Chipotle is one of those brands that are hard to hate. On the one hand, their food is delicious. And on the other hand, their marketing is always on point. They always know exactly what messaging their customers want to hear, and are on all the right channels to reach consumers, especially on mobile. For any brand that wants to level up its mobile marketing strategy, Chipotle is a great brand to imitate.
What Are They Doing Right?
Chipotle is constantly crashing their marketing strategy because they are doing three key things right: they know where their customers are, they listen to them, and they have an easy-to-use mobile experience.
1.They Know Where Their Customers Are 🕵️
Chipotle has been making the switch to focusing on mobile and digital marketing for the past couple of years. However, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is when they really started to focus mainly on mobile marketing, and just like that, the restaurant started to thrive. Chipotle’s CMO, Chris Brandt, recognized that marketing as we knew was about to change and so he did what almost every other marketer did at the start of the pandemic, he threw all of their current marketing plans in the trash.
The brand realized that customers weren’t going to be coming into the store anymore so they switched their priority to put all they had into mobile and digital channels. Chipotle thought critically about where they could best reach their customers going forward, and then heavily invested in those channels, like TikTok, mobile ordering options, and setting up live streams so they can continue interacting with their audience. They didn’t waste time marketing on channels where their target audience wasn’t going to hear them.
2. They Listen to Their Customers 👂
In addition to knowing where their customers are, Chipotle also listens to their customers. Throughout 2020 and 2021, there was a huge culture shift and consumers started to expect more social responsibility from brands. Chipotle took note of what their customers valued and started to incorporate this into their overall strategy. They started to reward healthcare workers with meals, raising money for organizations to help those in need, and focused on sustainability by launching its Real Footprint Tracker.
All of these initiatives highlight social issues that Chipotle’s audience cares about, and therefore, they are more likely to listen to Chipotle’s marketing messages. Chris Brandt described this strategy perfectly by saying “People don’t hate marketing – they hate marketing that isn’t relevant to them”.
3.They Have a Top-Notch App and Loyalty Program ⭐️
Finally, Chipotle offers an outstanding mobile experience that delights its customers. The Chipotle app and loyalty program, Chipotle Rewards, offer a sophisticated mobile experience where customers can earn points on every dollar spent, and then turn those points into rewards like a free meal. The mobile app has also made it easier for customers to order online for pickup. Their app has been so successful that digital sales grew 202.5 percent year on year, and their loyalty program more than doubled to 17 million members. They also have begun to change the layout to be more digital-centric, and have opened their first digital-only store in New York.
The combination of these three marketing strategies has proved to bring incredible success to Chipotle. While they have always been a popular QSR, the restaurant chain really started to thrive as they doubled down on their mobile and digital marketing efforts and worked hard to reflect the values of their consumers. Other brands have a lot to learn from Chipotle’s mobile marketing success. 👀