We hit, on average, four more orders for each guest we targeted, and we’re seeing higher order values as well.”

Pete Buscani, Executive Vice President of Marketing

When Buddy LaRosa told his father he was going to open a pizza parlor in 1954, his father thought he was crazy. At the time, most Americans had never even heard of pizza. Now, after more than 60 years in business, the Cincinnati-based LaRosa’s Family Pizzeria is still innovating, growing into a regional power with a focus on cultivating cross-channel customer satisfaction.

The company’s success is built upon the loyal relationships it nurtures with its engaged customer base. Online, mobile, and in-app ordering allow it to collect key information on its guests, but it initially struggled to fully leverage the data to drive sales.

Past email efforts lacked personalized sophistication. Faithful LaRosa’s guests, for example, received the same information and product deals as one-time patrons.

“We were starting from scratch. We had lots of data. We had lots of loyal guests. But we didn’t have a clear strategy,” said Pete Buscani, Executive Vice President of Marketing at LaRosa’s. “We worked with HyperDrive, which implemented Salesforce as that other link in the chain from a guest satisfaction and engagement standpoint, especially when we began using AMPscript to pull in and filter our data to create personalized guest journeys.”

LaRosa's began by segmenting guests based on order type, purchase frequency, purchase size, and even time of purchase. This information was used to create three customer personas: good, better, and best.

The personas are the basis for approximately 100 unique email journeys. The company’s onboarding journey consists of 14 emails, tailored by region.

Attention to individualized guest service and targeted messaging, along with promoting opportunities to win prizes once a new guest has completed an online profile, have propelled LaRosa's expansion into new cities and states.

Still, it’s not just new guests influencing growth. One of LaRosa's main goals in segmenting guests so specifically and engaging them with personalized messaging was to garner just one more order from each of its “best” — or most loyal — guests. Setting a control group for testing its new, dynamic email journeys, the company blew away its initial goal.


We want guests to choose how they want to engage with us, instead of constraining them to one mode of communication”

Pete Buscani, Vice President of Marketing
“We hit, on average, four more orders for each guest we targeted, and we’re seeing higher order values as well,” said Buscani. “Our best guests alone contributed millions to our bottom line.”

LaRosa’s is looking to the future to further optimize each guest’s experience. For example, the company developed an online profile that will allow its guests to customize how they receive notifications and updates.

“We want guests to choose how they want to engage with us, instead of constraining them to one mode of communication,” said Buscani. “We want to provide cohesive cross-channel interactions, so our SMS messages are still directly tied to email.”

If a guest receives an email, but doesn’t place an order within two days, for example, that guest will receive an update sent from Marketing Cloud’s Mobile Studio using the MobilePush feature to spur further action. In LaRosa's quest to engage guests on cross-channel journeys, it’s finding innovative ways to nurture the ideal customer, and is beginning to inject more menu-specific messaging, such as information about calzones, via dynamic content based on previous customer actions.

“We might have an ideal guest, but Marketing Cloud is smart enough to realize — through types of orders, order frequency, and other factors relating to individual guests — who can be incentivized and nurtured to purchase more through relevant, 1-to-1 messaging that is specific to his or her preferences,” said Buscani.

With the power of Marketing Cloud, LaRosa's continues to expand its reach while creating a loyal customer base. Not bad for a business that started as a “crazy” idea.


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