Subway’s Michael Lewkowicz on Launching a Mobile Marketing Campaign
Working to leverage the mobile channel to capture more of its customers’ share of wallet, more than 100 Subway restaurants in Buffalo, N.Y. and the Seattle-Tacoma area now offer real-time alerts and coupons to preferred customers via their cell phones. A partnership with Modiv Media— an interactive marketing services firm in Quincy, Mass.—the My Subway Mobile program helps the national sandwich shop chain’s participating stores to drive traffic and sales, as well as to gain insight on specific promotion aspects that appeal to each store and individual customers.
The program works by encouraging customers to sign up at participating locations or by texting a promotional short code to the specified Subway code via their cell phones. Customers are enticed to sign up with an offer for a free six-inch sub with the purchase of a 32-ounce drink.
“We are deploying [the program] to increase customer loyalty through personalized, real-time communications,” says Michael Lewkowicz, chairman of Buffalo SUBWAY Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust and president of QSR Brands, a Subway franchisee in the Buffalo area. “[This] solution gives us an advantage against the competition by utilizing new innovations to rise above the noise created by traditional advertising and marketing.”
In August 2006, Subway launched the program in 12 Buffalo locations. Some stores netted 50 percent coupon redemption rates on the initial run, which is a significant increase over the two to three percent response rates typical of traditional, paper-based coupons and marketing channels, reports Lewkowicz. Here, he discusses how Subway implemented its My Subway Mobile program and details the current results.
Target Marketing: How are you integrating the mobile campaign into your existing marketing mix?
Michael Lewkowicz: With our existing marketing campaigns we are tagging media buys, and created mysubwaymobile.com for people to go in and register to sign up for mobile offers.