Best use of FastStats® 2015 Award

Using FastStats PeopleStage™ to target offers based on value and engagement, increasing margin and relevancy

Company overview

Prezzo is a chain of Italian restaurants operating across the United Kingdom. The first restaurant opened on New Oxford Street, London in November 2000 and there are now over 245 restaurants across the country, with 200 under the core Prezzo brand and 37 under its Mexican-themed Chimichanga. The Prezzo restaurant group also operates the Cafe Uno, and Cleaver chains in the UK. 


Background: Creating value-led differentiation through data

Prezzo approached Planning-inc with a number of business and operational challenges to which they sought a data-led solution. 

A key objective for the business was to address the overwhelming reliance on promotions to drive footfall into restaurants. Prezzo realised that only through harnessing the data assets at their disposal and by fully understanding customer-level dining trends could they address this issue. They saw an opportunity to move from ‘one size fits all’ discounting to a strategically driven one to one communication programme, where promotions were managed at a customer-level based on engagement and spend. 

The business was also keenly aware that being able to address this fundamental challenge would open up the potential for a whole raft of business and customer insight to drive operational and guest experience management activity. Given Prezzo’s requirements and the potential of their data, Planning-inc proposed a solution that would harness the FastStats suite’s key assets; Discoverer, PeopleStage and Geo.

Prezzo is fully harnessing the potential of FastStats. The infrastructure built with Planning-inc represents a powerful customer experience management platform that is moving the dial for the business in terms of incremental revenue and guest management.

Planning-incCreating the customer view… and then bringing it to life for marketers 

Once engaged by Prezzo, Planning-inc first undertook a Single Customer View (SCV) build, bringing together data from a number of disparate data sources including:

  • EPOS sales & discount data
  • Voucher issuance and redemption providers
  • WiFi reg and usage data
  • Email response data
  • Member feedback
  • Payment App data
  • Online reservations through third parties
  • Customer service
  • Gift card sales

With no common key to be found across the sources, a sophisticated matching algorithm was developed to effectively combine records together across all of these sources. Many of these sources had their own definition of a customer and in some cases had no identifiable data at all. In addition, the volume of transactions (naturally a fundamental asset within this build) is enormous; representing millions of records per day, this required significant levels of processing to transform the data. 

Through the use of a purpose built SQL Server SCV, tightly coupled with a Pre-Sorted FastStats design, the underlying FS DB is updated daily, ensuring marketers have full access to up-to-date data. The system has been designed to build using all data available (whether matchable to a real customer or not), meaning the use of FastStats could be opened up to a wider BI audience for operational reporting, over and above marketing activity. 

Total flexibility for marketers

The FastStats design has been created in such a way that PeopleStage can support several approaches to targeting, offering Prezzo marketers full flexibility for achieving differing campaign selection requirements based on business needs. These include:

  • Customer-level campaigns; these might include lifecycle programmes, where communications are based on an individual’s full engagement with Prezzo (for example, a birthday promotion journey)
  • “Contact-level” campaigns; a proportion of customers in the database have multiple contact methods (e.g. an individual may have two email addresses and one mobile number). In certain situations, the business requires the flexibility to choose to select all available contact methods to broadcast a communication to (e.g. weekly newsletters carrying business-led promotions).
  • Operational campaigns reacting to specific interaction; although the SCV brings together a multitude of customer attributes, operation-focused campaigns (such as the “Your booking reminder” sequence of emails built in PeopleStage) are required to run off the subset of data that relates to the individual 3rd party system (in the booking example, this would be the third party online booking system where a customer made the reservation). PeopleStage campaigns are able to utilise the specifics of the data within these systems to power such communications.

The quantity of rich transactional data available provides massive potential for virtual variables. Planning-inc developed a customised persisted variables folder that allows Prezzo marketers to specify which virtual variables created should be refreshed each time the system is deployed, without the need to make design changes. This is crucial as it enables fully automated campaigns without adding unnecessary processing of variables that are only required on an ad-hoc basis.

