Monday, November 07, 2011

Wait, so What Do You Do, Again?

I guess before I get into the actual crap that I'm doing, I should talk about the actual and ideas behind them.  My main goal is to increase foot traffic to the Gumbo Shop to help them sell more food and make money.  One additional side effect is to get more consistent foot traffic throughout the year, which can lead to significant cost savings and headaches.

I can try to accomplish that in a couple ways:  I get more people to recognize the fact that there is such a Cajun place called the Gumbo Shop at Manchester and McKnight in Rock Hill, MO.  I convince them that the Gumbo Shop, is indeed, the place to be and a place for good eats.  Lastly, I remind them that the Gumbo Shop really is some place they should visit at least once a week.

Honestly, the ideal customer is me, who isn't too far from that depicted in this particular Oatmeal Comic.
Replace the Pizza with Fried Oysters
To take another look at this whole thing, I'm turning to consultant-esque diagrams that you'd see at business school classes or meetings where people are trying to sell you on the idea that giving them $500 an hour is actually a good idea.  This thing can be called a variety of things ranging from "purchase cycle," "Customer Engagement Cycle," to "Consumer Relationship Cycle."

In my search for just the right diagram, I realized two things.  Firstly, there are all sorts of different points of view and little details that yield a shit ton of very different looking diagrams, but are very similar in nature.  It all depends on what direction you want to tackle the problem from.  Secondly, not one of them had a picture of a dog.
Notice the lazy eye...
For the sake of the fact that I'm too lazy to do a detailed flow chart, just believe in the following.
  • A customer starts out not even knowing that the Gumbo Shop exists and therefore, out of the cycle.
  • The first state of interaction is "Awareness," having the Gumbo Shop be somewhere near the front of their minds.
  • At any point in this cycle (I guess somewhere on the arrows), a customer can drop out and the interaction has to start all over again ("oh yeah... I forgot about that place...").  
So let's go through these boxes:  
  • Awareness:  Obviously people won't go to the Gumbo Shop if they don't even know it exists.
  • Consideration / Comparison:  If people in general are anything like me, choosing what to have for lunch is an epic struggle for an hour starting at 10am on a daily basis.  Something's got to point out just how the Gumbo Shop should be at the top of the list on a consistent basis.
  • Purchase and Evaluation:  Eating at the Gumbo Shop.  This is grouped together as this is an event that's going on practically simultaneously.  This is largely out of my hands... or is it?
  • Continued Engagement:  Usually, you only have the previous experience at the restaurant to ensure whether another visit is going to happen anytime soon.  This is where Continued Engagement comes in and where it can get sort of confusing.  I attempt to remind people that it's been absolutely way too long since they've been to the Gumbo Shop amongst many other things.
All Over Again?  
So just how can I keep this endless cycle of violence going?  My use of Facebook is the core part of Continued Engagement and Facebook Ads is by far the most invested method of increasing awareness.  The next posts that I'll put up will likely bounce around from topic to topic in this cycle, especially as new observations crop up.  I'll be tagging those with the appropriate term.
I totally expect Nestle Purina to steal my doggy diagram...