- Quick-service chain Moe's Southwest Grill recently partnered with the platform Quantcast in an effort to drive more foot traffic to its more than 700 restaurant locations, per a case study made available to Marketing Dive. The digital-focused campaign, run last year, resulted in a 40% boost in new in-store visits and a 19x return on ad spend, the company said.
- By leveraging Quantcast's targeting and brand measurement products, Moe's tapped into real-world national credit file data from the Experian ConsumerView database, which helped it understand unique audience groups, find new customers and grow brand awareness.
- Moe's tied this data to the foot traffic attribution measurements that connect ad exposure to in-store visits. By combining the two, the brand was able to better measure foot traffic lift, incremental in-store visits, return on ad spend, incremental sales and cost per incremental store visit in order to come up with a more holistic marketing strategy that bolstered its bottom line.
Being able to leverage digital channels to drive in-store visits and sales has been a challenge for marketers for years, but Moe's and Quantcast's campaign signals that a data-centric approach can return positive results and better tie together attribution channels. More restaurant brands in the quick-service space are tapping into data as digital and mobile ordering become more popular, particularly among younger consumers like millennials that are hooked on smartphones and tend to favor convenience.
Moe's has been focusing more on its to-go and delivery business, which has increased 20% over the last five years, per NPD Group data cited in a report by Business Insider. In 2017, Moe's earned $716 million in sales, an increase over $688 million in 2016, the report said. Focusing on adding new stores and menu items beyond burritos, such as queso — which it introduced before its rival Chipotle — has helped Moe's strategy.
Moe's has been at the top of the Harris Poll's EquiTrend Study of fast-casual Mexican restaurants for the past two years, seemingly capitalizing on Chipotle's food safety struggles, according to Business Insider. However, Chipotle is also focusing on building out its digital business, including by partnering with the online ordering service DoorDash and introducing more drive-thru lanes dedicated to online order pick-ups.
As marketers place a higher premium on ad targeting that can catch consumers in the moment and convince them to visit nearby brick-and-mortar locations, artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven solutions are becoming more popular. Marketers value these technologies for their promises of automation and predictive capabilities that can deliver the level of personalization consumers increasingly expect from brands. Spending on AI is predicted to reach $19.1 billion in 2018, a 54.2% increase over 2017, with retail leading the charge, according to the forecasts from the International Data Corporation.