Small restaurants and large chains alike have had to take up “contactless” delivery methods.
Many restaurants have shifted their digital ad buying to reflect new delivery options, often using ad tech to insert the nearest location into the advertisements. Others are using a completely new creative approach.
To dig into how restaurants are leveraging digital advertising, we sat down with Colin Potter, Vice President of Business Operations at Guild Content, to better understand how they put together a digital advertising strategy for Papa John’s and where they’ve excelled.
Let’s start with an explanation of your role at Guild Content.
Colin Potter, Vice President of Business: Guild Content is a full-service content marketing agency located in Kansas City. We’re focused on creating compelling content for clients we love. I’m responsible for keeping our revenue healthy by ensuring our clients are happy and that we are delivering flawlessly for them.
How have you had to re-strategize your digital strategy for your clients in the restaurant industry as a result of COVID-19?
CP: Consumer buying habits have shifted during the pandemic, with more Americans staying in and ordering food. Seventy percent of Papa John’s orders have been coming in digitally–with mobile being its fastest-growing platform–and it’s really inspiring to see how quickly the Papa John’s team pivoted to be solution-oriented for their customers. From contactless delivery to a fully operational e-commerce platform and menu innovation, we’ve been fortunate to be on the front lines as a trusted partner during this unprecedented time.
What kind of response and results are you seeing as a result of these new digital advertising strategies?
CP: Consumers pay for convenience. The ability to order online can be a big driver to why customers choose a specific restaurant, but they need to know that online ordering is an option. For Papa John’s, we had to drive awareness across multiple devices like desktop, mobile, and connected TV. But more importantly, we had to drive true connections with the customer to get them to take action. When done right, you can use digital advertising as a way to connect with the customer through storytelling.
For your clients in the restaurant industry, what kind of strategies and tactics do you use?
CP: It starts with humanizing and localizing the brand and gearing everything towards the customer, which in turn leads to increased engagement and sales. Customers don’t want to be advertised or marketed to, they want to believe in a brand, for the brand to have empathy for their experience, and for the brand to help solve their problem.
How has Choozle helped you execute your campaigns and strategies for clients in the restaurant industry during COVID-19?
CP: The Choozle team has provided tremendous insight and strategy into the latest digital trends for the restaurant industry. Their nimble and transparent approach has afforded our group the ability to optimize in real-time to ensure we’re meeting Papa John’s customers where they are with the offers they want.
How have these strategies helped improve your campaigns and performance?
CP: The proof is in the pudding–or sauce–with Papa John’s having their best North American system-wide sales in the company’s history.
Do you feel like you’ll need to continue these strategies for your restaurant clients as we move towards a post-pandemic timeframe?
CP: It’s always going to be imperative to put the customer first. It’s about connecting instead of convincing. We’ll see how things shift as we move out of the pandemic, but I hope more restaurants remember to put the customer first.
Any final thoughts?
CP: We believe companies have the power to make the world better, to make connection possible, and to tell stories that inspire souls and ignite change.