Sparkfly founder and CEO Catherine Tabor and Chipotle’s vice president of digital strategy and product Nicole West, were recently featured on Alan Hart’s Marketing Today podcast to share the successful strategy behind their innovative digital partnership.
Since the partnership’s launch in 2017, Chipotle has experienced incredible growth including:
Stock price more than doubling since last year
Total sales increasing by 10% from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019
Digital sales increasing by 100% from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019
Digital sales accounting for 15% of total Q1 sales
Catherine and Nicole discuss the partnership between Chipotle and Sparkfly, which has included the launch of a promotions management platform to:
Streamline data flow between systems
Support new marketing tactics
Reduce the level of hands-on support needed from IT and POS team
“Sparkfly allows customers to redeem offers in-store and on our digital platform in a frictionless way,” Nicole shared.
During her 13-year tenure at Chipotle, Nicole shared that she has seen a lot of exciting changes on the digital front.
“We have learned over the past 5-6 years that our customers are craving a frictionless digital experience and the more simple and engaging, the better,” Nicole said.
When Chipotle teamed up with Sparkfly, they were looking for opportunities to deliver convenience and meet customers where they are with easy-to-use ordering interfaces, as well as fun and unexpected ways to differentiate Chipotle such as partnerships with influencers like Venmo.
“Sparkly gives us the foundational technology to communicate with our customers in creative ways,” Nicole explained.
“Where we show up might be a little unexpected, but it works and it allows us to engage with customers in a really fun way,” Nicole continued.
Nicole and Catherine both emphasized the importance of finding the right partner, particularly in the technology space.
“Beyond the capabilities that they brought to the table, Catherine and her team partner with us on thought leadership, which has been really valuable to us,” Nicole said. “They help ensure our offer and promotion strategies are on point, and they have helped to give our marketing teams increased flexibility to execute strategy really quickly and pivot on a dime when necessary.”
The Sparkfly team is used to going above and beyond for clients, as Catherine detailed how Sparkfly has evolved as a business to bridge the gap between the multitude of “point-based solutions” in the vast marketing ecosystem.
“Where we’ve found our highest and greatest value to our customers is really serving as a connector between those partners and the in-store systems because we do that in a very reliable, scalable and organized way,” Catherine said.
Nicole agreed, “Sparkfly is a solution that allows us to be more agile and flexible with offers and promotions for our customers.”
Catherine and Nicole share valuable advice for QSR and retail leaders looking to replicate Chipotle’s success, give perspectives on female leadership in business, and reflect on brands they’re watching in the digital space, plus make predictions for the future of marketing (hint: it’s all about the relationships).
The full podcast is available here.
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