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RetailMeNot is taking an interesting approach to product promotion that restaurateurs might not only find fun to review, but might also consider for themselves. The retail savings and promotion site’s new campaign revolves around a special big data-type of report on the site’s blog that details what people spend their cash on these days.

The idea behind the campaign is that once people get a better notion of where they’re spending their money, they’ll use the RetailMeNot site to seek out deals on things like meals, drinks and snacks at restaurants, which the site focused much of its data analysis on.

It’s an interesting marketing tactic that falls under the notion that if you give people information, they may use to improve their lives, they’ll grow to depend on your products more heavily. You might call it the “news-you-can-use” approach to product promotion.

In our increasingly information/data-dependent society, the result is not only some fascinating data on consumer spending but also a rather novel promotional idea that other marketers might be interested replicating in some fashion for their own businesses. The following list, for instance, details some of the findings on consumer spending revealed in the report about where our money is going, according to a news release.

The data is the result of a survey of consumers this past June by and Kelton. As it turns out, their findings indicate that a lot of consumers’ cash is being spent at restaurants. For instance:

  • Nearly half (48 percent) spend an average of $18 a week on coffee or about $936 annually.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of us eat out weekly to the tune of about $58 weekly or an average of $3,016 dollars annually.
  • Many regularly use meal-delivery services, spending an average of $42.44 a week, or $2,206.88 annually.
  • Nearly half (48 percent) of people of legal drinking age buy about $50 of beer a month or $600 annually.
  • Millennials buy nearly twice as much beer as older folks, or about $75 vs. $39, monthly.
  • About 43 percent of people spend an average of $51 a month on wine or $600 annually.

A marketing approach prime for tough times?

When there is so much talk of a looming restaurant recession, it is possible that this type of approach could backfire if it makes consumers so aware of their cash outflow that they begin to cut back on meals and snacks out. The ultimate results remain to be seen.

But the idea of giving consumers helpful information as a way of building relationships with a brand is a good one that restaurant operators might consider tweaking a bit for their own causes. For instance, with the growing consumer interest in nutrition, there might be an opportunity for more informational marketing campaigns around the health benefits of specific nutritional components of different menu offerings Likewise, opportunities might also exist for restaurants who want to build customer relationships by offering educational food or drink tastings to help consumers learn to pair wines or even teas with different types of food for the best sensory experiences. Or maybe offering events that help pizza lovers explore new topping or sauce combinations you’re considering for your menu.

The idea is to give diners the opportunity to not only learn something new from your brand but to enhance the quality of their lives through the purchase of your food and drink offerings. It’s the kind of promotional approach that ultimately may not only result in stronger customer relationships but also higher ticket totals from diners who’ve learned new ways to enjoy the fruits of your labors and theirs.

S.A. Whitehead

Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, S.A. Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of and after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.

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