Business

Hard Rock Cafe uses Privy to take shoppers’ anonymity out of its digital promotions

Above: Ben Jabbawy of Privy and Kim Matlock of Hard Rock Cafe.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

When Hard Rock Cafe‘s Kim Matlock decided to use Privy’s marketing tools, she wanted to track the conversion rates of her digital advertising. But what is she found instead was that her Facebook ads had a 15-fold return on investment — and that her digital advertising agency’s numbers weren’t adding up.

During VentureBeat’s GrowthBeat conference this week in San Francisco, Matlock sat down with Privy chief executive Ben Jabbawy and Bain Capital Ventures senior principal Indy Guha to discuss how using the online marketing company has helped her nail down exactly how effective her advertising and promotions are in driving revenue from her company’s restaurants, hotels, and casinos.

In short, links to Privy-hosted landing pages were attached to every ad and coupon in Matlock campaigns, which asked people to enter their name and email address in order to unlock the promotions. This showed Matlock what percentage of impressions turned into clicks, and what percentage turned into captured information. People then used the coupons at Hard Rock locations, which Privy then matched to the original ads and coupons, telling Matlock how much money people ended up spending at Hard Rock locations as a result (John Smith clicked on this coupon which he used at this restaurant for this purchase).

“Imagine the effort that Kim [Matlock] would have to undertake to get the feedback manually from the staff,” said Jabbawy.

In addition to discovering a 15-fold return-on-investment from her bare-bones Facebook advertising (Matlock said she refuses to spend a lot on Facebook), she also discovered that the click rates her digital advertising agency was telling her were inaccurate when compared to Privy’s.

“We are paying to get our fans … to actually come on in,” said Matlock.

She and her team invested in organic posts, promoted posts, and ads on Facebook. Outside of Facebook, they bought various types of online ads, and ran email campaigns, which Matlock said “worked really well.”

“That’s something we see consistently across our customers,” said Jabbawy, in reference to Matlock’s multichannel approach to her marketing and promotions.

Moreover, since Matlock’s team now has these customers’ addresses, they can start to use email marketing to convert them into Hard Rock Cafe loyalty program members or send them other promotions. The company’s royalty program was the only channel through which it could track its customers from beginning to end, before it started to use Privy.

Interestingly, when asked to share her thoughts on native mobile apps, Matlock said that while they make sense for certain companies, she doesn’t think Hard Rock Cafe has a need for it right now.

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