Denny's Unique Social Media Strategy

If you have recently scrolled through Denny's Twitter or Facebook, you may think that it sounds like an average American teenager managing the platform.

Well that is exactly the strategy the company is aiming for. Denny's is getting away from the standard restaurant chain's script of promotions and deals, so they took a more friendly, relatable approach. On Denny's Twitter feed you are more likely to find pop culture commentary than the advertising pitches. This unique approach has been the company's strategy since they started working with marketing agency Erwin Penland. Having jokes referencing popular recording artist, Drake, makes it fun and easy to for millennials and its younger audience to relate. So far it seems to be working as Denny's has higher customer engagement on its platforms than its competitors. They currently have over 203,000 followers on Twitter and 859,000 likes on Facebook. 

Do you think Denny's social media presence will help them stay relevant in the competitive restaurant space? Read More

Starbucks launching delivery in Seattle

Starbucks addicts rejoice!  The coffee chain is taking it a step further from the order-ahead feature that they started expansion on last week. It was just announced that Starbucks has signed a deal with the delivery service, Postmates. Starting in Seattle and New York City, you will soon be able to order lattes from your mobile app and have it picked it up and delivered to your door. This is not a surprising move since the brand's typical customer is one who generally values convenience and is on the go. 

The majority of Starbuck's customers regularly use the phone app to pay in store and earn points towards free beverages. 14% of US transactions are done through the mobile payment app. Starbucks currently has a significant advantage over competitors with over 21,500 locations worldwide, but they are making sure they stay ahead of the curve. Is the brand trying to control the "on demand" coffee business, before three party delivery companies move into the space?  Read More 

Live Streaming Dining Experiences

The Evolution of Foodspotting?

By Jeff Kingman, DigitalCoCo Director of Business Development

This past week at SxSW, the new hot tech darling has been Meerkat, a platform to video live stream your world on Twitter.

As a digital branding agency, we paid attention, downloaded the app and started playing. As a digital agency focused on the restaurant industry, our app playtime asks: (a) How can foodservice brand marketing use it, (b) How will consumers use Meerkat around dining, food and beverage, and hospitality experiences, and (c) Is it a platform that marketers should consider? A fourth factor we are pondering is Twitter's purchase of similar service called Periscope.

While we continue to test and measure Meerkat and Periscope (we're geeky that way here at DigitalCoCo), we wonder if prosumer foodies might crowd-live-stream eat at a high-end chef's table event, or whether a customer with a gripe against a brand might live stream every experience they have with that brand. Could these platforms be used by food activists -- or other activists -- who are intentionally setting out to target a brand?

Digital brand development is not just about aggregating fun content or shooting some videos for Youtube with the brand founders. Digital brand development takes street-savvy, data-hungry and tech-geeky "let's break it and see how it works" thinking based on test and measure foundations. 

At DigitalCoCo, we actively hunt for these opportunities to test, measure and produce superior results in our work. Often, we are live-testing tactics and strategies on our own publishing work at Foodable Network (which is distributed to over 750,000 foodservice decision makers every month). 

Wrapping up, we invite your conversation on live streaming video apps like Meerkat and Periscope, or on any other marketing topic:

  • Will Meerkat and Periscope impact the hospitality industry?
  • Is your brand assessing risk of activist use of social platforms?
  • Does your marketing team try to break social platforms? 

Event Promotion Using Social Media

Screenshot of social post promoting the Nightclub & Bar show | @NightclubBar

Screenshot of social post promoting the Nightclub & Bar show | @NightclubBar

There is lots to be done before the event to effectively reach potential attendees. Map out your event timeline and communication plan. Be sure you are channeling to your target audience. Know who they are and why they will be interested in attending your event. Utilize the platforms that your audience most frequently uses and focus on those. Create content around the event- blog posts, pictures, videos etc. Create a hashtag for the event and use it to build traffic and engage your audience. Explain the registration process in a way that is easy to understand. Make sure your marketing strategy makes it easy to interact and register on mobile devices.   

