Him: "Why not run some adds to help promote your brand?"
Me: "Well, it's a great idea, but that's not really our style."
Him: "I hear ya, but I was thinking of some really cool, fun ads that match your vibe. You've said yourself there are still hundreds of thousands of restaurants that don't use web-based scheduling yet. Why not let them know you exist?"
That's a good question. And a very fair question. The truth is, the only way I could answer my buddy's question was, "Man, that's just not our style. Not something we would be excited about. Ads are a conventional, standard way to promote your brand, and we just like to do things our own way. We like to be creative. Unconventional. Unique."
Outside of the awesome word-of-mouth we've got going for us, we enjoy doing things like our book and our new video series. We like writing articles like this and this for restaurant industry publications.
And we like being patient and knowing that as thousands upon thousands of restaurants decide to move their scheduling and communication online over the next few years, they'll do so not because they saw a cool ad, but because because they'll be ready to make a change from what they're doing now. They'll do so to solve a problem. To relieve a headache.
When they do, they'll explore their options. They'll see what's out there, and they'll pick the provider they believe will work best for them. And I believe we're positioning ourselves very well to serve a specific portion of those restaurants. I think the people looking for these things will overwhelmingly choose Schedulefly. People looking for other things will choose another provider.
Meanwhile, rather than get caught up doing the things we're "supposed" to do, we're going to do the things we enjoy. So instead of working with a marketing agency to come up with an ad campaign, I'm off to Boulder this week to interview Dave Query about what it takes to be a successful restaurant owner for the Restaurant Owners Uncorked video series. A video series that will cost us perhaps 10% of what a series of ads would cost, while also being a lot more fun, educational, valuable to tons of people and, I believe, will be much more effective at building our brand and creating awareness than the coolest ad campaign we could ever run.