As technology continues to evolve, it changes everything around us—including the way we reach and engage with our customers. Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) chains are always looking for new and innovative ways to attract more customers, and like many, they turn to technology to facilitate that interaction.
What is Multi-Channel Marketing?
Multi-channel marketing is the simultaneous use of multiple avenues of engagement to create more value for customers on and offline. For businesses of any kind, it means the use of digital campaigns (email), social campaigns, direct mail campaigns (physical mail), and other forms of personalized communications to find new customers and retain current ones.
Technology’s Impact on Multi-Channel Marketing
Years ago, QSRs really only had two channels to focus on — in-restaurant and drive-thru ordering. Now with advances in technology and mobile apps adding new layers to the mix, QSR brands have a true multi-channel network at their fingertips to reach out and engage with consumers.
Social still remains a critical piece of any multi-channel marketing strategy. It is important for QSR brands to have a platform available for customers to interact with them — either positively or negatively. QSR’s can use social media to strengthen their brand identity with consistent brand messaging, too. It is a great platform to promote daily specials, discounts, or ambiance, but it must stay consistent so that customers know what information they’ll be able to find via this channel.
A must for all large QSR brands. A mobile app offers customers all the information they desire about a restaurant in one convenient place. QSR brands are able to market their menus, specials, online ordering, loyalty programs, etc. to their customers. If multi-channel marketing is centered around creating a seamless customer experience, then having a mobile app is an important piece of the flow.
For the first time ever, young consumers are engaging more with direct mail. While baby boomers received a lot of junk mail throughout their lives, young people see it as a novelty to obtain a piece of mail addressed to them. Add to the fact that thanks to technology, direct mail is more engaging than ever before.
Using highly personalized data sets and sophisticated digital printing equipment, individual mail pieces can be tailored to a recipient based on demographics, geography, and a lot more. QSR brands now have the ability to utilize personalized URLs (spelled pURLs, pronounced “pearls”) to track the engagement of customers with direct mail. Each recipient has a URL created specifically for them. When they visit the link or QR code, brands collect that data. For the first time in history, QSR brands can accurately report on the success of a direct mail piece.
As technology continues to evolve, so will brands’ approaches to getting in front of their customers. With a multi-channel marketing strategy in place utilizing every avenue of engagement, quick service restaurants can deliver seamless customer experiences, whether diners are in the restaurant, on a mobile app, online, or even offline.