How GrubHub Uses Referral Marketing To Scale Advocacy On A Hyper-Local Level

The ability to tap a few buttons and have fresh, prepared food at your doorstep evokes a kind of joy and satisfaction that can’t be described. Steven Young, Senior Director, Acquisition Marketing at online food ordering company GrubHub (which merged with NYC-based Seamless) saw this delightful experience as a perfect opportunity for leveraging the power of referral marketing to grow the app’s user base. WatchSteven’s Advocamp presentation to learn how the company leveraged customer advocacy, referral marketing and technology to acquire new customers and build excitement around the brand on a hyper-local level.

The CMO’s Guide To The Next Gen Customer Experience
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Here are Steven’s tips for targeting, identifying, and rewarding your advocates to increase referrals and grow your customer base at scale:

1. Creating integrated campaigns

Create integrated campaigns supporting referral marketing that go beyond the “set it and forget it” mindset. Think about your customers, what makes them tick, and figure out how to capture and monetize that.

Rather than just give $5 for every customer referred, GrubHub checked the tolerance for different types of rewards ($5, $10, and $15) and looked at seasonal opportunities to increase business.

If you engage people, says Steven, they will be more likely to share. They want opportunities to be activated and incentivized. He suggests testing multiple campaigns to determine which ones are best before going into the busy season.

2. Finding and rewarding top referrers

Find your top referrers and do something for them. Balance the lifetime value of the customer relative to what you’re paying for the incentive. “We think about referral marketing,” says Steven, “as an incredible engine to drive our new customer acquisition, and existing order acquisition.”

In GrubHub’s case, that means rewarding their top referring customers with a little something extra—to keep them engaged and encourage them to continue referring their friends, family and colleagues.

3. Digging deep into the data

Measure ROI based not only on conversions and how many clicks and advocates you get, but also what time of year this is happening. Look at a granular level with individual campaigns, not just the strategy as a whole. This way, says Steven, you can see the untapped potential of the referral marketing program, and how you can latch onto that to maximize your results.

4. Listening to customer feedback

It’s important to see what your customers are saying about you in real time through your platform. It tells you how they feel in an unfettered, unmonitored and honest way.

Then, you can leverage those nuggets of learning for your marketing campaigns. “It’s a qualitative aspect that all of us are able to see,” says Steven.

Bottom line

Advocacy, at the end of the day, is about the wonderful feeling you get when you tell someone about something you love. And being able to monetize that kind of emotion, says Steven, is GrubHub’s approach. “I knew we had this untapped latent demand and joy for the product that we needed to capture,” he says. “And doing it using technology to help target and make it more effective was the way to success.”

The CMO’s Guide To The Next Gen Customer Experience
Read now!

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