Targeted Relationship Building

In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Bernie Fussenegger. Bernie is a Partner at Three Ring Circus and is also the Chief Cheese – Strategy and Engagement at B2The7.  Bernie has helped large retail brands increase customer engagement and communication for over 20 years.  

No matter which context it is, relationship building takes time, effort, and skills.

In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Bernie Fussenegger. Bernie is a Partner at Three Ring Circus and is also the Chief Cheese – Strategy and Engagement at B2The7.  Bernie has helped large retail brands increase customer engagement and communication for over 20 years.

The conversation started with Bernie talking about his past. He said that he joined an agency when he came out of college. After a few months, the internet came out. This is when he joined another agency. This agency made guides to Microsoft and Word etc.

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From this point on, Bernie started learning all about the digital world, and within a few years, he taught himself web development, web design, and pretty much all front-line works. Bernie said that being a graphic designer, he left the print industry. This is because print takes a few weeks to give a final result. Moreover, if even after that it didn’t come out right that is on you.

This is why he went to learn digital aspects because all of its responses were immediate. After this, Bernie talked about his experience at Papa John’s. He said that when he first joined and they created the first website, their online sales were 2%. However, just a few months back when he left, their sales were 67%.

Moving on, Bernie talked about how personalization helps in accurate relationship building with your customers. He said that when a customer calls for an order, you remember their name, previous orders, and stuff like that, which in turn helps you personalize their order.

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This is how according to Bernie effective relationship building happens between companies and customers. Further, Bernie explained how the personalization process works. He said that for effective relationship building, you can start a loyalty program to gain customer information.

With this, you can easily work on your relationship building while giving your customers a distinct experience as well. After this, Damon asked Bernie about how many messages do they send every day for relationship building with their customers.

Responding to this, Bernie said that when he started they were sending around 75,000 emails per day, but when he left it was about 14 million. By the end of the conversation, Damon asked Bernie about the most fun thing he did while relationship building at Papa John’s.

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Answering this, Bernie said that the most fun thing was the tool he built for sending emails and SMS to customers.

The conversation ended with Damon thanking the guest for his time.

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brand, customer, data, pizza, people, sms, email, consumer, bernie, programs, order, talk, online ordering, create, understand, experience, years, build, ability, engage


Bernie Fussenegger, Damon Pistulka

Damon Pistulka  00:03

All right, everyone, Welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And with me today, I’ve got Bernie foods and agar man is so awesome. That man with a hand that no one can miss. So Bernie, great to have you here today.

Bernie Fussenegger  00:20

Thank you very much, Damon, very, very, very much appreciate you having me on as a guest today and Happy Tuesday. Yeah.

Damon Pistulka  00:27

Happy Tuesday to everyone. Oh, yes, it is taco. Remember that? I gotta remember that. That’s dinner tonight. Yes, Taco Tuesday. Well, you know, Bernie, I’ve been wanting to have you on for a while because your background and experience is so cool. And and your story and everything. So I’m just gonna let us go right into it. So tell us a little bit about your background? And, you know, kind of how you ended up where you’re out today?

Bernie Fussenegger  00:55

Yeah, good question. So when I came out of college, I went to a little agency. And, you know, it was really during this agencies probably there for about three, three and a half years is when the internet came about. And it’s one of those it’s like, wow, what do you do with this thing.

And you know, really, at that time, it was very basic websites, email, and literally that was that. So I left there and went to a technology, really startup, if you will, is called the cob group, based here out of Louisville. And really what they did, were a lot of self help guides like Microsoft Word, Lotus, and some of these others that just came around. And really what we did at that point, we would create a landing page, we would create a banner.

And that was kind of my first foray into this digital war world, and how do you go from print to this digital, then from there, I went to Humana for about three years. And this is really where I made the transformation of, Okay, enough of this prep, I want to get strictly over into the digital and really taught myself how to do web design, web development, and pretty much all front end design, taking a lot of my background, which was graphic and ever to housing design. And using that over in the digital world. And one of the reasons why I made that switch was in print, you know, you do something, it takes six weeks to have it printed.

Yeah. And then oh my gosh, you made a mistake. And it’s like, oh, my gosh, you get trouble for that. Or you get Redman or whatever, but you know, proofreader didn’t catch it. And then you got to do a reprint or something. With the with the digital way back then, you know, you had that ability to make changes on the fly. Yeah, you know, you could create a landing page, put it out there, if it wasn’t working, pull it down, put something else you could easily, you know, a B test if you wanted, but it was just the meet its immediacy, it was the ability to quickly engage with a consumer and help them within that Burke buying purchase or more information or really back then.

So right around 2000, or the year 2000. I went to work for Papa John’s. And essentially, you know, when I went to Papa John’s, it was more web design development, as I’ve started off, and, you know, way back then we were at 2%, online sales, which, you know, when I left, three, four months ago, we were at 66 67%. So that kind of gives you an idea. And one of the funniest stories, I guess, from back then john Snyder, the founder, and back then he was the president, CEO, everything else, he was ready to pull the plug. He thought, you know, online ordering is going to be a fad.

