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Dunkin? Donuts? multi-day, omnichannel promotional approach maximizes social outreach

Dunkin? Donuts has a fresh twist on its promotional strategy that sees the brand hosting live and interactive content across all of its social channels leading up to National Donut Day, showcasing how social strategies are getting bigger and more expansive. 

To maximize awareness for the nationwide promotion, the chain is leveraging a variety of mobile-first tactics to drum up excitement among fans and incite desire for receiving a free classic donut with any beverage purchase this Friday, June 3. Although Dunkin? Donuts has marketed its National Donut Day promotions through its social media channels in previous years, this year?s strategy shies away from repurposing the same materials for all of its accounts and instead focuses on rolling out content best-suited for each individual digital platform.

?As a brand, we've made a commitment to Snapchat, and have utilized the platform as well as the geofilter feature for special occasions, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes looks inside Dunkin? Donuts throughout the year,? said Melanie Cohn, social media manager at Dunkin' Donuts. ?We see Snapchat as a great place for content creation, as well as a unique in-store experience for our guests.

?Additionally, our first Facebook Live session was in February 2016 to celebrate Valentine?s Day, and it was an impactful way to communicate with our fans. We have had great success with both platforms, so we?ve decided to utilize multiple channels (Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat) on one of our favorite holidays, National Donut Day (June 3).?

Social media blitz
Dunkin? Donuts customers will receive a complimentary classic donut of their choice with any beverage purchase this Friday, June 3, as part of National Donut Day. The brand is ensuring that scores of mobile-savvy individuals will take advantage of the annual promotion by kicking off the celebration with several days? worth of social media content ? all of which is donut-themed.

Yesterday, Dunkin? Donuts? Snapchat account hosted a day of live events, which included a frosting and donut design tutorial led by members of its culinary team as well as a Q&A session with Paul Racicot, director of research and development at Dunkin? Brands.

Snapchat users could follow along as the culinary team demonstrated how to create roses made of frosting and showed which kitchen tools consumers could use to make their own sugary creations.

Dunkin? Donuts then asked followers to submit questions for Mr. Racicot to answer at noon. Consumers? inquiries centered on the most popular donut flavor, how the team comes up with new donut flavors and which is the most unique donut found worldwide.

The Snapchat blitz concluded with a recipe for the confetti popper munchkin, which included ingredients such as fruit, pudding and Dunkin? Donuts? popular donut holes, as well as the ability for consumers to download custom branded wallpapers for their smartphones.

?According to recent statistics, Snapchat has over 10 billion daily video views as of April 2016, making the app a very hot marketing venue for brands,? said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis.

?Dunkin? Donuts employing a multi-pronged promotional approach for National Donut Day by using Snapchat to engage the users in the events not only helps it reach a wider audience, but also raises awareness of the story behind National Donut Day, which is a part of our American history,? she said.

?National Donut Day was originally established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to honor women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. The holiday is traditionally celebrated on the first Friday of June. Dunkin' Donuts has been serving guests signature donuts for 66 years.?

Today, Dunkin? Donuts? attention turns to its Facebook account, which will host a Facebook Live session with Rick Golden, the chain?s manager of donut excellence. Fans will be able to watch Mr. Golden concoct several donuts from scratch ? including mixing, glazing and sprinkling the pastries ? before he answers fans' submitted questions.

Finally, on June 3, Dunkin? Donuts customers will be able to showcase their love for the sweet pastries via a slew of branded Snapchat geofilters that will be available in the brand?s bricks-and-mortar locations. Introducing seasonal geofilters has long been a favored strategy by Dunkin? Donuts, due to the filters? seemingly organic reach.

Additionally, popular Snapchat influencers will take over the official Dunkin? Donuts channel on Friday to report how consumers are celebrating National Donut Day in their respective cities.

Sprinkling on fresh strategies
Instead of rolling out similar content to all of its social channels, Dunkin? Donuts is ensuring it tailors its promotional strategy to each individual platform in a bid to maximize audience engagement. For example, Snapchat is perhaps best-suited to live Q&As, due to the easily consumable, rapid-fire format, while Facebook Live sessions are ideal for longer-length office tours or recipe tutorials.

The behind-the-scenes look at the donut-making process is likely to interest the chain?s longtime fans and ensure that the upcoming National Donut Day event stays fresh in their minds.

The multi-pronged promotional blitz arrives on the heels of a mobile-heavy year for the brand, which saw it introduce mobile ordering pilot expansions to several new states and experiment with several loyalty-based strategies.

In April, Dunkin? Donuts caffeinated its mobile strategy with an updated app featuring enticing imagery and a touch-friendly interface, a loyalty promotion giving away 125 points and an app pilot for Baskin-Robbins, heating up competition with Starbucks (see story).

The chain is also preparing itself for a surge in rewards membership sign-ups following the expansion of its mobile ordering pilot to select locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as only DD Perks members can take advantage of the brand?s VIP app (see story).

?At Dunkin? Donuts, our approach to digital marketing is to embrace innovative technology, connecting with digital age consumers in a new way and seamlessly across all channels while remaining authentic to the brand?s core values,? Dunkin? Donuts? Ms. Cohn said. ?As social media itself has evolved, Dunkin? Donuts has continued to engage our fans in new and exciting ways and share valuable content with them.

?We know that today consumers are faced with more messaging than ever before from various media, so it is important to become and stay relevant within the digital space. We?re excited for our National Donut Day plans this week, and we will continue to experiment more with Snapchat, Facebook Live and others in the future.?

Ultimately, the brand's strong overarching and multi-pronged promotional strategies may prompt other similar brands to sit up and take notice before implementing like-minded features into their own campaigns.

?Other restaurant chains can leverage Dunkin? Donuts? omnichannel strategy for their own promotions or events by paying close attention to the partnerships they deploy to reach the broadest audience versus trying to do it all themselves in-house,? SiteMinis' Ms. Troutman said.

?Each partnership added to a strategic deployment of a campaign adds in just another level of expertise that allows both of the brands to win.?