It appears that Subway has found success with their recent partnership with Mobivity Holdings Corp., as they have recently announced an international license expansion with the company.
The partnership, primarily driven by Mobivity’s Recurrency platform, was created to utilize the platform to increase customer visits and spend through targeted communication.
Recurrency does this through one-to-one mobile marketing messages using Google’s Rich Communications Services. RCS, expected by come to replace SMS, incorporates many of the same features as popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and iMessage.

During the 2018 Mobile Marketing Association’s CEO and CMO Summit, Subway’s chief digital officer Carissa Ganelli said the integration of the new platform has “blown the doors off of response rates within the text messaging platform.”

“As marketers, we value the (SMS) platform and channel, but we hate what it looks like. We know images drive more engagement,” she said. “Through Google’s RCS, it makes the experience richer. It’s better than SMS. You can do everything within our marketing discipline within the mobile channel, so we’re not stuck with just plain text. We can include images, have two-way conversations. It’s incredibly valuable.”

“Sixty-three percent of people have no idea what they’re going to eat for lunch within an hour of lunch, and 44% use a mobile device to inform that decision,” Ganelli said during the summit. “If we’re not there, we’re not in their consideration set.”
According to a case study from this new campaign, the program has been a huge success thus far. Subway has reported a return more than ten times their original investment. Subway RCS subscribers on Sprint have a 60% higher click rate and a 146% higher intent to purchase than SMS subscribers.
“This (expansion) is a testament to the success Subway has seen through this relationship to date, but also to the growing value in using one-to-one customer data to create more intelligent and informed campaigns,” said Mobivity CEO Dennis Becker.
“In the past, loyalty was a swipe-able or loyalty card and restaurant companies have spent millions of dollars trying to replicate that on a mobile phone. But you don’t have any gains there,” he said. “Brands haven’t been able to reach the tech-savvy consumer with compelling experiences on mobile.”
In the past year, restaurant companies have struggled to gin new traffic as the industry becomes more saturated and begins to develop based off of new technologies. Many companies have switched to a value-based approach to bring in new customers, but Becker believes a better solution is making more personalized customer connections.
 “We’ll be able to do things like personalized pricing. Right now, if I just offer a footlong for $5, I know I’ll be able to get Dennis Becker in my store twice a month. I have that data,” Becker said. “But if I can have a personal conversation with Dennis, I might be able to talk him into the door three times a month for a $4 footlong. That’s $12 a month from Dennis, versus $10 without that conversation.”

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