During the event, encourage your guests to use Foursquare and other apps to check in and share on their other networks. Stream videos of interviews, speakers and other interest content live from the event. Don't forget to engage with your audience during the event. Create a hashtag that the audience can use to ask questions to speakers. Identify a place where attendees can get information throughout the day.

After the event, post some blogs crediting speakers and anyone who worked behind the scenes to make the event a success. Using Youtube or Vimeo, publish presentations from the event. Thank everyone who follows you on social media and anyone on emails lists for attending. Communicate if there will be any follow up content. To get feedback and ideas for your next event, ask attendees to fill out a brief survey.  Read More  

Digital Marketing For Startups

Building your brand is important and there are effective ways to go about it . Here are some tips to get the most reach when first starting out.    

  • Social Media is a cheap and effective way to build your brand. Make sure to remain consistent with your posts in order to establish your brand's voice. Post regularly and keep the content consistent with brand's message. Use these platforms as a way to engage with your audience. Don't be afraid to address customer complaints and give exceptional customer service that will leave your customers with a good lasting impression. 
  • Experiment with various platforms and figure out which ones are going to be the most valuable for your brand. For example, Twitter and LinkedIn are generally most effective for a business to business model while Facebook may be better if your audience is mostly consumers. Instagram is a useful outlet for image-friendly businesses– such as restaurants or clothing designers.  
  • Content quality is not to be overlooked. For your startup to be successful you need to formulate your brand's message to be clear and structured. Do industry research and have a unique selling strategy. Focus on the benefits rather than the features. Read More

The Mobile Payment Battle Continues: Samsung Pay Emerges as Strong Competition to Apple Pay

So what does this mean for the restaurant industry? 


By Jeff Kingman, Director of Client Relations & Business Development  at DigitalCoCo 

Samsung's new mobile payment technology was announced this past weekend, and according to all the technology review articles since, it is anticipated to surpass Apple Pay when fully deployed this summer.

For restaurant marketers, two critical attributes emerge. First is to introduce your guests to the ease of payment by swiping a phone at nearly every restaurant in the U.S., with their magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology from LoopPay. The second is the increased opportunity to collect consumer data from card transactions, combined with social mobile data collection from DigitalCoCo's VenueBeacon service. 

It should be no surprise that the bulk of today's restaurant consumers, especially in Fast Casual, feel quite at ease with new technology. While Apple Pay is a big step forward, the cost to upgrade payment systems to near field communications (NFC) can be a challenge for rapid deployment by many operators.

Samsung removes this barrier with MST technology, by embedding the mag-stripe in the actual phone case - simply press the phone to the card reader and the payment executes. This opens up nearly the entire restaurant industry to secure mobile payments. For brand marketers, this presents the opportunity to educate consumers on the ease of payment.

Collecting consumer data - both transactional and social - is exponentially increased with Samsung's new technology. The amount of traditional transactional consumer data collected should increase in scope with the ease of mobile payments using MST and NFC technologies. 

For marketers seeking to truly understand their consumers and competitors, the increased use of mobile at the register also allows effective and robust social data collection with DigitalCoCo's business intelligence service VenueBeacon. VenueBeacon offers process-patented marriage of smart phone use in locations to the social data of over 225 million indexed consumers passionate about dining out. 

For more information on the power of VenueBeacon in your locations, please email

Quizno Ads Are Going Strictly Digital

Store Front of Quizno's sub |

Store Front of Quizno's sub |

Advertisement is a huge part of any business, and after recently declaring Bankruptcy, Quizno’s is reevaluating exactly where to spend their ad money to reach their target audience. They have decided that Television will no longer be an advertising platform for the company. As their target consumers are spending more time online, Quizno’s will be channeling their advertising towards digital marketing.  