You know, we’re investing all this money, and not seeing the returns that we want right away. So you know, there was a possibility back in 2000, he was ready to pull that sucker out. Yeah. And you know, over the years, you know, some of the things you know, I’m not, we were the first with a nationwide plan ahead ordering, which is pretty cool. So these are all things that happen, because we decided to keep on moving forward with it. First with online ordering first with plan ahead ordering, first pizza chain with text ordering.

First with 1 billion in national mobile on web ordering, the first with the digital rewards program. First with the optimized e commerce gift card. And those are just some of the things that we really did along the way. Another one is we created we were the first with a localization tool that gave our franchisees the ability to basically send out their own email. And SMS is something we developed with a third party vendor, boom, there was a lot of first within this category. And when you look at Pizza in general, you think you know how much you really could be into pizza. And in reality, you look at the technology.

Oh, yeah, a lot of this, you look at the data that you’re collecting on your consumers, as far as you know, what they’ve ordered, what their order history is, what their frequency is, you know, are their rewards customer are they not a real rewards customer. So, you know, there’s the thought of that, you know, along the way.

And as you know, I went from the web design part of it. And really, as I gained more experience on the digital side, it was going from Not only the web, but then assumed the email program, assumed our SMS program went from, you know, a manager, Senior Manager to director level to where, ultimately at that point, you know, I had teams underneath me, we were responsible for the CRM, which email, SMS push mobile marketing, I had a team that was responsible for all 3200 stores as far as their deals, promo codes, we work with our franchisees on a daily basis.

And I guess some of the things you know, that happened during that time, I was part of five different website redesign. So you think, you know, all the experiences and customer experiences or expectations have changed?

You know, we had five different Web Designs over that period that, you know, address new features, new functionality, my team’s launched the first HTML email, the Papa John’s and our teams, we created our first, you know, law loyalty program that was built from the ground up, and this was back probably around 2007. ish. And we launched our SMS programs launched mobile push. I was I’ve been there long enough to where I was personally involved in launching the Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, Twitter channels, which is kind of fun thinking, how far back that was? Yeah, you know, this goes back pretty far.

Then, you know, we had a partnership with exact target, they were email based out of Indy, and ultimately purchased by Salesforce Marketing Cloud. So you know, it was through them that we started doing a lot of data driven marketing, through our email and SMS programs, just based on real time customer data, that we had to have that drip campaign to have that welcome campaign. Yeah, to have more dynamic content within our emails. And, you know, that’s the part that, you know, really excites me on a day to day basis is how do you use data to really connect with your audiences to reach retain and regain?

That’s something I’d love to talk about? Because really, that’s where I start formulating that thoughts of, Okay, if you’re going to reach a new customer, what are all the channels that you have to reach that individual? And it’s, you know, it’s your website, it’s your in store team member, it’s the store itself, it’s, you know, the top of the funnel, which may be your search and display all the way down to the, to the bottom of the funnel, which is your email programs, but what does that message, get that second order?

And then ultimately, you know, how do you retain that customer, and that comes with a lot of that, that triggered the welcome series, understanding who the customers are, and really based off of their behaviors, triggering messaging, and communicating to them, so that you don’t have to regain them and regain is basically, when they’re leaving your brand, you know, how do you bring those individuals back in, but you know, that’s kind of the foundation that’s omni channel, it looks at, you know, fits very nicely with the customer journey, and definitely all data driven.

So if you’ve got the data, you know, you have that ability now to truly engage with your consumer, bringing them back into the brand and communicating with them, you know, as well, so that, you know, that’s kind of the Papa John’s, you know, 20 years, you think, you walk into the building, and it’s like, you know, pizza can’t be that bad. It can’t be that difficult.

But then, you know, you go through some of the training, you work into this, you work in the stores, and it’s like, oh, my gosh, this is a lot more complicated than that thought. They’ve got charts for everything on how to make a pizza. So that is the same here in roval, as it is out in Seattle, or, you know, down in Miami, it doesn’t matter. It’s got the same portioning still the same everything. It’s just you know, when you look at the process along the way, it is actually pretty cool that, you know, you’re making pizza, but it’s powered by a lot of technology.

Damon Pistulka  08:34

Yeah, there’s no doubt about it. And when you look at, as you said, some of the things that you talked about, I I’ve got to imagine that when you started I’m just sitting here trying to trying to comprehend First of all, I was writing some notes to take to ask you some questions about when you started in 2000. When you know really the the internet was at its infancy really i when i was going on because wasn’t I forget when the date when Google actually started, but it wasn’t a heck of a lot before that. Or or right after that. It was like 97 or something. Yeah.

Bernie Fussenegger  09:11

So you know, like, Ask Jeeves and some of these other search engines, internet Yeah, was actually pretty popular in some of the some of the other search engines that were back there. And they don’t even exist anymore.

