On June 24, Brad Haley, executive vice president of CKE restaurants, and Doug Fergusson, executive vice president of Synq Solutions, stressed the growing importance of local restaurant marketing (LRM) to more than 880 restaurant and retail listeners during a webinar cosponsored by Synq Solutions and QSR.

According to QSR’s associate publisher and webinar moderator Greg Sanders, local restaurant marketing is a must for any restaurant operator. Though it may be challenging, running a successful local campaign can do wonders for a business, he says.

“Traditional mass media is slowly being diluted and fragmented, and consumers are moving to different forms of media,” Synq’s Fergusson says, “and new technology and processes are making local marketing easier to execute.”

Fergusson says it is important for restaurants to consider using LRM because it allows companies to speak to individual preferences and creates a relationship between customers and their restaurants of choice.

Now that more people have access to computers and smart phones, Fergusson and CKE’s Haley also agree that social media is a significant part of popular marketing components for LRM, but that it must be used to properly entice customer interest.

“We use social media quite a bit, and right now we’re focusing our energy on Facebook,” Haley says. “It could prove to be one of the most powerful LRM tools of all. The first job is to build a community that’s large enough to impact sales, and once you’ve done that, you can effectively market to them.”

“I think one thing you have to look at in social media is that it’s not an end in itself. Social media is inherently a form of communication, a tool of communication, and I think what you’re dealing with is the behavior changes that are happening in consumers as a result of social media, the speed at which information can be exchanged, and what people are talking about.”

For more information about local restaurant marketing and tips from Brad Haley and Doug Fergusson, visit the QSR website to access an audio recording of the webinar. Questions discussed during the seminar will also be posted on Synq’s Executing Innovation blog during the month of July.

By Jill Watral