TINC Magazine recently spoke with Ola Ayeni, CEO of Chicago-based Dining Dialog, and grand prize winner of the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series. Ayeni told us about the unique features that Dining Dialog offers to the restaurant business, and how he’s incorporated past successful marketing campaigns into the current business model:
TINC: How many companies does Dining Dialog work with currently?
Over 50 current companies.
TINC: What makes your marketing services unique? Dining Dialogue is not a service provider, but a cloud computing solution, a bundled application that handles a variety of marketing tools that restaurants use. Can you list and explain the features you offer?
What makes Dining Dialog unique is the fact that, for the first time, all the necessary online marketing and tools a restaurant business needs are consolidated at one company with specific features and support. Email marketing, Social Media, Mobile and text messages.
TINC: Your site mentions that you can help companies stay aware of what’s being said about them through sites like Yelp and UrbanSpoon. Can you talk about how you work with companies to utilize this kind of information? Does it aggregate the comments? Tell us more about this feature.
We provide notifications to companies when reviews are written about them, and share how to turn a negative review into a positive experience. In short, a form of conflict resolution. It aggregates the comments and you can respond.
TINC: Your site also talks about how your Founder’s mobile marketing strategy has proved to be very successful: “One of Ola Ayeni’s client’s mobile marketing campaign saw an 11% increase in business and was featured as one of the best in the industry by Marketingprof.com.” What did the campaign entail, and what role does mobile marketing play that’s different from social media, web and print marketing? Is this currently a part of the Dining Dialogue cloud solution?
This was a text message marketing campaign we conducted in 2009 with Harold’s Chicken in Chicago that was subsequently published. This campaign involved incorporating an in-store “VIP” program that sent mobile coupons to customers, who had a limited time to redeem them at any of the store’s locations. This marketing strategy is something we still incorporate into what we offer at Dining Dialog.
TINC: What’s next for Dining Dialog? What are you working on currently?
We are expanding, hiring and raising. We are now developing a new cloud app with emphasis on simple design and use.