How Craveable Brands bolstered customer loyalty and sales with marketing technology

Operator of Red Rooster and Oporto deploys marketing cloud and a customer loyalty program shake-up that generates more than $9 million in sales

Red Rooster and Oporto owner, Craveable Brands, has driven more than $9 million in sales and lifted its customer loyalty proposition and satisfaction ratings over the past 12 months after deploying a marketing cloud solution.

Craveable Brands head of digital marketing and strategy, Ken Russell, told CMO he was given the remit two years ago to digitally transform the QSR operator’s customer experiences, starting with Red Rooster. He quickly realised there was a gap: Data.

“One of the first things I identified was that we needed to deploy a fully-fledged marketing automation tool. That allows us to collect better data on customers, and to provide more relevant and contextual messaging through the digital stratosphere,” he said.  

In addition, despite having an ecommerce offering, customer loyalty program, and in-store point-of-sale systems, platforms were not integrated. Revenue was also being missed as a result of unused customer offers and a failure to convert loyalty program members.

“For example, we couldn’t talk to someone who loves roast chicken versus our bread lines on a different level,” Russell said.

It was clear the customer loyalty program and CRM were the low-hanging fruit in the digital transformation journey, Russell said. So work commenced rolling out Salesforce Marketing Cloud and integrating the platform with point-of-sales systems, with Kalido brought on as implementation and support partner and providing in-house skills.

“With these deployments, you are at the mercy of how strong your partner is. Kalido was outstanding – strong partner and approach, putting people in our offices, so they were embedded front and centre with us,” Russell said. “That was important for me; there was no time lost with conversations across different offices. It’s an extension of our team.”  

One of the biggest loyalty issues Craveable had was that people would come in and receive a membership card in its restaurants, but were required to then go online to activate them. The first problem to solve was obtaining personal information that the brand could use to dramatically simplify the sign-up journey and start engaging in a more relevant way.

“We would lose people. A transaction was attached to each card, but there was no way to contact that person, and information wasn’t captured at the point-of-sale system,” Russell explained.

As a result of integrating its Micros POS with Marketing Cloud and kicking off real-time digital communications, Craveable Brand staff can now capture a customer’s mobile number at the point-of-sale. That potential member then receives an SMS immediately, triggered out of Marketing Cloud, thanking them for their interest and requesting they click to sign up. Russell said his team simplified the sign-on form from 15 fields to four and also removed need to re-enter email, mobile numbers or passwords twice.

“That solved another problem, which was that we had a big drop-off on our old form of 30-40 per cent,” he continued. “Work was done by my team to identify and optimise the journey into the program. By combining these things, we’ve dramatically improved acquisition, and seen a 35 per cent uplift across Red Rooster and Oporto brands.”

The SMS campaign also resulted in a 600 per cent increase in online store traffic.

“We started to see results immediately and the franchisees got behind it and fell in love with the program as they could see the benefits,” Russell said.  “By funnelling in more members and having more people attached to transactions, we then had more data on our consumers. That meant we could then start providing more contextually relevant messaging to customers and increase sales.”

Craveable Brands adopted recency, frequency, monetary value scoring as a starting point, identifying high-value customers. “With new members, our focus was how to get these people to transact 3-4 times, because we can start to see trends and that then allows our segmentation to be based on product preference, or time of day or week,” Russell said.

Helping inform these initiatives are SQL scripts running in the company’s data warehouse that calculate the likelihood of people having preferences for products based on transaction information. At any point, Craveable Brands has 50 campaigns in market.

“We know that if people transact with us within the first two weeks, and use a voucher, they are 200 per cent more valuable in first few months of the program. So we offer a $5 welcome voucher and remind members of it,” Russell said. “When we have that first point of data, and we know what you might like, that then informs the next communications to get to a second transaction.”

As an example of campaigns in practice, Russell pointed to the ‘Loyalty Points Balance reminder journey’ activity, which revolves around a piece of communication informing members of the dollars they have to spend. On that alone, Craveable Brands has seen a 25 per cent uplift in engagement across its member base.

Overall, Russell cited a 40 per cent increase in loyalty transactions by putting more members in the database. “But by having more contextually relevant communications, we’ve seen really positive revenue in the loyalty transactions and a strong increase overall of frequency in the loyalty base of 10 per cent,” he said.

“Active users have also increased by 25 per cent. Plus, they’re transacting more often.”

With all data from Marketing Cloud going into the data warehouse, Russell and his team can now see the impact of a member viewing an email or clicking a link in SMS on onsite traffic to its restaurants in the following seven days.

“We understand based on that lift in frequency, and if we’ve helped big forward their purchase in terms of days,” he said. “That’s the beauty of having all data attached to a transaction, restaurant and through ecommerce. As long as you identify yourself, we then know 100 per cent whether you’ve received an email, retargeting through social, and within a certain timeframe, our impact.”  

At the same time, there’s been a 300 per cent improvement in positive feedback, and a 60 per cent reduction in complaints. Red Rooster also went from a 2 to 4-star customer satisfaction rating.

The next priority for Russell is translating the more tailored interaction approach to the company’s owned digital properties.

“We’re relaunching our digital platforms to be more intelligent. Having delivered marketing automation into market that’s feeding off segmentation and insights through email, retargeting, social and SMS, we want to leverage that same data to surface up in digital products,” he said. “This is about new applications that present themselves as more relevant to you, and advertising and content you’ll find relevant.

“We’re not yet leveraging AI [artificial intelligence] but we’re close to starting to play in that space. Utilising AI to better understand how to message customers without necessary requiring big analytics from external teams is a key focus.”  

It’s not surprising then, that Russell has been working hard to build his collaboration skills with the IT department.

“We’re two side of the coin – you can’t get things deployed in these vast and complex enterprise solutions without the help of IT,” he commented. “I was adamant as group head of digital marketing that my relationship with the CIO and IT team was going to be really strong. To do that, you have to take them on the journey, strategy and allow them to reap benefits too when you start seeing results.

“They are also generating revenue for the business through these marketing activations, and that gets them more behind these programs.”

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