Buffets, Inc. pinpoints CRM, loyalty to ramp up mobile efforts
August 22, 2013
Buffets, Inc. builds mobile strategy
Buffets, Inc. has signed a deal that will help the company in building out its mobile strategy around increasing foot traffic and building loyalty for its brands, including HomeTown Buffet and Old Country Buffet.
The steak buffet restaurant company will work with Hipcricket to develop mobile campaigns that are segmented by location and brand. Buffets, Inc. will also leverage its existent mobile database of 200,000 users to acquire and retain its users.
“It makes sense for Buffets, Inc. to leverage mobile because it allows them to target guests via geography and restaurant chain,” said Doug Stovall, chief operating officer at Hipcricket, New York.
“They are a national company, but with mobile, they can connect with customers on a local level,” he said.
“Mobile allows individualized attention that other marketing efforts do not. It also allows immediate communication and one-on-one marketing opportunities.”
Buffets, Inc. operates 334 steak restaurants under the Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Fireside Mountain and Ryan’s brands.
Building a database
Buffets, Inc. will use Hipcricket’s Ad Life platform to help the steak chain brand build up its CRM programs for mobile and email.
The program collects a consumer’s mobile phone number and email to send out offers, deals and discounts.
For example, one text from Old Country Buffet aimed to drive in-store traffic for a surf-themed night with a deal on kids’ meals.
The SMS message
The new program will integrate the existing database with traditional and mobile components to build loyalty as well as increase acquisition.
Consumers can sign up for Buffets, Inc.’s Crave Connection program at http://www.buffet.com/offers/texttojoin.
The SMS sign-up page
In addition to SMS programs, Buffets, Inc. also has mobile versions of its sites for each brand.
Beyond basic mobile alerts, the partnership might also entail future tactics such as the ability to review a restaurant via mobile, according to Hipcricket.
Mobile enables Buffets, Inc. to segment consumers with the right offer at the right time across its portfolio of brands.
Dayparting, for example, might be an effective way for the company to break out specific offers and deals for consumers based on their past behavior.
“Buffets, Inc. can strengthen loyalty with current customers and attract new guests via mobile,” Mr. Stovall said.
“If you’re out and hungry and see a Buffets, Inc. restaurant, you’re more likely to stop in knowing you have a coupon on your phone,” he said. “You don’t have to remember to take it with you every time you go out.”
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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