A marketing plan for your business is the first step toward achieving your goal in of being discovered and remembered. You need a clear vision of where you want to go and how your going to get there. Below is a plan for one of our clients that reviews, looks long term and then looks at the steps that will be taken for the upcoming Year. Your plan may be very different but you must have a plan.
Cook’s Lobster House has moved aggressively to be recognized as the best restaurant in its community involvement. In April Curt Parent the owner of Cooks received the” Life Time Achievement Award” from the Maine Restaurant Association. This award is the most prestigious award handed out by this organization. This award along with the 2010 Mid Coast Maine Chamber award for Big Business of the Year has put Cook’s in the leading position of restaurants in the state of Maine. This year we have been approached by the National Restaurant association to file for the” Restaurant Good Neighbor award” Cook’s has positioned itself to be recognized for its good works in the community. This will be promoted both locally and nationally and will give great exposure to our business.
Cook’s Lobster House is recognized for quality of food and exceptional service. Cook’s Lobster House has been honored as #1 in the Maine Mid Coast area for Seafood for over 15 years and has been chosen 2011 CMUS Talk of the Town Customer Satisfaction Award for the best in service.
Cooks is the destination of choice for the Mid Coast Maine area. Cooks continues to press itself to the public as the destination of choice by adding more choices for ocean charters and sightseeing tours. These activities along with a sea life touch tank learning center and the aggressive promotion of the areas walking trails and beautiful location creates a compelling reason to mark Cook’s Lobster House as a must see destination.
This is an over view of our marketing strategy for 2013
The purpose of the plan is to give Cook’s Lobster House a competitive edge going into the 2013 season. We will accomplish this with a multi-pronged approach in six marketing arenas
- Online Social Media: We have developed a strong presence online with 2475+ Facebook fans, a great website with good search engine results bringing an average of 558 hits a day or 158845 hits for the 2012 year. We have three active blogs that bring new and useful information linked directly to our website and our other media sites. The first one dealing with what is happening at Cooks. This blog had 26664 page hits for 2012 from January 1st to September 30th. The second one deals with local walking trails and sites within close proximity of Cook’s. The third is a hotel, Campground and Inns of the Maine Mid Coast blog with links to all of their sites to help in promoting the area accommodation industry. These three blogs along with our website provide compelling reason to visit Cook’s Lobster House and our wonderful area.
- Email campaigns will continue to be used aggressively to stay in contact and promote Cooks to Motels, Inns, Campgrounds and Marinas, Cook’s Club Members (900 member frequent guest club) and friends of Cooks. We write and email our monthly newsletter which has great information about what is happening at Cooks now and in the near future. The newsletter also promotes local businesses and has many beautiful pictures of sites at the restaurant and of nearby locations.
- Off line marketing: Face to face promotion will continue to be front and center in our campaign to bring Cook’s Lobster House to everyone’s mind. We will continue to represent Cook’s by being active with the Harpswell Business Association. Our marketing manager attends HBA meetings and manages and updates the HBA website. Our marketing manager will continue to be on the Marketing committee for the regional chamber of commerce. We will become more involved with the CVB of Portland, the Maine Restaurant Association and the Maine Tourism Association. Cooks Club will continue to be a major focus of our off line marketing. With about 900 members in this rewards based loyalty program and growing. Building facial recognition and name recall are crucial to the program and its basic foundation of “Making the Guest Feel Important”. To that end a training program, geared to FOH crew members, to help understand the importance of the program and its “make the guest feel important” emphasis will become a important part of our overall training.
- Tour Groups and Large Parties: Aggressively going after tours and large parties is a major priority. Staying in close contact with the Portland CVB and their lead information system will be utilized to promote Cooks to groups, weddings and business organizations that are looking for food venues in this area. Bus tours are being contacted aggressively to inform them of the value of bringing their tours to Cook’s. We have had success with landing Tauck Tours for 2013. Tauck Tours has committed to 23 tours in addition to the repeat tours we normally receive. We are committed to making new contacts in the group tour industry. We will participate in the Portland CVB Tour Trade Show in November of this year. Casco Bay Lines boat tours expanded its season into the fall with its fall foliage weekend tours, with great success. Cook’s will approach Casco Bay with a proposal to start the tours coming over from Portland earlier in the season in order to take advantage of the wonderful weather in June as well as September and October.
- Value Added Products: Cook’s products are being promoted and developed to produce for consumption by wholesale and retail customers in offsite stores. The first of these products is our lobster sauce. We have been setting the stage for the release of this value added product by presenting it at the Harvest on the Harbor event and Taste of Brunswick event to rave reviews. We have a video of the Harvest on the Harbor tasting and folks commenting on the wonderful taste of the lobster sauce. Cooks has started to get the consumer ready and looking for the release by posting the video and use of our social media sites. Cook’s Lobster House has great name recognition for product labeling to help drive the sale of the product when it hits the shelves of the stores. We will be presenting the option for our guest to purchase the value added lobster sauce this winter in our gift shop.
- Traditional Advertising: We will continue to advertise in the paper and on the radio but doing so in a more reasoned and thoughtful approach. Trading Gift Certificates for air time on the radio is a cost effective way to get our name out to a broad audience. The newspaper ads will be tracked for ROI by a means of coupon returns and then doing a comparison to determine most beneficial placement.
Non Traditional: Air plane banners, Participation in events like Harvest on the Harbor, Cooking events like the taste of Brunswick and charity functions are areas that can bring great brand recognition and good will. We will attend and use all forms of brand recognition advertising that is deemed useful to our overall mission of being the best of the best in Mid Coast Maine.
Remember to revisit where you have been and then what you will do to get to where you want to be.