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Elephant Bar drives 30pc of loyalty members into a location via geofencing

Restaurant chain Elephant Bar?s recent mobile campaigns have seen 30 percent of its rewards members visit a bricks-and-mortar location on the day they were targeted by a geofenced SMS message, proving the strategy's potential.

The food marketer teamed up with reward program solution Paytronix for several campaigns aimed at sending geofenced messages to members of the Elephant Bar Rewards platform. Paytronix?s geofencing module determines which members are nearby a restaurant location, and is then able to send reminders to customers about existing rewards points or offers in a bid to drive more in-store traffic.

?Geofencing is a great engagement tool that helps keep the brand top of mind and allows us to prompt additional visits from our loyalty members,? said Suzanne Gross, senior marketing manager at Elephant Bar, La Mirada, CA. ?At the same time, the tool provides value to our members, by reminding them to redeem rewards before they expire.

?Based on the criteria that a loyalty member with a reward on their account comes within 2 miles of a restaurant in order to receive a geofencing message, the June campaign reached 1,393 members and garnered 40 percent same-day visits.?

Significant potential
Elephant Bar?s results, which saw approximately 30 percent of targeted members come into a restaurant on the day they received their SMS message, likely stem from the major call-to-action provided.

Consumers do not simply receive an invitation to visit a restaurant. They are served personalized messages that pull information from members? rewards accounts.

For example, Paytronix will only send a message advertising a free coffee to customers who have a free coffee on their loyalty program accounts.

Another message might entice consumers to spend their existing points balance on their favorite drink.

Once a program member passes into a customizable radius of a specific location, he or she will be eligible to receive a targeted message on their mobile device.

?Clients have sent geofenced messages that remind guests about earned rewards and seasonal promotions / items,? said Kristen House, mobile products manager at Paytronix, Newton, MA. ?These messages ensure that the brand stays top-of-mind when the guest is in the middle of a buying decision.?

Influencing customer behavior
Food brands that choose to team up with third-party platforms for geofencing tactics will have the ability to influence their customers? behavior and loyalty program usage.

Paytronix enabled Elephant Bar to virtually create a perimeter around each of its bricks-and-mortar restaurants. The messages are able to influence consumers to come in at their discretion, at a time that is most relevant to them.

Even more importantly, the chain can gather valuable data about popular exit and entry points, as well as periods of the day when the restaurants experience lulls or high traffic.

Therefore, the brand may alter its in-store décor or advertisements to more effectively influence guests as they walk inside.

Elephant Bar?s 30 percent lift in traffic also highlights the marriage between geofenced messages and rewards program members. While blindly sending targeted texts to any individual in a restaurant area may snag a few new guests, loyalty members are perhaps the most potent customers to lure back.

Furthermore, geofencing offers a competitive advantage in the sense that it provides an additional channel and data point to snatch a consumer?s attention before another store does.

Paytronix has previously integrated useful tools into loyalty platforms for other restaurant brands.

Last December, Bravo Brio Restaurant Group, the parent company of Brio Tuscan Grille, joined forces with Paytronix to offer a new Eat, Repeat, Reward loyalty program on its updated mobile app that also leveraged enhanced employee training tools (see story).

?Geofencing tackles a common problem - changing guest behavior,? Paytronix?s Ms. House said. ?With this tool, restaurant marketers can combat traffic lulls and draw guests away from competitors.

?Because this message is integrated to the brand's rewards platform, the marketer can also ensure that they filter messages appropriately, increasing that guest conversion rate,? she said. ?The blockbuster conversion rates that have resulted from geofencing campaigns reinforce our belief that guests are driven to reply to hyper-relevant messages.?