Using technology built into today's mobile devices, marketers are finding innovative ways to reach out to customers.Thanks to built-in GPS capabilities, smartphones now have the ability to determine a user's location, and businesses, including Cousins Subs,are learning to use it toreach customers through notifications. The Milwaukee-based sandwich chain founded in1972, and has more than 100 restaurants in Arizona and Wisconsin is using location-based marketing to help its bottom line.
"We felt compelled to use location-based marketing as part of our strategy due to the competitiveness of both the quick service and fast casual segments," Cousins Subs Digital & Social Media Manager Jordan Steinert said. "We realized that in order to gain competitive advantages we needed to tap into the guest-service and marketing powers that location-based marketing provides. As a result, we focus our location-based marketing on four areas: search and discovery, guest service and engagement; paid media; and insights and reporting."
Cousins Subs chose a platform called MomentFeed, created by Rob Reed, who said he founded the company to help marketers better understand how consumer behavior and expectations have changed.
"MomentFeed enables national brands to reach the local communities that they serve in a relevant way," Reed said. "We realized early on that there was an opportunity for large multi-location brands to communicate more authentically at the local level."
Filling a need
Location-based marketing allows Cousins Subs to compete with the category and sector leaders in its industry — without a multi-million dollar advertising budget — to drive traffic and acquire new customers, Steinert said.
Cousins Subs' surrounding communities are small and geographically convenient, according to Steinert, making it easy to connect with them on a personal level.
"By leveraging new technologies for location-based marketing and focusing on tactics and opportunities that are most relevant to each local community and restaurant, we’re able to build and maintain relationships with our local guest base in ways that bigger brands simply cannot," he added.
Metrics that move the needle
By using location data, Cousins Subs has been able to target its customers through niche interests, behaviors and demographics. It delivers restaurant-specific, localized advertising content during peak and off-peak hours to drive local awareness and in-store traffic and convert online orders.
Although the platform required a financial and human capital investment, it was well worth it for Cousins Subs, Steinert said. The chain has an annual contract that involves a monthly per-store cost to access the platform and maintain each restaurant’s presence. The cost also covers consulting from a MomentFeed "client success manager," who regularly provides stores' best practices, training, strategy development and help executing more advanced tactics and campaigns.
What was the ROI?
Since Cousins Subs began using MomentFeed, it’s seen a significant return on investment from a campaign and brand level, according to Steinert, who said from the campaign level, targeting capabilities make it simple for the chain to deliver localized advertising across markets with a few clicks.
During the campaign, the chain increased app downloads by 42 percent, increased mobile ordering traffic by 63 percent, and increased limited-time-only sales online and in-store for all locations by 19 percent compared to 2014.
"If you’re a brand with physical locations, each location should be optimized individually to fully take advantage of local search dynamics". Nearly nine out of 10 consumers conduct local searches on their smartphones, and 50 percent of consumers visit a store within a day of their local search. Additionally, the top three organic search results on Google get more than 60 percent of the traffic.
"In the case of Cousins Subs, the company was able to deliver geo-targeted, Facebook Local Awareness Ads at scale," Reed said. "A single campaign with MomentFeed produced ads including the city names and street addresses for over 114 Cousin Subs locations, and a one-click call to action linked customers directly to their local shops' online ordering pages. It couldn't get easier."