How Visit-Based Marketing Helped This Brand Achieve a $7:1 Return on Ad Spend
Primanti Brothers

How Visit-Based Marketing Helped This Brand Achieve a $7:1 Return on Ad Spend

Wi-Fi isn’t just for collecting email addresses anymore.

These days, providing guest Wi-Fi at a restaurant has become as ubiquitous as free water. Consumers have come to expect the service and are even willing to provide personal information like their email address to get access. And while collecting customer contact information is great for the business, what many restaurant operators don’t realize is that this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what a guest Wi-Fi network can offer.

New technology is now allowing operators unprecedented visibility into the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns using the guest Wi-Fi network in their physical location—even if customers don’t sign in to the Wi-Fi. It’s called visit-based marketing, and it’s a new way for brick-and-mortar businesses to understand customer visit behavior in-store. 

When Pittsburgh-based sandwich shop Primanti Brothers wanted to attract more customers, it reached out to restaurant marketing leader Adentro for guidance. 

“We wanted to use Adentro’s tools to capture email addresses when people signed onto our Wi-Fi and then reach out to try to convert them to our loyalty program,” says Ryan Wilkinson, director of marketing at Primanti Brothers. “Then we learned Adentro also has a solution for media that uses the same technology to track customers as they come into the restaurant—even if they don’t sign on to the Wi-Fi.” 

That last part is the most critical: even if they don’t sign in to the Wi-Fi. Using Adentro, operators can track walk-throughs of people who come into the restaurant—not just those who use the Wi-Fi, but anyone who stays on-site for a specified amount of time. In this way, Adentro can tell who is simply walking past the restaurant, who is actually a customer, and whether or not they were exposed to an advertising campaign. 

Adentro technology does this by pairing with the guest Wi-Fi at any physical location and identifying the unique pings of mobile devices from each customer. On the back end, it’s connected to a marketing platform and dashboard that gives operators deep insights into the visit behavior of their in-store customers and campaign performance. 

“It grew from collecting email addresses to giving us unbelievable insight into the effectiveness of walk-throughs,” Wilkinson says. “I didn’t even think about Wi-Fi marketing the way Adentro thought of it—it’s way bigger and more important than I thought.” 

For example, if a restaurant sends an email pertaining to a happy hour promotion, the available data typically ends with a click-through rate—operators can see who opened the email and whether or not they clicked through. Adentro goes a step further by evaluating the walk-through rate. So, for instance, the technology knows that John Smith opened that happy hour email and a week later came into the restaurant. When paired with a restaurant’s POS system, it’s also possible to see exactly how much John Smith spent, which helps operators understand their true ROI and whether or not customers exposed to marketing spend more or less. Adentro can also integrate with email service providers and loyalty programs.

“We’ve used modeling and geofencing before, but, with Adentro, we know the exact number of people who see our ads and then come into the restaurant—this gives us a ton of visibility into the effectiveness of our campaigns,” Wilkinson says. ”While we do a fair amount of takeout and curbside, our bread and butter is still in-room dining. The ability to optimize media for physical walkthroughs is critical.” 

Since deploying the solution one year ago, Primanti Brothers has seen a significant return on its Adentro investment. The brand has collected more than 67,000 customer emails, achieved a $4 cost per walkthrough, a $4.80:1 return on ad spend (ROAS), and in its most recent campaigns, an impressive $7:1 ROAS.

Wilkinson says Primanti Brothers will use Adentro to drive traffic throughout the holiday season by running targeted online advertising campaigns. 

“It’s critical to have customers walking into the restaurant and understanding how to do that helps us optimize media buys,” Wilkinson says. “Since partnering with Adentro, we've been able to more clearly measure the ROI of our media and see the effect on sales and foot traffic in our restaurants. It’s completely changed how we look at our marketing.” 

To learn more about how visit-based marketing can help your brand, visit the Adentro website.