By Kevin Myers, Chief Marketing and Information Officer, Donatos Pizza
In my career, nothing has been more valuable than curiosity. IQ is important. So is EQ. But the curiosity quotient (CQ) matters just as much. With intense curiosity, you’re constantly looking for ways to improve your relationship with your customer and understanding them better. Curiosity leads to success because success is a by-product of insights meeting a well-engineered process.
Developments in technology, from POS, eCommerce, and loyalty programs, bring new insights for the curious to uncover. But it is important to approach these technologies with a fresh mind, instead of simply using a new platform for old strategies. After all, new platforms will not only help us to more fully understand what is needed to acquire new customers, but also help us to retain (and grow) the wallet share of our current customers.
<b>What insights do you want to uncover? What do you wish you knew about your customer?</b>
All too often, companies develop personas based on transactional data. They have a decent idea of who their customers are, and why they are ordering a certain product; but they don’t, however, have a good understanding of the motivators (price, quality, cause, loyalty, personality, engagement) that led to the purchase.
At Donatos, our loyalty program is the most important platform to learn more about what our customers need, want, and desire
The ability to layer data and discover more about customers with new technology helps to create more accurate customer personas and provides insight into the motivators that drive action.
Even more so, while companies are clamoring to become more digitally aware and insightful with customer engagements, the biggest obstacle lies in challenging the traditional restaurant methods and habits -- whether it’s LTOs, rotating discount offers, or an ever-changing creative landscape. If these are the only methods used to attract customers, technology is not the answer. Rather it should be leveraged to discover new customer insights to better communicate your story because the brand matters more. Storytelling, conversations, relationships, and serving the customer matter more than simply updating the technology that can be used.
In other words, your eagerness to leverage technology should be motivated by your desire to better serve your customer. What they want, need, and desire. Otherwise, it’s for sheer aesthetic. And a costly aesthetic at that.
At Donatos, our loyalty program is the most important platform to learn more about what our customers need, want, and desire.
We will never stop being curious, and because of this, we are moving well beyond transactions to understand interactions. Instead of simply knowing that our customers bought a pizza, we’re uncovering why behind their purchase. Our curious tendencies help us understand what they believe and the behavior that led to their actions. Maybe it was a convenient dinner on the way to a little league game. Maybe it’s a Friday night tradition. Maybe a cocktail party or work event.
<b>Keep curiosity at the helm.</b>
We have moved past the CRM industry, where learning more about how to manage customer relationships was the key to success. Now it is critical for restaurants to leverage the rich data they have on their customers to segment everything they “know” about their customers. This allows them to target customers that they “don’t know” with similar beliefs and behaviors. This is ARM, or Audience Relationship Management, which is the transformative technology and platform for restaurants for rapid testing and learning how to say the right message, on the right medium, at the right time, with the perfect creative that causes the desired action you hope to achieve.
Stay curious, measure everything, then try, try again.