Why Apps are a Marketer’s Dream - Part Two


30 July 2019




James Simpson

In the previous article, we explored why apps are vital for modern restaurants seeking a competitive advantage, covering how they can be used to increase your sales, improve your customer experience and build brand loyalty.

We discussed loyalty programmes, enhancing the customer experience, providing fresh content and encouraging feedback -- however, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The true value of apps is in gathering customer data and using this insight to build a detailed picture of the food, drink and service that they love.

Your Gateway to Customer Insights

A good app is the customer's gateway to all of your services. Once they have downloaded it, they should be able to use it for every interaction with your company.

The fact that you control this gateway presents a tremendous opportunity to collect a rich set of data on each customer and build up a clear picture of their habits and tastes -- how much they spend, what they like to eat and drink and when they choose to dine.

This information can then be used to push out offers via the app that reflect an individual customers' specific tastes and behaviours, encouraging them to visit more, spend more and bring friends.

And here's the exciting part -- the more you do it, the better it works.

The more your customers visit, the more data you get on them. The more data that you get on them, the clearer your picture of their tastes and spending habits. The clearer this picture, the more precisely you can tailor promotions.

So every time your customer books a table, you get a better idea of when they like to dine. Every time they pay, you know how much they have spent and get a better idea of what they like to eat.

It's easy to see why data marketers get excited about the potential of apps -- and all it takes is a small investment in technology.

Get the Right Tech

Apps with truly successful data marketing capabilities use a separate system that can collect and store customer data in a way that allows it to be quickly and easily analysed -- an example of this is Event-Stream by Methodworx.

Systems like Event-Stream plug into all of your marketing channels, gathering and storing data in a common format in one place.

This means that even if a customer interacts with your restaurant on another channel or was already a subscriber when they downloaded the app, they will be recognised in the centralised data set.

Here's how it works:

1 -- Identify

To begin with, your customer will need to download and register the app. As part of this process, you'll receive their email address -- this will be used to identify them.

2 -- Collect

Every time that the customer uses their app, the information created by that event is sent back to Event-Stream and stored under the email address.

3 -- Follow

Now let's say that the customer interacts with the restaurant in another way -- for example, booking on the website or contacting the restaurant via Facebook Messenger. These channels still require an email address to access, and the chances are that it will be the same one used to register the app. Event-Stream identifies this email address and stores the collected data in the same place and in the same way as the data gathered from earlier interactions with the app.

4 -- Reward

With such a rich picture already being built up, the restaurant can begin to identify customer buying habits and send out offers that reflect them. Very quickly subgroups of customer can be built, and marketing starts to become highly targeted and very efficient.

5 -- Repeat and hone

Analyse the customer data from your last offer and use it to improve your next promotion -- perhaps they don't like pepperoni after all? Maybe they bought wine this time?

The Pizza Express App Revolution

Pizza Express is a true success story when it comes to using apps to drive data marketing.

The company's app is currently #1 on the App Store in the mid-market casual dining market, with a 4.8 out of 5 average rating out of 9,870 reviews.

It's not the company's first app. Previously, they had a static app that didn't support the tech needed to build out new features. It looked dated and was detrimental to the brand.

The company needed a future-proofed digital channel which would enable them to build strong long-term relationships and push out tailored offers and notifications to users.

They worked with Event-Stream developers, Methodworx, to create an app that would enable them to easily and quickly change content and push out different offers and vouchers. For example, if one restaurant was running a special promotion, any app users in the area could quickly and easily receive an invitation -- simple but effective.

But that was just the beginning. Pizza Express not only wanted an accessible and engaging app, they also wanted it to provide insights on customer behaviour and a way to reach every customer on a highly personalised level.

By integrating the app with the Event-Stream platform, they were able to identify who app users are, segment them accordingly and then send out vouchers and offers relevant to each specific app user.

The app which Methodworx has delivered for Pizza Express is best-in-class amongst restaurants of its type, and its usage sends a clear message -- customers love it. This is great for the brand, great for customer engagement and great for gathering users' data.

About Methodworx

Methodworx is a highly-specialised development consultancy that helps hospitality businesses use customer behaviour to:

  • Make better sales and marketing decisions

  • Capture all customer behaviour in one place

  • Analyse that behaviour to inform critical business decisions

  • Execute these decisions across disconnected technology stacks

We bring deep technology capability, sector expertise and a proven solution together to help you put the customer at the centre of your marketing efforts.

Our flagship solution, Event-Stream, helps hospitality businesses collect customer behaviour from across the business. It is turned into actionable sales and marketing plans that can be executed through integrations with current providers.

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Meet Ryan. Ryan is a 32-year-old businessman that visits a local pizza restaurant up to six times per month to entertain clients. He'll normally bring a group of three or four diners, and he'll order wine, dessert and coffee. His average spend on these visits is £40 per head, and he never uses discounts; he values the presentation of the restaurant as well as its quality food and service, as they make a consistently good impression on his clients. read more