Investing in online ads will be the company's new strategy since their target demographic (men 18-35) is heavily watching online videos as opposed to television.  Another benefit of going digital is that it's easier to track and monitor the ad's effectiveness.  They are also revamping their online ordering technology to make it more user friendly and hopefully increase their customer base.  Read more about Quizno's new marketing strategy.  

The Future of Food Photography is Here: Food Porn on a Whole New Level

Phone takes a 3D photo | ENTREPENEUR.COM

Phone takes a 3D photo | ENTREPENEUR.COM

A new app designed for iPhone 6 called 3DAround allows users to snap 3D images without the need for expensive high tech hardware. Foodies are now able to share the whole dining experience capturing depth and structure while moving the camera around using various angles.

The app can be used to take pictures of any object but was designed with food photography in mind given its surge in popularity thanks to multiple social media outlets. On Instagram alone there are currently over 140 million pictures with the hash-tag "food".  

Read more about this new technology here

Restaurant Tablets: More Than Just a Menu


Table tablets are popping up in an increasing number of restaurants and it is no surprise.  Initially seeming like a novelty, these devices are proving to be the future of restaurant ordering. These systems provide benefits for both the patrons as well as the business. The technology is customizable and easy to constantly update and change as necessary. As customers are able to more speedily order and pay for their meal, this in turn increases guest turnover and ultimately more income. Read more here about how these devices are revamping the customer experience as well as the businesses.

Marketing To Gen Y + Z: Mobile Addicts



As a student, an engaging and interesting professor still may not have the ability to pull students from their cellphones throughout the class. But why? The class is interesting, the material is needed for success, but why do students continue to stray from professor-student interaction?

Generation Y + Z have been born and raised in an environment that is immersed and obsessed with technology and social media. The Gen Y + Z childhood is so drastically different than those in the boomer age, and this means that all brands (and even professors) have to adapt to this changing age.

So what exactly is it about tech and social media that draws in these generations? Psychologists and experienced digital marketers argue that all of our tweets, FB posts, and Instagram photos are posted for one reason. Not for our viewers to see what we do on a daily basis, or for them to learn about our lives. But the gratification of getting a 'like' is similar to social acceptance, to provide recognition of existence. In order to successfully reach this age group, we have to understand the way they are wired, how they function, their thoughts, their happiness. Read more here about mobile addicts.

What Dominating Marketing Trends Will 2015 Bring?

As digital marketing accelerates in this fast paced tech-savvy world we are immersed in, there are trends in which we as marketers have to look out for in the coming year to be ahead of the game. Let's take a look at what's to come:

  • Mobile-optimization will become more important than ever.
  • Social Media ad spend will sharply increase as brands realize the importance of social media marketing.
  • Content marketing will be bigger than ever.
  • Email marketing will receive a renewed focus.
  • The lines between SEO, content marketing & social media will become more blurred.
  • Brands will scramble to humanize.
  • Marketers will find new ways of marking native advertising less promotional and more relevant.

Read more in depth descriptions of these upcoming trends here.

6 Steps To An Effective Social Campaign

71% of all mobile traffic is stemming directly from mobile devices. Therefore, in this tech-driven world brands need to rethink their marketing strategies and spend more in mobile and social. Here are 6 steps towards building a successful and effective social media campaign:

  • Permission marketing
  • Data attribution
  • Social interaction on feature phones
  • Use of power analytics
  • Rise of m-commerce
  • Integrated marketing efforts

Having an in-depth understanding of these steps can ensure maximum results for your brand! Read more here.



Top Mobile Campaigns of 2014

Mobile tech has skyrocketed since the experimental stage of 2012, so naturally, 2014 should be the best mobile year we have seen thus far. It's still the same old marketing, just in a different way. The new tech launches such as iBeacons gives the mobile world a do-anything kind of feel. So what are the top mobile campaigns of this year?

Nissan Rogue - Nivea Sun Kids - Pillsbury Toaster Strudel - Marriott - L'Oreal - Drop, by Jawbone

Read more in depth and see the mobile campaigns here.



