The Google Ads Team recently provided an interesting profile on how Denny’s focused their marketing on digital in order to reach people as they were making decisions on where to eat. In 2018 Denny’s decided to move away from traditional print and TV advertising and instead focus on a more targeted digital approach.
“If you look at the history of Denny’s, it’s really been focused on the family,” noted Luis Martinez, who currently leads marketing for Denny’s. “We recognize that American families are changing. They’re becoming more multicultural and more diverse. But families still value experiences and good food.”
“Denny’s was pretty traditional in its advertising and marketing approach,” he said. “We relied very heavily on print, and very heavily on TV. The spray-and-pray approach that existed beforehand, it really was relying on the hope that you were talking to the right person with your message. Platforms like Google Ads, they remove the mystery from that.”
“The guest is usually the one that’s telling you what it is they want,” says Martinez. “You look at something as simple as a search campaign. They’re looking for “pancakes near me” or “I want a burger.” For people who want those items, we want to make sure that we’re surfaced and relevant in that moment of consideration, whether it’s lunch or late night.”
Google Ads Increased Our Late Night Business
“Google Ads data let us see that our late night performance was really strong,” explained Denny’s search marketing specialists Eric and John. “So after 8:00 p.m., we adjusted our ads to call out that we were open late night, and we saw that, as a result, click-through rates really skyrocketed. Google really gives you the holistic view across all the different channels. It gives you data, it gives you insights, and it gives you a real pulse on the performance of the overall brand.”
Martinez noted how working with data has really provided new insights for Denny’s. “That’s insight that is not necessarily built into a lot of other channels. It really is our responsibility to take what we learn about our guests and apply it across the entire marketing ecosystem.”
Digital Has Changed Our Culture
“Digital has changed our culture, and it’s actually changed the way we do business,” says Daniel, Denny’s restaurant manager. “Over the last year, we have experienced an increase in sales. It’s bringing in a new crowd. “You can have confidence not only in serving that right message to the right consumer but that digital marketing translates to in-store traffic,” added Martinez.
Google Ads Are Bringing Customers to the Table
“Ultimately it brings the customer to the table,” noted Martinez. “As Denny’s has made more investments in Google Ads, we’ve been more and more successful in bringing in a more representative sample of today’s America to set our stores up for success in the future.”