Kraft Food Group beefs up its CRM strategy

The North American grocery division launched a pilot program in Quebec that saw it using insights from its "What's Cooking" data-gathering property.

Kraft recently completed a Quebec-based pilot project, moving its CRM platform, “What’s Cooking,” into stores. In June, it took its five-year-old “Made in Quebec” retail program, which originally featured creative centred on the culture and heritage of the province, communicated only through posters and recipe cards in stores, and developed a full-scale integrated campaign.

The program included a digital drive, with two rounds of co-branded (with participating retailers Loblaws and Provigo) email blasts sent to 260,000 registered members of the CRM platform, as well as in-store signage communicating a contest for the chance to win a dinner with Chef Martin Champoux (a well-known Quebec TV personality and Kraft Kitchens Expert). The contest (which recently ended on Aug. 3) was called out on in-store displays, flyers and circulars, as well as at the end of Kraft “What’s Cooking” YouTube videos with the chef.

“What’s Cooking has never really lived in-store with the customer,” says Jennifer Salter, director of shopper marketing, Kraft Foods Group. “We’ve obviously leveraged our recipes as we needed for our shopper programs [such as coupons or recipe books] but we didn’t really [use] the wealth of content and the relationship with our consumers at the store level.”

It was the split of Kraft Foods Inc. into two independent cos, Mondelēz International (its major global snack business) and Kraft Food Group (its North American-focused grocery division) that spurred the latter group to begin using copious data collected from consumers.

The Quebec integrated retail program was the first Kraft had ever tailored using data and insights from its “What’s Cooking” platform (such as incorporating the most popular online recipes in the campaign e-blast and in-store signage) in tandem with third party companies (such as Nielsen), with the goal of driving deeper consumer engagement with the brand.

“We know what recipes drive [consumers] to open articles, what they share with their friends and what they’re creating,” says Kathy Murphy, director of corporate communications at Kraft. “We have a great understanding of them this way. So what Jennifer and her team have done is taken that knowledge and combined it with that [third party] consumer shopper insight and behaviour to develop this program.”