The Split is Complete: Swarm & Foursquare



Out with the old, in with the new! Foursquare has completely wiped the last little bits of the old Foursquare from existence, and what's left in it's remains? Swarm and .... Foursquare. 

Swarm has taken over the check-in capabilities of Foursquare, keeping check-in lists and giving friends the ability to see. Foursquare on the other hand, with the help of Yelp, is now delivering recommendations of spots close by, which is all personalized to each user. This new chapter in Foursquare's book has gotten positive feedback, but we will see what the future holds. Read more here.

Pin Drop App Hits US App Store



Pin Drop lets you save, organize, and share locations on one mobile app. After taking off all over London, Pin Drop is testing the waters in America. The idea behind this application is to be able to map and build a library of your favorite locations, and you have the option to keep your secrets all to yourself, or share them publicly. Lists and multiple account creations are also available, which allows users to use the application for personal, leisure and business use. So keep your eye out for this new app! Read more here.

The Analytic Struggle For Marketers

Why does analytics seem to be such a struggle for the digital marketer? Aren't we supposed to account for all the work and efforts that we do? What exactly are your key business objectives? By knowing exactly what your goals are, you can strive to reach those goals and measure your success along the way. "Metrics as a goal in and of themselves, should be secondary, with the focus now on understanding what they're saying about how to create the right business." In order to succeed in the marketing space, we must look at the analytics in which pertain to your business, because why would you look at anything else? Read more about the struggle here.

The Millennial Shopper Drives Food Trends

The Millennial age, late teens to mid 30's, were hit the hardest in the economical depression, unemployment led to suppressed spending and a set back in becoming successful individuals. But, Millennials are the driving force that the food industry has to accept and realize in order to be on top of their game. With approximately 80 million Millennials moving into their prime spending years, why not focus on this group before any other?

Specialty foods seem to be the biggest influence on the Millennial age, and taking note of these trends is something that can set a good restaurant apart from a great one on the Millennial scene. The time is ticking for businesses to catch up and jump on the Millennial train. Read more on the Millennial takeover here.



Q&A With Social Media Marketers On The Future

The state of the world at this very instance is social media minded and totally tech-trendy. How do we keep up with it? is holding a Q&A session with some of the hottest Social Media Gurus of our time covering the biggest questions we have such as: How can marketers capitalize on the rise of specialist networks? Does increased competition and diminishing organic reach from companies like Facebook mean that smaller companies could be priced out of social media advertising? and What do anonymous platforms mean for the use of targeted advertising? Want in on the conversation? Tune in on Thursday November 27th at 1pm right here.



Digital Marketing, From The Mouth of a 17-Year Old

Well, Millennials are taking over the world - a message heard more and more frequently lately. This blog post is an exact representation of that message - teens are people too, and guess what... THEY'RE THE FUTURE. Kathy McEwan is a 17-year old blogger, working in the content marketing world, and from her teenage perspective she shares with us her thoughts:

What has digital marketing got to do with me? The real question is what has digital marketing NOT got to do with you. IT’S EVERYWHERE. In a world thriving on technology this is probably no shock at the rate that we’re evolving. As long as you have an electronic device you are being marketed to. Why is digital marketing so current? Well, because people consume more and more digital content on a daily basis. So, I wouldn’t just label digital marketing as current, it’s the future too. I mean, in a world where people would rather read a book online rather than a good ol’ paperback you know there’s no going back.
— Kathy McEwan

Let's just remember, she's 17. Read the rest of Kathy's blog post here.

Good Eggs Gives Consumers Fresh Farmer's Market Deliveries Online



Good Eggs Rob Spiro created a search engine which was sold to Google, and grew up on a farm, what is his next endeavor? Bringing farm fresh farmers market produce right to your front door. "This past year was all about building Good Eggs into a sustainable model that could work all over the U.S. and indeed the world." - Spiro. His vision has helped raise millions to grow this sustainable company to help people throughout the world, both consumers and the local food systems. Want to learn more about Good Eggs? Read here.