How Wingstop uses data, identity and activation to spice up their digital marketing

On average, consumers interact with brands across a mix of 20+ different touchpoints. Yes, you read that right. That means many companies serve countless messages across multiple channels but overlook channel management and optimization. This can lead to ad waste, poor consumer experiences and a lower ROI.   

So how do you deliver seamless, consistent digital experiences? What are the secret ingredients that will engender trust with consumers and take your marketing to the next level?

In a recent webinar, Epsilon’s VP & Client Partner, John Adamo talked to Wingstop’s VP, Media and Digital Marketing Strategy, Matt Warren, about how the international restaurant chain known for serving the world flavor, also serves its guest relevant advertising and experiences. Wingstop’s special sauce? A combination of high-quality data, strong identity resolution and the right technology to activate across all channels. 

Here are 5 things you can learn from Wingstop’s success:

1. It all starts with your first-party data

Onboarding, cleansing and enriching your consumer data lays the foundation for your digital marketing. A lot of marketers only think about the digital aspect of onboarding their first-party data, settling for an identifier that will hopefully connect them to their ideal consumer—but this often leaves brands with a fragmented and partial view.

Instead, people-based identity resolution, like Epsilon’s CORE ID, links the PII (personally identifiable information) and pseudonymous worlds to accurately match a brand’s first-party data to CORE ID (and with it, 7,000+ attributes). This means you connect with a real person, not an identifier, with unmatched transparency and accuracy.

When Wingstop enhanced their first-party data with Epsilon’s CORE ID, they were able to dedupe and complete their first party data gaps with third-party data across demographic, psychographic, contextual and transactional dimensions to gain the 360-degree view of the guest they were craving—even understanding a guest’s propensity for fried vs grilled chicken and sandwiches. Matt explains, “Completing that guest profile is so important so you can deliver the right message to the true right customer, but also make sure you’re not driving the wrong impressions or too many impressions across your media landscape."

2. Strong identity allows you to uncover growth audiences

When your data is rooted in strong, person-based identity, you can begin to break down who your customers are—what do they look like in real life? What are they interested in? What kind of media do they consume? How do they spend their money?

Wingstop used the answers to these questions alongside Epsilon’s proprietary transactional data to uncover real growth opportunities that are based on real people–both current guests and prospects—to create multi-dimensional segmentation with hundreds of audiences available for activation across channels. They can anticipate what their customers are craving next and define experiences for 1:1 personalization.

When you set your sights on building robust, data-driven audiences, you’ll drive business outcomes, conversions and increase customer lifetime value.

3. Audiences are only as good as your ability to reach them

Identifying the right audience is important, but are you able to actually reach them?  “This is especially challenging in the labyrinth of paid media,” John notes. “Identity Solution providers often tout impressive match numbers—but devices and email addresses aren’t real people. Think about it: There are more than 200 million adults in the U.S. who, on average, have more than four active email addresses and more than three devices…four email addresses do not equal four customers.”

Creating a consistent and accurate connection with customers starts with a trustworthy identity solution. Epsilon’s CORE ID was able to provide Wingstop with a persistent identifier across online and offline touchpoints with an >80% match rate. “This allows us to be highly efficient with our media spend, because I know there won’t be wasted media impressions. We know that, for example, John is John [across all devices],” Matt notes.

4. Connect the dots with personalization across all channels

Accurately identifying customers across devices and maintaining a persistent connection with them becomes even more critical when you understand just how many ways there are to reach a consumer online. Wingstop found that an average guest interacts with 26+ digital touchpoints over the course of 90 days. This is where it can get tricky: marketers have unprecedented access to their customers, but it’s what they do with that access that matters.

Epsilon's platform uses machine learning to interpret millions of signals every second. By combining AI with creative, Wingstop can serve dynamic ads to the right audiences at the right time. Whether it’s knowing that John, for example, needs to get his order in before the big game and sending him new Limited Time Offer flavors, or that Jane would like a weekday deal that her whole family will love and offering her a Boneless Meal Deal. It all comes back to knowing your guests and having the ability to reach them when they need you most.

When we tie all online and offline activities back to a single identifier based on a real person, we are then able to understand the path to purchase and optimize channel strategy—ultimately impacting the customer experience and delivering improved marketing dollar ROI. Remember: It’s about messaging them in the right way at the right time rather than serving up a bunch of impressions and hoping one sticks.

5. Measure against real people, not impressions

So, how does Wingstop prove this strategy is actually driving outcomes? The level of connection CORE ID provides allows the restaurant chain to get specific in its measurement, too.

“We’ve seen strong growth in our ability to get the right message to the right customer, which gives us granular insight into our media buy. We know where we’re driving efficiency, where we’re driving gains, and it’s lead to overall a growth in our customer base; Strong acquisition and strong retention over time,” Matt explains.

For Wingstop, better measurement has led to more high-yielding customers and segments, a deeper understanding of customer journeys across awareness media like video and performance media like display, and has proven incremental growth time and time again.

To find this level of marketing success, look for a partner that can provide full transparency into every impression and outcome.

Wrapping it up

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the special mixture of high-quality data, strong identity resolution and the right technology to activate across all channels.

Completing and enhancing your customer data is pivotal for your brand to build an accurate and persistent identity resolution solution. As the marketing ecosystem continues to change and evolve (think: third-party cookie and signal deprecation), identity will become an even greater asset because it does more than just connect your brand to a digital touchpoint or person on the web; it can connect the dots between online and offline channels to give you unparalleled consumer insights to use across the business.

Wingstop found their secret sauce. Are you ready to find yours?  

If you’re interested in learning more about what Epsilon’s CORE ID can do for your brand, don’t hesitate to reach out. In the meantime, watch the full conversation here and learn more about Epsilon Digital.