By UTalkMarketing Editor, Clark Turner.
Fancy a takeaway tonight? You wouldn’t be alone. Despite the recession, dining-in is a growth business. Restaurants might be seeing a downturn in trade but that’s being replaced by comparatively less expensive takeaways.
Just-Eat.co.uk is the leader in the field for ordering restaurant takeaways, with both a growing national presence and registered restaurant base. The company was founded in Denmark in 2001 and has risen to become the undisputed online champion of European takeaway.
It currently operates in seven countries – with two more to be added by Summer 2010 – hosting 8,000 registered restaurants and 1.5 million registered members. The site receives over 1.5m visits a month.
This year (2010) the company forecasts it will generate £175m worth of sales for its takeaway partners, helped in no small part buy a recent ad campaign as created by Hooper Galton.
Starring the rather entertaining animated characters ‘Brain’ and ‘Belly’, it hopes to engage busy people in their 20s, carrying the end line, ‘Order takeaway. The smart way’, to convey the message that orders can made and paid for online.
Rolled out nationally from early November 2009, TV has been supported by print and online.
“Despite what people might think there are not that many takeaway companies. And operating at a national level, we are different in terms of scale, offering a far bigger choice with over 4,000 restaurants registered in the UK. That’s 1,500 more than our nearest competitor,” chief marketing officer at Just-Eat.co.uk, Mat Braddy, told UTalkMarketing.
“We’re also different in sense of our European ambitions, not to mention being the only online takeaway brand to advertise on TV.”
He added, “From a consumer marketing point of view, we are a brand and we care about that brand and building an emotional connection with consumers.”
The trend in dining-in driven by the recession has been a blessing for the company with entertaining at home with restaurant quality food being a less expensive option than actually dining in the restaurant.
As a result, the company has seen a huge uplift in trade. Launched in the UK in 2007, over the past 18 months it’s seen business grow at a rate of “hundreds” of per cent a year according to Braddy.
But with 4,000 registered restaurants on Just-Eat.co.uk, how can the company monitor the standard of food they are dishing up?
The answer is in the hands of the users who are asked for feedback following each purchase, providing Just-Eat with valuable data that enables them and their restaurants to improve the ordering experience.
“TV has been a key marketing channel for us,” Braddy admitted. “Before we went on air, many people were still not aware that an online offering like ours existed. They were still reaching for that grubby leaflet at the back of the kitchen drawer.
“Instead, what we offer is user-generated restaurant reviews and ratings on a bright shiny website. Users can also pay online so they don’t need to worry whether they have enough cash on them.”
He continued, “Ordering online, with a confirmation sent straight away, also removes any language confusion and inaccuracies that might be made over the phone.”
The reach of the TV has been extended through rollout on Channel 4oD and YouTube, significantly extending the campaign footprint.
But it’s in social media, that the company has seen a huge involvement with consumer engagement.
The company blog allows users to share what they have ordered. Likewise on Twitter and a Just-Eat Facebook page. The result is huge ‘word of mouth’ marketing as driven by consumers.
In-game advertising has also proved successful in reaching the key market demographic of young males.
Involvement with Microsoft’s ‘One Versus 100’ game saw the ad being exposed to an audience of over 90,000 players. iPod game are now also in development.
“It’s good to look at other platforms outside the traditional where people can’t skip TV ad viewing,” added Braddy.
eMail marketing involves hitting registered users as the weekend approaches. According to the marketing man, making offers as local as possible to recipients is key to making mail relevant.
So what has being at the helm of Just-Eat following his marketing days at Top Table and Gameplay taught Braddy?
“Soft and simple marketing works best. As we get more digital, don’t forget to remember the physical stuff as well,” he revealed.
“For our business, stickers play a critical role in marketing and each restaurant signed up to Just-Eat displays a branded sticker in their window.”
Braddy concluded, “Having the marketing collateral that restaurants can distribute for you is vital. But of course, we do sexy widgets too.
See 'Brain' and 'Belly' in action below.
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