After Dunkin’ Donuts launched its mobile app in 2012, the attendant success from that formed the basis for the DD Perks loyalty program that began in 2014.

But, as Paul Murray, Senior Manager Digital Marketing and Innovation, Dunkin’ Donuts, explained during his session, “Mobile as an Accelerator of Loyalty, Evolving the Customer Experience,” on May 25 at the 9th annual Loyalty Expo, presented by Loyalty360 – The Association for Customer Loyalty, the company began to rethink its mobile strategy in 2013.

Mobile + loyalty + payments couldn’t be treated as separate entities, but all part of one entire customer experience.

“Think strategy first, technology second,” Murray said. “It had to be one strategy that converges each day for our customers.”

Anytime there is a new way to communicate with consumers, marketers are faced with a lot of uncharted space. When DD Perks was integrated with mobile, Murray noted, it remained disconnected from the larger brand experience.

For Dunkin’ Donuts, the challenge was to evolve through mobile.

John Bartold, Practice Leader - L|CX at Epsilon, which became Dunkin’s technology partner, told attendees that “loyalty is a fabric of your brand. You have to connect things together. You want to connect with customers at every touch point in real time.”

Consider that Dunkin’ Donuts has about 7,000 locations with two or three POS systems in each location.
After considerable collaboration, Epsilon helped Dunkin’ Donuts turn the corner with mobile and integrate it into one overall, seamless customer experience. Along the way, Murray noted a major mobile campaign that started in Philadelphia with the tagline: “Eagles Win, You Win,” and that also was conducted in New England with “Patriots Win, You Win,” and similar campaigns occurred in New York for the Jets and Giants.

The campaign prompted customers to download the mobile app and they would receive a free medium hot or iced coffee the day after that particular NFL team won a game. The campaigns have been tremendously successful, Murray said.

“In our business, it’s very, very important that we’re fast and correct,” he said. “We pulled a lot of pieces together that we had worked on independently. That adoption fostered nice lifts in activity. If we managed these in silos, we never would’ve gotten here. Mobile, loyalty, and payments are no longer three separate strategies.”

The great thing about Dunkin’s integrated and unified approach, Murray said, is it allows the company to revisit previous ideas.

“The convergence of mobile, loyalty, and payments creates a new medium for us to adopt and test some of our pre-digital strategies,” he explained. “Loyalty isn’t a standalone marketing strategy. It’s a component of an overall marketing strategy. Don’t become overly focused on mobile. Focus on the customer experience and then how to execute across various touch points in a coordinated, seamless experience.”

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