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Graphic from Emfluence marketing platform user conference May 7, 2015 Kansas City MO.

Lessons Learned from Spin! Pizza, YRC Freight, and Boulevard Brewing Co.

I walked into the Emfluence User Conference (#emflConf) for the first time with the hope of learning how AWG can better use the Emfluence digital marketing software to create high-engagement social media content and email marketing campaigns. By the end of the day my expectations were surpassed. Marketing specialists from Spin! Pizza, Boulevard, YRC Freight, and Emfluence shared their experiences and digital marketing expertise.

Here are some important “lessons learned” from this year’s presenters:

SPIN! PIZZA

  • Root your brand or store in your community and what your customers care about. Spin! Pizza asked their customers who their favorite non-profit was through an email campaign, then donated t-shirt sales to the charity voted most by customers.
  • Get creative with your email marketing to bring in customers on low-traffic days. When bad weather hits the area and people don’t want to deal with the elements, Spin! Pizza sends out a Crummy Weather Special- 20% off coupon via email to their Spin Club members.
  • Promote special events through a multiple email campaign. Spin! hosts an annual fundraising event called “Pups on the Patio” where they invite customers to bring their dogs to Spin! locations to eat and raise money for local animal shelters. For their 2014 event, Spin! sent a “Save the Date” email early on, an invite email to 2013 participants, a “Sign up Now” email to all contacts, then a reminder email to all registrants. 2014 had nearly 2x as many attendees as the year before, sold out at all 4 locations, and raised $4200 in donations. Following the event, Spin! sent attendees a feedback survey with a link to photos of attendees with their pups.

YRC FREIGHT

  • Your customers want to receive personalized emails, not generic ones. The marketing team at YRC Freight launched a successful email campaign by personalizing them from specific members of their sales team and addressing them to the recipients’ actual names.
  • It’s important to educate your internal team on your brand’s digital marketing strategy. In Brand Advocates Start from Within, Cara explained how AWG Marketing recently setup TV monitors at AWG Corporate to display retailers’ and AWG brands’ social media feeds and digital activity. We invested in displaying this information to our employees because advocates for your brand, company or store start internally.
  • Being transparent on your social platforms helps to decrease negative comments. When YRC Freight gets complaints from customers or drivers on their social media pages, the marketing team responds to the post and addresses the issue head on. More often than not, the customer or driver feels reassured and stops posting negative comments. In Changing the Story, Melanie explained how you can respond to negative feedback on social media by addressing the issue, sharing your point of view, or correcting misinformation.
  • Clean up your email list with a “re-permission campaign.” It’s more effective to email a smaller number of engaged customers than to email all your customers, including those who don’t want to hear from you. In 2013, YRC had a list of 551,459 email addresses. They decided to clean up this list with a re-permission campaign, so they send an email asking their contacts to “check this box to opt-in to our email list.” As a result, YRC eliminated 62% of their email list and found 210, 830 good/high quality email addresses.

BOULEVARD BREWING CO.

  • You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. Boulevard Brewing Co. has gone through a transitional phase the last two years after Duvel Moortgat, a Belgian Brewery, purchased the company in 2013. The integration of these two companies was built on four pillars: process, purpose, priorities, and people. Not everyone was ready to accept the change, but clearly defined roles, leadership, and regular feedback helped greatly with the integration.
  • Gathering knowledge is key to a strong marketing strategy. Boulevard conducted a brand identity study, pricing analysis, competitive review, and more so that they could create a data-driven, customer-informed marketing strategy based on their findings. For example, Boulevard introduced a line of canned beers this year because their research showed customers wanted a can option.
  • Invest in strengths, shore up weaknesses. Boulevard has always supported local Kansas City. This year they decided to reinforce their strength at home by hosting “Boulevardia,” a weekend music and beer festival in the West Bottoms of Kansas City.

Why do I work at AWG? “I love working with independent retail stores to improve their in-store marketing strategies. When consumers compare products at grocery stores, many rely on in-store nutrition information and in-store advertising to make their decisions. By growing the nutrition and rebate programs at AWG stores, I implicitly help thousands of grocery shoppers make healthier choices every day.” -Michelle