Optimising guest experiences: managing promotions with real-time execution

With email representing a key communication channel for Prezzo customers, PeopleStage has been integrated directly with the business’ Email Services Provider, ExactTarget, to support email broadcasting. (While email is currently the go-to channel for comms, the design has been configured to enable SMS, DM and Push campaigns through SFTP outputs as required).

As the business sought to optimise its promotional activity and increase the sophistication of targeting, it was essential that any communication sent out of PeopleStage could include a personalised offer that was unique to an individual customer. With the ExactTarget integration in place, Planning-inc worked with Prezzo’s third party voucher supplier to create a custom integration that enables the real-time execution of voucher driven campaigns containing personalised 1-2-1 offers.

Customisation was deployed on the PeopleStage SQL back-end that identifies email broadcasts (later to be extended to other channels) and, through custom APIs, pushes these directly into an offer-content web portal, built and managed by Planning-inc. Through the use of FastStats generated unique keys, URLs are then automatically produced and configured within the email builds that, once deployed and clicked on by recipients, lookup the unique key, generating a new voucher code in real-time to be presented back to the customer.

FastStats users can make use of the multitude of campaign collateral held within the offer portal as dynamic content thorough PeopleStage content attributes. All of this complex functionality is fully hidden from the marketing user, who simply needs to select the relevant channel (“broadcast” or “broadcast with offer”) and ensure that the offer ID that each individual is to be given is specified within the content step.

Evolving Prezzo’s customer contact strategy with FastStats

With the infrastructure built out, tested and imbedded and following bespoke training (designed and managed by Planning-inc), Prezzo now looked to quickly drive value from the newly available data and campaign toolkits. Using a combination of visualisations including cubes, charts and venn diagrams to begin to understand the targeting scope and opportunities available, the teams were quickly able to build and launch the following prioritised marketing programmes:

  • 1. Guest Birthday; a multi stage programme of emails, targeting customers with an upcoming birthday and encouraging them to celebrate at Prezzo. This was the first multi-stage campaign, utilising the customised offer channel to ensure a birthday promotion is unique to the customer and only redeemable by that recipient.
  • 2. Guest Booking Journey; the purpose of this play is to remind guests of their upcoming reservation. Leveraging the closed circle of data between booking and dining, customers who can be identified as having attended their booking are then targeted with a follow up ‘Thank you for visiting’ message. Multiple virtual variables and transactional content attributes were combined to create a fully personalised, relevant operational email, with 9 separate dynamic content blocks containing booking site, date, etc.
  • 3. “Voucher not redeemed”; with Prezzo’s key, “business as usual”, full base promotional emails being powered through PeopleStage, and with the fully integrated promotional management process imbedded, Prezzo was able to add an additional stage of customer targeting to the customer experience. Using FastStats and the integrated till and customer data fed through from the SCV, marketers are able to see where individual customers have requested voucher codes but not redeemed them in-restaurant. This enables the triggering of a follow-up email to qualifying customers to encourage them to make use of their voucher. As with the guest booking journey, multiple virtual variables are required to personalise this campaign, with Planning-inc’s persisted virtual variable folder key to delivering an automated solution.

Prezzo Automated Birthday PeopleStage Campaign Example

Moving forward, a whole programme of behavioural-led communications are on the roadmap for delivery. This includes a multistage, triggered welcome programme, tailored to the source of guest acquisition (e.g. in-restaurant WiFi, third party booking or a direct Prezzo site booking/voucher request. Beyond this, targeting opportunities are endless; crucially the business is now enabled to focus on managing key elements of guest experience such as informing relevant customers of restaurant opening or closures, menu changes or targeting relevant segments with promotions to drive footfall at non-peak times for selected restaurants.

Evolving an insight driven culture through to delivery loyalty and “margin management”

With the first customer plays live, Prezzo and Planning-inc were able to begin the first stages of developing customer and dining insight for the business.