As a fast casual marketer, you likely think about how to drive foot traffic, decrease wait times and increase AOV. Messaging can help you influence these measurables. However, without the right data to inform the content of those messages, you cannot predictably influence their outcome. In this blog post, we’re taking a look at how to leverage data to create a messaging strategy that’s impactful for your brand, the customer experience and your revenue stream.

The problem with messaging is marketers are so heavily focused on it that they’re overlooking crucial things like identity resolution at POS, understanding the customer and taste profile, reasons someone would come back, motivating behaviors and more. Brands need easy access to this data (the data that matters) and prove those things to drive incrementality.

Leveraging data that matters makes the difference between sending messages and sending messages that directly impact business goals. In order to obtain that data, fast casuals need to create a pleasurable experience for customers. They need to create a symbiotic relationship where data identifies customers’ taste, preferences, recency, frequency and spend, and that data goes back into creating a truly personalized experience.

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By using that data to inform messaging to drive specific metrics and solve specific problems that are unique to your restaurant, you can create an experience intended to be simultaneously enjoyable for customers ( with things like message governance, customizing the menu, providing features like order ahead within the app and unique payment options) and impactful for you.

In order to collect the right data and make it actionable, marketers need a single view of the customer.  Bain & Company explains the benefits of unified customer view, “Suppose that all data could be integrated into a single overall view of each customer. Suppose the records could be updated immediately, with every additional transaction or piece of information instantly accessible to anyone using the system. A company would get a remarkably full and intelligent view of its customers.”  The benefit is truly the ability to act in real time and deliver relevant content on a customer by customer basis.

You also need to provide a customer experience worthy of all the data your brand will be collecting in the process. One of the most effective ways to invest that data back into the customer experience (and drive incrementality) is through a loyalty program.

For example, fast casual chain Chicken Salad Chick’s loyalty program is fully integrated with both a mobile app and their point of sale system, which enables them to create real-time offers based on specific store needs. Chicken Salad Chick can combine POS transactional data with guest historical data to deliver a unique guest offer or discount, verify the guest’s eligibility and discount the transaction at the register with ease. Before the guest has even left the store, CSC can deliver a data-determined offer through the mobile app. Closed loop offers at point of sale have resulted in a 14% increase in check size.

In order to create a great messaging strategy, marketers need to first focus on laying a proper foundation with their data. By gathering the right information about customers to shape messaging that supports their goals, fast casual marketers can create an experience that’s impactful for the business and pleasurable for customers, which is a truly delicious combination.