activities in the market. A working marketing strategy covers a lot of aspects and allows the brand develop useful insights about the business process. Moreover, a thorough analysis of possible results gathered from the strategy will allow the business to determine if its planning was correct, as well as monitor the implementation of the company’s goals.
Athuraliya, A., 2021. The top 7 strategy frameworks for businesses with editable templates. Creately Blog.
Balteș, L.P., 2015. Content marketing – the fundamental tool of digital marketing. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Series V : Economic Sciences, pp.111–118.
Bell, G.G. & Rochford, L., 2016. Rediscovering SWOT’s Integrative nature: A new understanding of an old framework. The International Journal of Management Education, 14(3), pp.310–326.
Busenitz, L.W. et al., 2014. Entrepreneurship research (1985–2009) and the emergence of opportunities. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(5), pp.1–20.
Carayannis, E.G., Samara, E.T. & Bakouros, Y.L., 2015. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Theory, policy and practice, Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
Chaffey, D. & Smith, P.R., 2013. Emarketing Excellence: Planning and Optimizing Your Digital Marketing, London, UK: Routledge.
Chaffey, D., Smith, P.R. & Smith, P.R., 2017. Digital Marketing Excellence: Planning, optimizing and integrating online marketing, London, UK: Routledge.
De Pelsmacker, P., van Tilburg, S. & Holthof, C., 2018. Digital Marketing Strategies, online reviews and Hotel Performance. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 72, pp.47–55.
Demers, T., 2021. SEO Basics: Complete beginner’s guide to search engine optimization. SEO Basics: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
Dobbs, M.E., 2014. Guidelines for applying Porter’s five Forces framework: A set of industry analysis templates. Competitiveness Review, 24(1), pp.32–45.
Farooq, M.U. et al., 2021. Supply chain operations management in pandemics: A State-of-the-art review inspired by COVID-19. Sustainability, 13(5), p.2504.
Guven, B., 2020. The integration of strategic management and intrapreneurship: Strategic intrapreneurship from theory to practice. Business and Economics Research Journal, 11(1), pp.229–245.
Hisrich, R.D. & Kearney, C., 2014. Managing innovation and entrepreneurship, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Hole, Y., Pawar, S. & Bhaskar, M.P., 2018. Service marketing and quality strategies. Periodicals of Engineering and Natural Sciences (PEN), 6(1), p.182.
Horst, S.-O. & Murschetz, P.C., 2019. Strategic media entrepreneurship. Journal of Media Management and Entrepreneurship, 1(1), pp.1–26.
Jakub, S., Viera, B. & Eva, K., 2015. Economic value added as a measurement tool of financial performance. Procedia Economics and Finance, 26, pp.484–489.
Johnson, T., 2021. The shift from traditional marketing to digital marketing campaigns. The Marketing Folks.
Kanten, I.K. & Darma, G.S., 2017. Consumer behavior, marketing strategy, customer satisfaction, and business performance. Jurnal Manajemen Bisnis, 14(2), pp.143–165.
Katsikeas, C., Leonidou, L. & Zeriti, A., 2019. Revisiting international marketing strategy in a digital era. International Marketing Review, 37(3), pp.405–424.
Kingsnorth, S., 2019. Digital Marketing Strategy: An integrated approach to online marketing, London, UK: Kogan Page, Limited.
Loggie, N., 2021. 10 reasons you need a digital marketing strategy in 2021. Adlibweb.
López García, J.J. et al., 2019. Digital marketing actions that achieve a better attraction and loyalty of users: An analytical study. Future Internet, 11(6), p.130.
Lukianov, D. et al., 2020. SWOT analysis as an effective way to Obtain primary data for mathematical modeling in project risk management. EasyChair Home Page.
Malozyomov, B.V. et al., 2018. Consideration of risk factor impact on efficiency of innovative projects by calculating break-even point in high-tech fields of economy. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 194, p.062021.
Mehmood, T. et al., 2019. Schumpeterian Entrepreneurship Theory Evolution and Relevance. Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, 25(4), pp.1–10.
