As a customer-centric organization, Rich’s is always focused on supporting its customers in their efforts to build more sales and profits.
“At the end of the day, this is a people business, and without strong relationships that help customers become more successful in the marketplace, nothing else matters,” said Monica H. San Miguel, who leads Customer & Integrated Marketing for the Foodservice Division of Rich Products Corporation. “Our mission is to serve as the customer’s premier culinary resource and trusted, go-to advisor for transforming menus into can’t-miss moments – that’s the heart of the Rich’s brand and why foodservice operators keep coming back to us.”
To deepen those relationships and help create additional demand for the products it provides its customers, Rich’s has recently developed a new portfolio of digital tools that furnish its existing sales force with greater field support. “We have, in effect, installed an entirely new digital infrastructure to enrich the customer relationship and enhance demand creation for both Rich’s and, ultimately, the foodservice operator,” explained San Miguel, whose responsibilities include Customer Relationship Management marketing and “E-nabled” demand creation strategies. “Building strong relationships with operators and customers in foodservice is always a challenge, but it’s what sets us apart.”
“Demand creation” essentially entails looking for opportunities to establish audiences and generate or increase sales for a brand’s products or services. In contemporary marketing circles, the focus on demand generation normally must include proficiency in related disciplines, such as data management and marketing analytics. These practices can be effectively used to define sales targets, personalize communications with customers, and evaluate the effectiveness of subsequent marketing efforts, from individual tactics such as email communications or website landing pages to overall campaign performance.
One brand-new component of the digital marketing transformation at Rich’s is a digital dashboard that company sales teams have begun using to track every customer or prospect interaction – from simple emails and phone inquiries to Web searches and other mobile and social media communications – in the search for product solutions.
By knowing what participating customers are looking for and where, Rich’s through its digital dashboard (nicknamed RED, an allusion to one of the company’s colors) can link them to company products and resources that fill those client needs.
“For restaurants, we might end up showing the operator ways to build more traffic or performing some clever menu engineering, because it’s all about helping our customers with their bottom line,” San Miguel stated. “When foodservice operators can create great experiences for their patrons, increased consumption and product sales naturally will follow.”
“As we capitalize on the ability to nurture these direct operator interactions and strengthen relationships with customers through our new digital dashboard, we’re not only helping the customer’s business, but also building brand loyalty and advocacy for Rich’s,” she continued. “RED now allows us more-meaningful contact with customers along their path to purchase, as well as a better understanding of that journey.”
That type of intimate contact helped the Fort Lee U.S. Army post, in Prince George County, Va., elevate its food court pizza program. Using their RED tools, Rich’s Customer & Integrated Marketing Team and Sales associates introduced the military installation to an oven-rising, sheeted dough and new merchandising materials that have driven more pizza sales and opened up discussion about other product options, such as flatbreads.
“The Fort Lee success story demonstrates how these new digital tools support both the sales team and the foodservice operator, by letting customers know that we excel in their priority menu areas and also have additional, high-quality products for consideration and trial,” San Miguel said. “In reality, we’re helping customers be more successful through a combination of elements. It’s not just digital, because nothing replaces your live sales force. But we’re using technology to enable that success in the field.”
As a best-in-class, strategic-selling support dashboard that will continue to grow and branch out, RED is becoming part of Rich’s larger, integrated Customer Relationship Management system, San Miguel noted. “Our bigger vision is a leadership role in the industry, relative to digital and interactive marketing, which helps build demand.”