Omni-channel marketing best practices with Deliveroo’s Levi Aron

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You may have noticed Deliveroo over the last probably 4-6 months expanding across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Their little league of bikes and mopeds driving around your favourite locations, your favourite restaurants and bringing delicious meals towards you, to your house, to your office, in order to entertain you for lunch or dinner.

Deliveroo is a global company currently in 12 countries, with a presence 77 cities. It operates with roughly about 5,000 drivers working with premium restaurants and to offer premium delivery.

The platform works in a very hyper-local way and so if you’re looking at where you live using the website or app, the restaurants that you enjoy and that you recognise are the restaurants that you’ll notice.

“We want restaurants that straight away you recognise and you also understand and can believe that they will be delivered to you in a very short amount of time,” explained Australia country manager, Levi Aron addressing attendees at the 2016 Online Retailer Conference.

“What we’ve been doing with Deliveroo is offering consistent service. Delivery in the past has been something of a Russian Roulette. You don’t know what you’re getting, when you’re getting it and you sort of go through lists and lists of restaurants and every experience is very different. So what we strive to do at Deliveroo is to bring that food to your home or to your office, but in a way that you can bank on every single time and in a way that’s very delightful to you throughout the whole process and through the end of our process.”

The product is prime

Before getting into omni-channel marketing, Aron unpacked the importance of product and more significantly – making sure your product is right.

Whether you have a physical products or a tech product that you can’t actually hold in your hand, it’s very important that the product is as good as it can be right now with a roadmap of how you can strive to make it better, says Aron.

“I think that’s key and that’ve very important to start off with. You need to be able to put something out there in the market that going to be received and feel confident with that and then be able to market accordingly to audiences that are entailed.”

Deliveroo is an iPhone and Android app, it’s also available on your desktop.

“We try and keep it very simple. On the app it’s three clicks, you’re in and you’re out and your food is on your way. So that’s something that we do on the tech side and could be different depending on sort of what product, what brand that you’re working with. It’s very quick; average delivery time is about 32 minutes around the globe, and in Australia it’s about 32 minutes and that’s on the average, every dinner and every lunch.”

They currently have over 1 million active customer and are growing at a crazy rate of about 30 percent month on month.

One of their struggles has been dealing with that growth and managing that growth in a sustainable way.

“In Australia we have about 1200 restaurants on our platform. We launched in October last year in Australia, went live in November and since then we started with about 40 restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney and that number of restaurant’s now spread across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.”

As far as omni-channel marketing, and their Asia-Pacific and global expansion, Aron wants to share what they’ve learnt from their experiences here and abroad.

Before you start with where you’re marketing, one of the fundamental marketing principles is knowing where your customers are coming from.

“The research that needs to go into that could be digital research, through Neilson or through other sorts of information databases to truly understand that you have a product, this product is going to be working with this type of demographic, this demographic lives in this sort of area, if you’re working in a physical sort of product like ourselves.”

“If you’re just purely digital then that’s less important, but understand that, and understand what the balance is between male and female. So in Deliveroo it’s about 60 percent female, 40 percent male. Our demographics are 18-35 years olds, which is probably about 75 percent of our demographics, and then 35-50 year olds are the other 25 percent of our demographics.”

Once you understand your demographics, you can understand how to market to them.

The way that Deliveroo markets to 22 year olds versus 45 year olds is quite different. They make sure that they are targeting their marketing so that with any campaign, whether it’s across digital, whether it’s offline, out of home, they make sure that they test and integrate them so that it’s a marketing initiative that they can use that will work across all channels.

“We’re in a multi channel marketing environment and that’s the whole point of omni-marketing, to be able to make sure that those touch points that we have throughout that customer journey, or throughout a journey prior to becoming a customer, is something that is consistent across all platforms, so what you experience on digital should reflect what you do offline and vice versa.”

“Not so long ago, maybe 5-10 years ago it was more of a separation. We could have our digital presence in one way, which you pushed very hard, and then you’d walk into a store or restaurant and that experience that was there was quite different. What we’re trying to do is merge those two together and keep those right. By doing so, then you have much better success in order to have a chance at omni-channel marketing.”

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Speaking to customers on a daily basis also enables you to understand where you need to market.

Many businesses build a pretty amazing product because they feel it’s fixing a problem that they may have or a solution for something that they’re thinking of and it’s relevant to them. But along the way, as they get caught up in the engineering, developing and planning, they get stuck in this bubble and forget to speak to the customer.

“I think that’s not just a startup thing, but it’s also on a retail level and on many different levels. Go out and speak to customers. Where did you hear about us from? Was it digital? Was it offline?”

“We do a survey on a weekly basis across the globe with a sample of our customers to understand where they heard about Deliveroo. Did they hear about it from an eDM? Did they hear about it from social share? Did they hear about it from a poster that they saw or a card they were handed at a train station? Did they hear about it from, or see our bikes riding around and that intrigued them and they sort of followed that on?”

As a result they know that about 35-40 percent of their customers come to them from seeing their bikes on the road.

“They see the bikes, it’s a moving billboard, it intrigues them, they’re interested and they go from that and do a little bit of research or a friend talks about it at a BBQ and they get involved that way.”

It’s this interaction with customers that gives insight into the purchasing journey and helps them understand where to put their marketing dollars.

“Part of that is obsessing over the customer journey, so we want to know that every single customer is having a great experience. Not always possible, but we want to understand what those indicators are as we’re going along, so that’s part of speaking to the customer.”

“You want to be able to have data so that you can measure, to be able to experiment on that, and at the end of the day you want to be able to delight your customers.”

So common mistakes that are related to omni-channel, or just marketing and business itself, is overcomplicating things. There are still things that a business can implement quite fast and there are things that need to come later on.

“But it’s more sort of things that you can test, put into the market, have a look at that, measure and come back and say, ‘that worked, that didn’t work’, says Aron.

What it really boils down to is how you’re measuring and how you’re doing this.

“There’s a lot of different analytics out there, a lot of different metrics that we use to measure our business. Each business is different. So measuring everything, looking through that and being able to pivot and adapt to that.”

“So if I find that we’re doing a mail drop to a whole lot of suburbs in Sydney and I didn’t get a good return rate on that and I’ve got another one booked next month or the month after, I would need to cancel that and change that or change the creative that’s being used. So any marketing initiatives you go into, you want to know how can I pull that back very quickly and direct those funds elsewhere? Otherwise you’re going to burn cash.”

Talking about return on investment, Aron explained that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, everyone is working with a limited budget.

Aron says that it’s not enough to say, ‘we’ll allocate 30 percent to offline, 50 percent to digital or search engine marketing (SEM) and then use the balance, 20 percent, somewhere else.’

“You need to be able to measure that on a regular basis, monthly basis, sometimes weekly basis, depending on what sort of format you have to play with and what medium you’re using to be able to allocate those funds. That’s part of being agile, which we’re able to do, but you need to be able to move that in a very quick and sure way. And you’ll fail, you’ll make mistakes, but at least you’re measuring it, you can recognise it straight away and then you can move on to where you need to go.”

Chloe Potvin
Chloe Potvin is a contributing small business writer for Kochie's Business Builders.