Commentary

Next Generation QSR: Emerging Roles in Marketing and Digital Experience

These days there are six emerging roles in marketing and digital experience. Nabeel Alamgir, CMO at Bareburger, rattled them off in an engaging and informative presentation on Thursday at Marketing:QSR.

There's the Growth Hacker, who is figuring out how to get away from food delivery brands that take up to 30% of the check. Bareburger does this through online ordering ("Domino's excels at this, Alamgir said), Facebook ordering and through ad-roll retargeting across Facebook, Instagram and Spotify. If someone puts an item in the brand's cart, "it follows you around the digital landscape," he said. 

Another tactic is through web promotions offering a free burger when a customer downloads its app. That has moved the needle from a 2% download in 2017 to a projected 13% download this year.

The Pipeline Specialist has what Alamgir calls a "boring role." That person makes sure "we can increase our check average and customer frequency. We can never be as fast as Chipotle but make we can make the experience better." In certain locations, the company is testing ways to increase the impulse purchase with grab 'n' go items.

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One of his favorite roles is the Marketing Data Analyst. Using Cardalytics, Bareburger can track credit cards that haven't even been swiped. They can see how often a customer comes back or doesn't. The brand has implemented Slow Hour Friends on Mondays and Tuesdays, partnering with the Lulu App and Kettle Space App. With the former, customers can purchase a trip to the restroom. With the latter, Bareburger finds that 23% of the time customers coming through Kettle do purchased something.

With Zen Reach, when someone signs up to use the restaurant's WiFi, tons of data points are collected. "You need WiFi, we need data," he quipped. This way, the brand can keep on targeting customers. Every four weeks, it gives customers $5. "It's an aggressive campaign to win customers back." With Flash promos, if someone orders from Bareburger at noon, the following week they'll get a promotion at 11 a.m.

Then there's the UI/UX Designer, who makes sure the company knows who is eating at its restaurants by building customer profiles. This person creates dual websites, one for the vegan customer and one for the non-vegan. Target marketing is done via its email blast. To add "a ton of value," customers can click on any item and get a detailed report on it, including its provenance. "There's something for everyone, including a calorie-specific menu that may be useful to people on certain diets.

Alamgir's "personal favorite" role is the Inbound Marketer who creates the marketing stack, all the tools they use at Bareburger. It is here that articles about anything but the brand are created, mostly about nutrition and the planet. "Just to add value," he said. "Ninety percent of what we do is ask people to buy our stuff. We can take a break now and then." Articles are converted to videos for kids 4 to 12. Here, the company is launching a nutritionist in Q4. And each restaurant does one local activation every month in order to give back to the community. After all, Bareburger started in 2009 as just a "good, local burger joint."

And lastly, there's the Chief Experience Officer, Alamgir's own role. "We do a lot of activations in this space to push boundaries," he said. With Snapchat, it does an AR campaign whereby users scan a code and a virtual burger is placed on the table. "It became a viral campaign last year," he said. "My team has to go to a talk or a startup event every week and look for what's next out there."

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