How to Balance Data & Ideation - Alice Crowder, CMO of Krystal Restaurants
Play • 42 min

For this 40th episode of Restaurants Reinvented, we're hosting the new CMO at Krystal Restaurants, Alice Crowder.  Alice has a very distinct and innovative way of testing "new ideas" and it comes down to a detailed process hinging on research and data -- while still leaving tons of room for creativity.   

Show Highlights:
Balancing Data and the Creative Process
Alice's approach to marketing is a marriage of instinct & innovation supported by a process infrastructure.  Hear how she and her team use data from focus groups & market research to iteratively whittle down from 100 ideas to a select few every six weeks.

Modernizing the Guest Experience
In her first six months as CMO, Alice has spearheaded the launch of Krystal's first mobile app & retooled their website to facilitate loyalty, online ordering, and delivery for their guests. Guests can now meaningfully interact with Krystal like never before; via college athlete ambassadors & influencers on social media.  Early Results: Digital engagement increased from 0.2% to 3.5% in just a few months.

Shifting Focus from Value to >>>  Convenience and Craveability
Alice introduces the idea of efficient indulgence for restaurants. Today, most guests focus more on convenience and craveability than on value. Thus, the next step forward for restaurants is to optimize the off-premise to meet guests where they are (and it's a moving target for sure!!!).

The Emerging Marriage Between Marketing and Technology
Marketing teams are adopting emerging technologies in almost every industry because customer preferences are evolving faster than ever. Alice says Krystal is on track to eventually have 1:1 marketing (as they grow their users on their app), smart menu boards, and even using AI to improve their guest experience.

Krystal Restaurants is the famous burger chain from down South with 360 locations worldwide! Alice previously served as the brand's Vice President of Marketing from 2014 to 2018 before leaving to head innovation at Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

Related Resources:
How Church's Chicken Uses Data to Drive Digital Marketing
Let’s Think Outside the Bun with Greg Creed (referenced episode)
• Connect with Alice on LinkedIn

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