Q&A: Barry Westrum, CMO of Yum Brands' 640 A&W Restaurants

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Q&A: Barry Westrum, CMO of Yum Brands' 640 A&W Restaurants
Q&A: Barry Westrum, CMO of Yum Brands' 640 A&W Restaurants

Barry Westrum, CMO of Yum Brands' 640 A&W Restaurants, discusses its recent campaign

Q: In what channels did you launch the $3 Big Taste Meals campaign?

A: It was designed for consumers looking for other options in their value meals. It's running on a broad spectrum, including a 15-second broadcast [spot], radio, in-store pieces, point of purchase materials, packaging, online social media and our site, BigTasteNation.com. 

Q: The campaign also combines direct mail and SMS, right?

A: We have an aggressive direct mail campaign on a local and national basis. Many consumers use direct mail and other print to get information about restaurant selection, so we're going to be where the consumer is. A lot of our franchisees have taken it upon themselves to move into mobile media, and at the stores, customers can sign up to receive offers. 

Q: You decided to incorporate a customer loyalty program into this effort. Why?

A: The “passport” program [allows us] to reward our loyal customers with free menu items and merchandise. One thing we're doing to broaden our database is to use social media in a way that we haven't in the past. We did an aggressive ad campaign with Facebook. By increasing our fan base, we can build a dialogue with our consumer while delivering offers and new products. 

Q: Can you further explain the interactive and social media aspects of this campaign? 

A: On our microsite, we have a “cabinet,” so consumers can “run for office” by uploading a video stating their candidacy. Then videos can be shared with friends on Twitter and Facebook to generate votes. It's terrific at engaging consumers in a fun way, and gives them a reason to come back to the site again and again. Also, to drive engagement within Facebook, we bought an ad stating that if consumers “like” us and become fans, we give them a free coupon for a $3 Big Taste Meal with the purchase of a beverage. Before our first Facebook campaign, we had around 4,000 fans, and today it's around 63,000. 

Q: What advice do you have for quick-service restaurants launching a direct marketing campaign?

A: As a profession, we need to think outside the box – or television. While it still plays a big role, there are so many other mediums available to build long-term commitment. Winners in that space are those most consistent with brand positioning and who use creativity and innovation. Also, it is important to focus on the core brand strength

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