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Restaurant Marketing: Segmentation Boosts Campaign Performance

Kathryn Tooles, Consultant

Clients frequently ask me how best to drive high impact campaigns.  There are a number of factors to consider, and I always start with an overview of the relationship between content, timing, and frequency in driving results.  But the real key is audience segmentation and ensuring that each targeted group receives the right content at the right time.

There are many ways to segment audiences; I spend a lot of time talking with clients about how to do this effectively. One of the things we have noticed is that restaurant marketers often don’t think about using their eClub guest profile data to create target segments. We recently worked with one QSR client to leverage their previously untapped wealth of profile data to drive a high impact marketing campaign.

This client captures dining preferences and a broad set of engagement information from guests when they register for its eClub. Information like guest preference for lunch or dinner; interest in learning about new menu items; affinity for sweepstakes and other contests, e.g., can be highly effective as segmentation parameters. We set up a test strategy to compare the performance of segments based off this profile data against the overall database.  Here are the campaigns we ran:

  • Campaign 1 introduced a new menu item. We set up a segment based on guests who had explicitly said they are interested in new menu items and tested their response against the general database. The results are as follows: tables-01
  • In campaign 2 we tested a sweepstakes mailing. Again we tested the performance of the general database against the segment of members who said they like sweepstake contests. The test returned the following results:tables-02

These results demonstrate the power of segmentation — targeting the right audience with the right message boosts campaign performance. The client is committed to ongoing testing, including time of day to compare members who visit for lunch vs. dinner, and subject lines that speak to member’s favorite menu items.