Wendy's® was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio. Dave built his business on the premise, "Quality is our Recipe®," which remains the guidepost of the Wendy's system. Their 40+ million unique website visitors know them for their made-to-order square hamburgers using fresh (never frozen) beef, their viral “Twitter beefs”, and even their chart-topping mixtape. Wendy's and its franchisees employ hundreds of thousands of people across more than 6,600 restaurants worldwide.
Wendy’s is a very active brand with a lot to say. Like many large brands, they struggled getting the right message to the right audiences at scale. Answers to questions like “What do our customers want to see on our website?” and “What questions do they have for wendys.com?” could only be answered by using traditional marketing research, often taking weeks. Implementing lessons learned could take months and seldom resulted in meaningful results. With Wendy’s Oracle WebCenter Sites (OWCS) license expiring in 90 days, the company knew it needed to make a change—and fast.
Timeline aside, Wendy’s knew it needed to migrate to a cloud platform that offered improved load times, simplified administration, and industry-leading security. But they weren’t going to stop there. Wendy’s had set the customer experience bar so high with their award winning social experiences and marketing campaigns that their website was lacking by comparison.
Wendy’s goal was rather simple. They built a strategy around emulating the experience a regular customer could expect at their favorite Wendy’s location. That means creating personalized, entertaining experiences and suggesting menu items based on individual customer preferences. People have tastes and preferences just as unique as they are. That’s why it was critical to understand customer browsing behavior and patterns, not just their demographic profile.
Wendy’s turned to VMLY&R for their experience launching lightning-fast projects using Acquia. Armed with VMLY&R’s robust content strategy and personalization expertise, the Wendy’s marketing team was ready to migrate to Drupal with Acquia Cloud, and introduce personalization using Acquia Lift.
Customers tell companies what they want every time they browse a site, but it often breaks traditional segmentation models that marketers have used for decades. Wendy’s knew that if they relied on demographic profiles and householding data, a customer who loves bacon might end up seeing product suggestions for a salad or kids meal. Even the most craveable image of a beloved product might fall flat if it is shown to a person who has other preferences.
VMLY&R helped Wendy’s replatform on Drupal with Acquia Cloud in 88 days. Within 30 days of the new wendys.com going live, they had Acquia Lift configured and ready to serve personalized content to their tens of millions of unique visitors.
With Acquia Lift, Wendy’s can closely follow customers’ journeys and build segments based on actual menu preferences. Armed with crystal clear customer preference data, Wendy’s can, for example, confidently and efficiently offer:
- a Baconator® to someone they know loves bacon
- a salad to someone in the mood for something on the lighter side
- a Frosty® on a warm day or a chili on a cold day
- cookie when it compliments a menu item
- delivery options for a late-night order
After 18 months, Wendy’s saw:
- $35M increase in system sale
- $2M gained in efficiencies
- 140x reduction in content lead times
- 20% YoY increase in organic users
- 137% improvement in site speed