How data analytics can strengthen your QSR brand’s marketing

This article originally appeared on the Quikly blog that educates marketing leaders at the world’s top retail and restaurant brands. The blog delves into the science and psychology behind marketing and serving customers. Quikly helps brands such as American Eagle, Domino’s Pizza, DSW, Tropical Smoothie Cafe among others.

AnnMarie Wills, CEO of Leverage Lab was invited to share Leverage Lab’s unique perspective when it comes to first-party data and ways QSRs, C-stores, restaurants and retailers can better leverage their own data for product recommendations and deeper personalization. 

Creating a successful consumer promotion for your quick-service restaurant (QSR) requires a lot of effort. Thankfully, data analytics can simplify that process.

AnnMarie Wills, the co-founder and CEO of LeverageLab, a first-party customer data platform agency, recently spoke to us about how data analytics can be used to create a better experience for QSR customers.

Here’s what she had to say:

How data analytics can strengthen your QSR brand’s marketing

Many of the marketing strategies used today are trusted staples that consistently prove their ability to satisfy customers. When you’re thinking of switching things up and reaching those same goals faster, data analytics can help.

“If you think about campaigns in the traditional sense, they’re very much so aligned to specific points in time, like National Hamburger Day or National Ice Cream Cone Day. You build a campaign, put it in the market and work toward getting the best results,” Wills said.  “We think about the opportunity for first-party data to be used around optimal recommendations during that customer journey all the time.”

To illustrate this idea, Wills offered an example of a marketing strategy taken on by a QSR client.

“When you think about a QSR especially, people come and build an order. In that order, there’s always a way to create a better recommendation using that data you have,” said Wills. “We’re looking at what they have an affinity for and making sure we’re giving them a recommendation for an entree or drink based on what they’ve purchased in the past.” 

How does this benefit the customer? It leverages the science of simplicity, the psychological phenomenon that consumers enjoy an experience free from choice overload and allows them to feel better about their journey with a brand. 

Using data analytics in the customer experience can help you to not only create easier interactions for customers, but also show how well you know — and can serve — those customers.

“The consumer wants a simple, personalized experience. This doesn’t mean they want to feel like you know everything about them, but they want to feel known to the level they’ve allowed you to know them,” said Wills.

If they’ve made past purchases and shown you they like their meal a certain way, giving them the same — or similar — order again is an example of personalization that simplifies the customer journey, because they won’t have to take the same steps again and again.

On the other side of that value exchange, QSRs are benefiting from diversity of purchase, loyalty and other conversion opportunities that drive revenue. 

“People that are nailing personalization are growing 40 percent faster than their counterparts. Personalization is a data-driven exercise, and it takes investment, but when you do the benefits are significant: organizational value, customer loyalty, return on investment…” said Wills.

Part of what makes tactics like personalization and simplicity so successful in marketing is that they both benefit from consumer psychology, a concept designed to help marketers get a better understanding of consumer behavior. Data analytics, through technology and past purchases, helps marketers do the same.

Large QSRs can benefit from data analytics because they have ample opportunities to see what customers like from their brand and discover new ways to build upon that knowledge.

“I wrote a positioning paper around one of our recommendation services and discussed how in the old days we’d go out and ask customers, ‘What do you think about this product?’ and we would rely heavily on that research and it could be very slanted depending on how it was conducted,” said Wills. “Now because we can maintain so much customer data, we can use that as our research and put those recommendations into the market and fine-tune them better for next time. It’s so amazing how much we can do.”

Data analytics helps you to get a better understanding of consumer needs and makes meeting those needs much easier.

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