Use opportunistic marketing to get more customers

I’m always amazed at how often marketers don’t take advantages of opportunities that present themselves. Virtually anything that happens can resonate in some way with a key value proposition or marketing message of your product.

I was reminded of this at lunch today near a closed and vacant Schlotzsky’s Deli.

I was eating a quick lunch and like to get out of the office¬†occasionally¬†to clear my head for a few minutes. I picked up lunch at Arby’s and parked in the vacant Schlotzsky’s lot to listen to sports radio and eat.

Two minutes after parking, a car drove up… parked… walked to the door of the completely empty building and then reluctantly walked back to their vehicle.

Another two minutes passed and a car pulled through the drive-thru, also completely empty. They paused for a few seconds and then slowly drove away.

In fifteen minutes, there were eight vehicles that approached a vacant restaurant (and note that it has been vacant for several months).

Why isn’t another restaurant taking advantage of this opportunity?

There is an Arby’s next door. A KFC / Taco Bell about 100 yards away. And even a Firehouse Subs across the street, with similar and arguably, better tasting sandwiches. Would it be that difficult for them to post a piece of paper to the door and drive-thru offering a $1.00 discount if they come to their restaurant instead and mention that they were at the vacant Schlotzsky’s?

I’d venture to say that in the fifteen minutes I was in their parking lot, someone could have gained at least eight more customers that may have liked their clever, albeit extremely obvious marketing ploy.

I know you are all very busy restauranteurs, so I’ve taken the time to make this simple. Just copy this format and see what happens.