Wendy’s will overlay its customer data, like credit card information, with Spotify’s playlist data to find the right audiences and hit them with the right message. But the fast food joint isn’t targeting a specific demo. It’s more interested in targeting the moment.
“A full-time working mom is demographically the same all day long, but on the way to work, she has different needs because she’s in a rush or she just got kids out the door,” Rhoten said. “Her needs are different at lunch, when she’s trying to take a break, [and] when she’s on the way home and needs to pick up her kids and get food on the way. We care a lot less about her age and income level and a lot more about what does she want from us?”
Branded Moments isn’t Wendy’s first experiment with digital audio – nor with Spotify.
“We’ve had dozens of executions with Spotify over the last couple of years, and it’s been pretty clear that [digital audio] is a critical part of the puzzle,” Rhoten said. “It’s definitely the one that people tend to have accessible when they’re making that final moment decision.”
Wendy’s will measure campaign success by looking at the lift in foot traffic to its restaurants, which is a strong proxy for sales, Rhoten said. The quick-serve restaurant gets real-time traffic data from its franchise locations, which it will tie back to media spend. It will also look at sales lift on the Double Stack sandwich.
If the results are strong, Wendy’s will continue to advertise on Spotify.
“The question now becomes scale,” Rhoten said. “Every channel has an ideal return on investment, and that’s what we’re trying to figure out.”
The campaign is part of a digital transformation that Wendy’s has undergone over the past five years. As the quick-serve restaurant builds out a data management platform, a more robust CRM infrastructure and a multitouch attribution system in-house, it relies on data from partners like Spotify to help it target more granularly.
“As far as using our first-party data, we are baby-stepping our way right now,” Rhoten said. “We are relying on partners more than anything.”
For Spotify, Branded Moments is part of a push into native advertising for 2017. It builds on the success of Sponsored Playlists, launched in 2016, which allows brands to sponsor one of Spotify’s owned and operated playlists for a week. “Today’s Top Hits,” has 12 million followers; “Rap Caviar” has 5 million. Brands including Kia, Starbucks, Netflix and General Mills have run sponsored playlists campaigns.
Kia in particular saw a 30% increase in brand awareness, 100% increase in brand perception and 700% increase in purchase consideration from its sponsored playlist campaigns. On average, Spotify sees a 34% spike in engagement on sponsored playlists. Spotify will launch the product in 10 new markets this year.
“You have loyalists that listen to those playlists time and time again,” Lee said. “Brands really want to tap into that existing listenership.”