Whether it’s cocktails with friends or a party with the family, TGI Fridays serves up experiences to remember. To offer the same high level of personal service online and on mobile, the brand used Acoustic Campaign (formerly Campaign Automation) to create a central repository of data on guest interactions and gain deeper insight into their unique preferences.
Challenge: Differentiating through experience
When it comes to casual dining, consumers in the UK have more choice than ever. Because expectations around food and service quality are always rising, the guest experience is becoming the crucial differentiator.
Steve Flanagan, Chief Marketing Officer at TGI Fridays, explains: “TGI Fridays was built on creating great experiences. As the digital channel has taken off, the experience increasingly starts before our guests even walk through the door. For that reason, it’s vital to offer consistent, high-quality journeys across every touchpoint — from our website and mobile app to our social media channels.”
To enhance the guest experience, TGI Fridays created a fresh look and feel for its digital channels. As well as relaunching its website, the brand engaged with long-term marketing partner Punchh to create a gamified loyalty app, enabling guests to unlock compelling rewards as they spend.
“We knew that if we could encourage more of our loyalty members to come back and visit us again, we’d deliver a massive benefit to the business,” Flanagan continues. “Our newly improved digital channel represents a valuable opportunity to reach our guests wherever they are. We were confident that connecting with our guests as individuals would be a powerful way to encourage them to visit — but there were some tough technical challenges to overcome first.”
TGI Fridays had a wealth of data on its guests, but gaining insight into their unique preferences demanded complex, time-consuming and resource-intensive work. Because the company lacked a straightforward way to segment its digital audiences, it was restricted to generic, catch-all email campaigns — reducing the effectiveness of its marketing strategy. To realize its vision for a new digital experience, TGI Fridays looked for a more automated approach to engagement.
Solution: Enabling one-to-one marketing at scale
TGI Fridays selected Campaign — an AI-powered solution that empowers marketers to deliver engaging, personalized multichannel communications via email, mobile push, SMS, and social media platforms.
“Because we’re a lean marketing team, automating everything from loyalty program registration to our regular drumbeat of customer communications has a big impact on our ability to execute personalized campaigns at scale,” comments Flanagan. “From the guest perspective, that means we can reach out with more highly tailored messages in a consistent way across multiple channels.”
He continues: “The beauty of Campaign is that it will grow with us. At the moment, we’re using the solution to drive our email marketing program, but we see great potential to drive mobile push notifications on the platform in the future. Consolidating more of our marketing activities on the Acoustic platform will help improve our productivity, reduce our operational costs, and allow us to gain even deeper insights into how guests are engaging with our content.”
To enrich its understanding of what motivates its individual guests, TGI Fridays integrates a wide range of data feeds from a wide range of sources into Campaign.
“We can now create a 360-degree view of our guests based on their booking histories and browsing behavior on our website and Punchh mobile app,” explains Flanagan. “By incorporating contextual information such as point-of-sale receipts and Wi-Fi data from our restaurants into the mix, we can gain a clearer view of what’s most relevant for each guest. For example, if we know that someone has visited us within the last six months and ordered from the kids’ menu, we can ensure we’re sharing offers and incentives with a family theme.”
Results: Welcoming guests back time and again
With Campaign at the heart of its digital strategy, TGI Fridays is shaping relevant, compelling moments of engagement that attract guests back to its restaurants again and again.
“We see that when we reach out to someone with content that resonates with them as an individual, they’re more likely to engage with the brand,” explains Flanagan. “Whereas in the past we were unable to identify the types of messages most likely to appeal to each member of our audience, we can now precisely target our outreach based on hard data. Within a matter of weeks, we were already measuring extremely positive results.
“We’ve increased repeat visits from members of our loyalty program by 61%, boosting revenues attributed to those customers by 66%. Those customers are also becoming far more likely to recommend us their to friends, and we’ve seen a dramatic 300% boost in the number of guests referred by loyalty customers.”
As TGI Fridays builds a large following on the digital channel, it is introducing a new generation of customers to the brand. Unique guest visits have increased by 51%, and the company is measuring a 30% increase in loyalty program sign-ups.
“Because Campaign makes it so fast and easy to segment our guests, we can be more creative and agile with our campaigns,” comments Flanagan. “As a result, it’s far easier for us to jump on trends quickly when they emerge — something that just wasn’t possible with our previous approach to digital marketing.”
TGI Fridays is now planning innovative ways to use Campaign to nurture long-term loyalty. Working with media partner Reprise, the company is targeting its social advertising campaigns at guests who have recently visited a TGI Fridays restaurant and opened an email from the brand.
“Our journey with the Acoustic solution is just beginning, but we’re already moving the needle when it comes to engagement,” Flanagan concludes. “Campaign has become one of the key pillars of our strategic roadmap for digital, and we are very impressed with the results we’ve achieved so far. Looking ahead, we plan to build on our close collaboration with Punchh and Acoustic to create even more compelling, relevant, and exciting digital experiences for our guests.”
“Acoustic Campaign has become one of the key pillars of our strategic roadmap for digital, and we are very impressed with the results we’ve achieved so far.”
Steve Flanagan, Chief Marketing Officer, TGI Fridays
About TGI Fridays UK
Headquartered in Luton, England, TGI Fridays UK is a leading casual dining restaurant chain. With more than 80 American-styled restaurants across the country, TGI Fridays offers authentic, contemporary, and full-flavored American food, signature cocktails, and a lively, personalized experience.
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