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Slam Dunk!

4 Feb, 2010 By: Jacqueline Renfrow Response

Coffee and baked-goods leader Dunkin’ Donuts ushers marketing into a new decade using digital DR.

Tryder went on to explain the excitement that swarms around the possibilities for the future in mobile. And he looks forward to when technology advances a bit more and those ideas become reality. For example, right now, a consumer has to show a DD crewmember his or her phone with an SMS offer. For the future, however, DD is looking into new technologies to make the use of promotions at the cash register even easier. “In the interim, we’re working with franchisees who want to take advantage and make a connection with the customer and drive incremental business,” says Tryder. “It’s a balancing act for Dunkin’, but we’re excited about great opportunities.”

The Value of Socializing
Last year was a big launch year for DD’s online social media strategy. The brand has more than 1 million fans on Facebook and about 40,000 followers on Twitter — which is run by “Dunkin’ Dave,” who has developed a voice and personality that keeps loyal customers following.

“Communications on Facebook and Twitter, and social media in general, at the end of the day, it’s just typical human behavior brought into the digital space,” says Tryder. “It’s a place to connect in a way that’s easy, similar to the way people used to use phone or E-mail. People’s need to engage or interact hasn’t changed, and these places make it easier.”

While Tryder says the conversations about the brand were already going on long before last year, DD decided they didn’t want to interfere, but to join in and add value. Brand ambassadors, such as Dunkin’ Dave, respond to questions and run consumer forums. For instance, after launching the new DD-SMART product line — which includes items such as Latte Lite, egg-white flatbread sandwiches and multi-grain bagels — the company asked consumers on Facebook to try these items and give feedback. Brand managers and the head of the culinary team were able to respond to questions about the products online.

“Social media provides a community that will give you honest feedback that is cost effective and in real time,” says Tryder.

DD runs promotions through Facebook, as well. When the brand re-lunched some of its Coolatta iced beverage flavors, it asked customers to take a photo of them and their favorite Coolatta and post it on the site. Prizes were given out weekly for the best photo. “They [online social networks] play a valuable role for consumers too. It shows we’re interested, we take it seriously and we want them to participate and engage in social media. It’s cost effective, powerful, and we will continue to explore and be creative with it in the next year and moving forward,” says Tryder. “To me, the direct response part of it is key. It just fits into the DR model: asking for feedback and information. Certainly it is an opportunity to put offers out there and special promotions and participate online or go into stores.”

Also in the digital realm, E-mail is a large part of Dunkin’ Donuts’ direct response and loyalty campaigns. Dunkin’ Perks is a program that Tryder and his team support nationally, but is also used to drive local market content, news offers, etc. For example, nationally, DD sends out an E-newsletter to all customers in the database and customizes the content to what’s important in the local market at that particular time.

“We ran an acquisition campaign for the Perks database. People could opt in to win coffee for a year — delivered to your home each month,” notes Tryder. E-mails, social networks, in-stores, even hot coffee cups — the brand uses multiple channels to drive enrollment into the Perks program. Being a member gets customers into the database and makes them eligible for local promotions by E-mail, mobile, etc.

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