Brinker International, Inc. announced the additions of industry veteran Steve Kelly as vice president of marketing and award-winning business agency GALE as CRM agency of record. Both moves allow Chili’s Grill & Bar to serve Guests in a more compelling way as the brand revamps its digital presence.
Kelly, known for his strong digital strategy and creativity during his more than 15 years with Yum! Brands, will oversee key pillars of the Chili’s marketing strategy including CRM, loyalty, digital experience, third-party delivery, and paid media strategy and execution.
“Steve is one of the most talented leaders I’ve worked with, and his diverse skillset will accelerate our marketing strategy,” says George Felix, Chili’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Being a relevant and distinctive brand in culture requires a 360-degree focus, and his experience across multiple verticals makes him a natural choice for this role. Additionally, his personality and passion as a people leader are the perfect fit for our ChiliHead culture.”
Chili’s CRM strategy and execution, as well as a revamp of the My Chili’s Rewards loyalty program are a key focus for Kelly, and GALE, this year’s Adweek Breakthrough Media Agency of the Year, will provide its expertise in the space as agency of record. GALE’s data-driven approach will bring deeper personalization and a more modern feel to Chili’s customer interactions as well as an optimization of all activity to enable more relevant messaging to the Chili’s customer.
“Chili’s is an iconic brand and we’re hugely excited to join their journey of transformation at such a pivotal time,” says GALE Managing Director Andrew Noel. “There’s never been a more important time for brands to enrich the experiences of audiences, and the Chili’s team recognizes the true power of CRM to transform a business that will win market share.”
GALE’s work with Chili’s will span strategy, creative, email and digital activity, providing data and insights to drive CRM activity in a way that aligns with the brand’s marketing strategy.
“At Chili’s, each Guest interaction presents a chance to build a relationship that turns into repeat visits,” Kelly says. “GALE’s proven track record in leveraging CRM and loyalty to drive growth made them the perfect choice for this partnership. With success stories across Chipotle, H&R Block, and Hard Rock, GALE has demonstrated its ability to deliver exceptional results for renowned brands.”