Morgan, N.A. et al., 2018. Research in marketing strategy. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 47(1), pp.4–29.
NIBusiness Info, 2021. Develop a Digital Marketing Plan. Advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing.
Piñeiro-Otero, T. & Martínez-Rolán, X., 2016. Understanding Digital Marketing—basics and actions. Management and Industrial Engineering, pp.37–74.
Prof. Nitin Joshi, P. M. (2017) “Understanding Digital Marketing Strategy”, International Journal of Scientific Research and Management, 5(6).
Purba, J.H. & Bimantara, D., 2020. The influence of asset management on financial performance, with panel data analysis. Proceedings of the 2nd International Seminar on Business, Economics, Social Science and Technology (ISBEST 2019).
Rastogi, N. & Trivedi, M.K., 2016. PESTLE technique – a tool to identify external risks in construction projects. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) , 3(1), pp.384–388.
Ritz, W., Wolf, M. & McQuitty, S., 2019. Digital marketing adoption and success for small businesses. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 13(2), pp.179–203.
Royle, J. & Laing, A., 2014. The Digital Marketing Skills Gap: Developing a digital marketer model for the Communication Industries. International Journal of Information Management, 34(2), pp.65–73.
Saebi, T. & Foss, N.J., 2015. Business models for open innovation: Matching heterogeneous open innovation strategies with business model dimensions. European Management Journal, 33(3), pp.201–213.
Saura, J.R., Palos-Sánchez, P. & Cerdá Suárez, L.M., 2017. Understanding the digital marketing environment with KPIs and web analytics. Future Internet, 9(4), p.76.
Saura, J.R., Palos-Sanchez, P.R. & Correia, M.B., 2019. Digital Marketing Strategies Based on the e-business model. Organizational Transformation and Managing Innovation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, pp.86–103.
Smith, K.T., 2010. Digital Marketing Strategies that millennials find appealing, motivating, or just annoying. SSRN Electronic Journal.
Soedarsono, D.K. et al., 2020. Managing Digital Marketing Communication of coffee shop using Instagram. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM), 14(05), p.108.
Soegoto, E.S. & Utomo, A.T., 2019. Marketing strategy through social media. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 662, p.032040.
Sokolova, N.G. & Titova, O.V., 2019. Digital marketing as a type: Concept, tools and effects. Proceedings of the 1st International Scientific Conference “Modern Management Trends and the Digital Economy: from Regional Development to Global Economic Growth” (MTDE 2019).
Sorescu, A., 2017. Data-driven business model innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 34(5), pp.691–696.
Taiminen, H.M. & Karjaluoto, H., 2015. The usage of digital marketing channels in SMEs. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 22(4), pp.633–651.
Teixeira, S. et al., 2017. A theoretical analysis of digital marketing adoption by startups. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, pp.94–105.
Vernimmen, P. et al., 2018. Corporate finance: Theory and practice, Chichester, UK: Wiley.
Wadhwani, R.D. et al., 2020. Context, time, and change: Historical approaches to entrepreneurship research. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 14(1), pp.3–19.
Williams, R.I. et al., 2018. The relationship between a comprehensive strategic approach and small business performance. Journal of Small Business Strategy.
Yamin, A.B., 2017. Impact of digital marketing as a tool of Marketing Communication: A behavioral perspective on consumers of Bangladesh. American Journal of Trade and Policy, 4(3), pp.117–122.
Yasmin, A., Tasneem, S. & Fatema, K., 2015. Effectiveness of digital marketing in the challenging age: An empirical study. The International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration, 1(5), pp.69–80.
Zook, Z. & Smith, P.R., 2020. Marketing communications: Integrating online and offline, customer engagement and Digital Technologies, Seventh Edition, London, UK: Kogan Page.
Athuraliya, A., 2021. The top 7 strategy frameworks for businesses with editable templates.
|Amplified reach; |
Cost-effective, measurable way of reaching the audience;
Enhanced brand appearance.
|Lack of direct sales; |
Lack of direct leads.
|Diversification of audience; |
Faster brand development.
|High competition; |
Constant changes in digital marketing trends.