March 12 - by Andreas Breitfuss
Quick. Try answering this restaurant marketing teaser…
Question: Which type of marketing (Institutional vs. direct) would be most suitable for a restaurant that is trying to:
· Establish its image?
· Generate bums on seats?
No marks for guessing the correct answer. Institutional may not necessarily attract inquiries from prospective customers in the second case; while direct marketing may not work in the first. Thus the correct choice for the first is institutional marketing and that for the second is direct marketing.
The main problem with direct marketing however is that due to some unethical practices adopted by some companies in the past it has acquired a bad name for itself, although during the past two decades direct marketing advertising (DMA) has come to account for about 54 per cent of total advertising outlays (Statistical Fact Book, 1993-94). Also, more than 50 of the Fortune 500 firms are now members of The Direct Marketing Association (Akaah and Korgaonkar, 1988)
Direct vs. Institutional Marketing
Direct response advertising forces the consumer to make a response. It asks for an action. It tells the reader to do something, why to do it, how to do it, and when to do it.
In this particular sense, a normal direct response campaign is led by one mission: Either to make the consumer buy something, request more information, or perform some other action. But a call to action is always implied and is an integral feature of this sort of a campaign
Typically, the main components of a direct response ad are:
1. A headline that seeks to grab the reader's attention
2. A copy that seeks to build instant rapport with the reader
3. A list of benefits in your offer; and last but not the least
4. A call for action
Interestingly, despite its bad name, direct response campaigns are the only marketing campaigns that are accountable.
Institutional marketing in contrast makes no call to action; it doesn't tell the consumer what to do, how or why to do it. Better known as "image" advertising, its goal is merely to reinstate the good image of the company. The company already has a high recall positioning in the minds of its consumers. Institutional marketing just re-establishes that positioning.
By this logic, since institutional marketing/advertising, requires less amount of persuasion and effort (Remember, it’s already a strong brand), the media vehicle for this kind of branding is often TV and outdoor promotions; whereas for direct marketing, mailers and print ads are more suitable.
The problem with institutional advertising however is that it has no accountability. This is because; its goal is usually to be catchy, or cute, for the purpose of entertaining the consumer, and not to get them to take a specific action. So its response or affectivity cannot be reliably measured in fixed terms.
Yet, big players often go for image advertising, or what is also known as ‘brand advertising’ while the smaller fries are only able to afford direct marketing not just because its more cost effective but also because it serves their purpose better. They have to first build their brand and then reinstate it in the minds of their consumers
Source: Restaurant Marketing