Competition remains stiff in the food delivery industry to high-stakes restaurants. As Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash, and Grubhub battle for market share, tactics are being deployed to differentiate what can easily be seen as a commodity service.
I recently asked Jess Burns, vice president of branding and creative marketing at Grubhub, what her teams are doing to cultivate their brand.
Paul Talbot: What have you focused on with your marketing strategies?
Jess Burns: Find innovative ways to develop and grow our restaurants while providing diners with a more valuable dining experience. It is a virtuous circle. The more we encourage our diners to order delivery, the more business we can generate in our restaurants. And given our industry’s competitive environment today, inspiring our diners means getting creative and thinking outside the delivery bag.
Like sharing new mealtime ideas or aligning our brand with the interests of relevant diners or investing in emerging media and channels like augmented reality (AR) and live broadcasts to reach diners in more engaging ways.
Customer engagement through personalized experiences is also an important part of our marketing strategy, and we have used our year in review emails to diners as an opportunity to build brand value and inspire future commissioning opportunities.
Braze was instrumental in developing the personalized and dynamic emails that our diners received and came to love.
Talbot: When marketing to restaurants, what goals are you trying to achieve?
Burns: First of all, we are deeply sensitive to the impact that Covid-19 has had on the restaurant industry. Our commitment to provide support and resources to help them recover is our primary focus.
To do this, we want to communicate and demonstrate to our partner restaurants that we can help them increase orders and attract new diners and provide them with business management tools and marketing support to help drive sustainable growth.
Simply put, we exist to serve restaurants and their diners. We don’t succeed if our restaurants don’t succeed.
Talbot: How has your use of social networks evolved?
Burns: Our diners have always looked to social media to inspire their cravings, which is why we focus on sharing trending, food-first-focused content and conversations that support their favorite local restaurants.
As new trends and platforms emerge and our diners seek both inspiration and entertainment, we have evolved to create platform specific content, working with TikTok influencers. like Addison Rae at hosting our first monthly live YouTube music series, Sound Bites, at Twitch takeovers with our game partners for League of Legends to meet our guests where they are now.
Talbot: What has proven to be effective in differentiating Grubhub from its competitors?
Burns: We’re super focused on how we deliver more value – unique value – to our restaurants, diners, drivers and their communities as a whole. To achieve this, we’ve leveraged the data to listen to what matters most to them when choosing a delivery brand.
Talbot: Do you have any other marketing strategy ideas you would like to share?
Burns: We have found partnerships to be a promising way to reach new untapped audiences. We have tested the eSports audience with different initiatives over the past few years and are excited to continue to invest and grow in this community.
There are over 214 million gamers in the United States and their average viewing time is over three and a half hours. So this is an exciting audience for us to target.
Developing our own direct-to-consumer content is an effective way to drive brand engagement. To do this, we launched our own pre-pandemic concert series, Soundbites, and turned it into a live broadcast event as a way to entertain and add value to diners’ home ordering experiences. .
This event attracted 2 to 7 million viewers per show and view times of 10 to 12 minutes, a level of engagement rarely seen by brands.