QSR Media is conducing a series of interviews with leading CMO's in the industry. In this interview Christine Hooper, Eagle Boys, Group Executive Marketing discusses their new campaign, their design overhaul and how the concept of customer centricity applies to their business.
QSR Media: How is your new "size" campaign being received by customers?
Hooper: The Measure Up campaign was launched on 4 July and helped Eagle Boys record a 20% jump in sales that week compared to the previous week. Feedback we’ve received is that it has resonated with customers – not just existing Eagle Boys customers, but also our competitors’ customers who had noticed that their large pizza was not as large as it once was. Franchisees have reported gaining new customers from competitors who have switched to Eagle Boys because they get more bang for their buck. Importantly, the campaign has helped to further differentiate Eagle Boys in the market. All pizzas are not created equal and for Eagle Boys we’re keen to highlight how our real taste, size and value sets us apart.
QSR Media: The pizza industry is very competitive, how do you differentiate yourselves from a marketing perspective?
Hooper: From a marketing perspective, Eagle Boys will be focussing on three key themes during the next 12 months: Real Taste, Real Size, Real Value. These are the three key points that differentiate Eagle Boys from competitors. What this means is that all our marketing activities will bring to life at least one of these aspects – whether it is a great price to highlight Real Value or new products and ingredients highlighting Real Taste.
Our goal is to create and own the middle ground of the Australian pizza market. This way Eagle Boys is not the cheap and small end of the market, nor is it the overpriced end. In the middle, we can offer customers a range of pizzas, from value favourites through to gourmet, at an affordable price. While pizza lovers are becoming more discerning in terms of the quality and taste of their pizza, they also want to be able to feed the family for under $20.
QSR Media: Online ordering via mobile phones, how much is Eagle Boys investing in this avenue?
Hooper: Online ordering is a key growth area for our business. We expect it to account for over 40% of our sales this financial year. Eagle Boys have invested more than $3 million during the past 12 months into our business technology systems to create a better online ordering experience for our customers. This is not just about the website, but also ensuring the stores are properly connected and able to handle the incoming online orders. Mobile is of utmost importance to our pizza customers and we are exploring quick and convenient mobile ordering solutions. The sky is really the limit with digital at the moment and our customers can expect to see a number of exciting new digital initiatives launch in coming months.
QSR Media: The Eagle Boys design overhaul of its stores, where are you up to with this and what is the response from customers?
Hooper:The new store image continues to be rolled out across Australia – in new stores which are opening and also by refitting existing stores. By the end of the year, we expect more than 70 stores to have the new design.
For the customer, the new store design sees space maximised in the waiting area, additional customer seating, double the menu board space and inbuilt fridges. Behind the scenes, streamlined kitchen areas improve pizza making efficiency. Enlarged photographic images on the walls, along with natural wood and splashes of pink have been used to reflect the Eagle Boys’ “Real” brand.
This is the most significant change to the company’s store design since the pizza maker’s inception in the late 1980s.
About 70% of all sales are pick-up orders so customers are physically interacting with us at our stores. For this reason, we need to ensure it is a positive experience which meets their expectations. A contemporary store design is just one part of this equation, along with great-tasting pizza and excellent service. The new design is not only functional for customers and for staff, but also makes the most of current trends in technology and style. By adopting a fresher and more eye-catching store design, we expect to not only retain loyal customers but also attract new ones.
QSR Media: Tell us how the theory of "customer centricity" applies to Eagle Boys?
Hooper: In today’s environment, it is tough for any business to be competitive if they are not customer focussed. This is especially true in food retailing where competition for tight family budgets is high. At Eagle Boys we have a number of systems in place to monitor and respond to customer trends, and to continually promote a culture of “customer first”. For example, reports from our stores can tell us on a daily and weekly basis what products customers are buying and what they are not buying, while focus groups and research assist in identifying new products which customers want from us. We also invest heavily in training staff so that we can lift the customer service experience – whether it is when they come into the store or are having a pizza delivered. We know that convenience and value are what customers want from us and we’re focussed on delivering that in many ways – from internet ordering and competitive deals, through to instore operations and new product development.
QSR Media: How has the pattern of your media buying changed since embracing econometrics to analyse your marketing efforts?
Hooper: At the end of the day, econometrics has helped us to better understand how our marketing efforts work and to get more bang for our buck. This has also assisted in reporting back to franchisees how their money is being spent and why. Since embracing econometrics, we have been able to better integrate all marketing activities by buying media smarter. So far the analysis has been strongly concentrating more on television and direct mail in our marketing mix, but with this year’s Digital focus, we are also expanding the role of online and social media in our marketing.
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