Damon Pistulka  09:23

Yeah. When Yahoo was actually you hit AOL? Yeah, yeah. So So when you think about that now and you look at and I was just trying to you have really been there from infancy to really pretty advanced usage. Because when we talk about what what your what a company like Papa John’s and what you’re leading people to do is really data analysis data forensic and then using that data to predict how to be the best, you know how to drop the right message. Get the right place at the right time to engage that customer.

Bernie Fussenegger  10:03

And it’s also how do you use it for personalization? How do you use it? Yes, one on one communication. And when I say personalization, this is you know, lots of various reasons on on the website, when you come in, you’ve got something that’s tailored for you. If you call into the store, the in store team member understands, okay, I know who this customer is, I see what their order history. So you know, that personalization to where you’re building better relationships, with your audiences, with your customers to really give them a better experience when they engage with the brand. So I mean, that part’s extremely important.

Damon Pistulka  10:36

And you don’t you know, as you’re saying these things, right, I’m thinking about that, what do you say, when you call into a store, they know your order history, it’s based on your phone number, so you, it follows you around? But that’s really helpful when they’re talking to you, because they could almost say, hey, do you like, you know, did you like the order last time, because you get one just like, yeah,

Bernie Fussenegger  10:58

and the great thing about, you know, restaurant, or at least the pizza industry, at least us back then, you know, a lot of times people would create a loyalty program to gain customer information. Yeah, you know, their phone number, where they live, and all that, when you order a pizza, and this goes back, you know, 2000 2007 ish, even all those times, okay, you call in What’s your name, or if you know, your what’s your address, you get your address, and back, then just have caller ID, What’s your phone number, so you’re giving all your information just to get that pizza delivered.

And then you know, take the offline to the online, where now you’ve got to create an account, and then you’ve got to, you know, got the loyalty program, but just all that data that the concert consumers willingly given you to then be able to market back to them. And say, it was always been easy, either.

Yo, you get, you know, some leaders that very much, you know, believed in the batch and blast, we’re gonna do the one message for everybody. because traditionally, you know, that’s how it always work, you run a TV commercial, it’s the national limited time offer, you know, offer that’s out there, we’re gonna hit them with that we’re gonna, you know, that’s gonna be on social that’s going to be everywhere else.

But you know, it’s how do you teach leadership or show leadership, the importance of data driven marketing, and going through that, you know, exercise of, here’s the type of ROI, here’s the type of testing, you know, showing quick wins quick results to then get them on board of, okay, it doesn’t really have to be, you know, that batch and blast one message for everyone.

Now, we’ve got the ability to be a little bit more targeted, a little bit more segmented, looking at a consumer, you know, the frequency of a consumer, you know, has that changed? And when that changes, are we one know who that customer is, but then are we communicating them to get them to come back or, you know, we need to know who’s leaving, so that then we can be more aware of when it happens, but also using data to, you know, build look alike audiences.

So here’s our, you know, segment of a good customer base that we have, we want a ton more of these individuals, because their ticket averages are, you know, they’ve got a higher lifetime value. Now, let’s use a look alike on search and display, and even social and bring more individuals like those in as well. So, you know, it’s very much from a batch and blast away years ago to being much smarter, much more effective, effective and efficient with who you’re targeting, but also within your spend.

Damon Pistulka  13:21

Yeah, well, yeah. And that’s, that’s the other thing, I think, is when people are listened to you talk, and realize that this all has to be done within a certain spending parameters, too, because it’s not unlimited profits, you know, you really have to watch where you spend every penny, because it’s competitive, you know, you’re not the only player in the game. And and if someone spends better and gets better results than you, it’s, it’s detrimental.

Bernie Fussenegger  13:51

Absolutely. And you know, a lot of this, yes, we’re talking about pizza. But this applies to so many other categories. Definitely, you know, other restaurants, you look at, I guess, hardware stores, they have programs, any service industry, whether it’s a coffee shop, you know, some of these big wine, wine and beer, liquor store, whatever you want to call big box retailers, retail, if you’ve got that ability to capture customer data. At that point, you know, you’ve got the ability to be data driven, with your marketing be more effective and more efficient with your spins. So it becomes very important of, you know, why the reason why you gather this and the programs that you have behind?

Damon Pistulka  14:33

Well, yeah, and you look at the grocery industry and how they’ve another one, because yeah, you look at the grocery store, they’ve got limited space, they’ve got they’ve got limited shelf life. Yeah. And and they’ve they’ve got fierce margin competition. Yeah, it’s like, you know, the loyalty programs. I honestly don’t understand how they don’t you know, don’t really have it because there’s There’s still some brands that don’t and I don’t know how they operate like that. And I don’t either. Because it’s, it’s you get so much about, you know, who Damon is and what Damon buys.

Right, Damon buys it, you know, and, and everything else they can get about me outside of the, the the what I buy in the store that helps them to what are new products that we might want to try? You know, and I think about from just the operation of running a place like that, that information allows you to say, why do you have that item on the shelf? Because, you know, there’s nobody in your demographic here that’s bought it? And that’s Yeah,

Bernie Fussenegger  15:39

exactly. So you’re hitting on something that’s I think, you know, another aspect of the data is, you know, we’re talking about customers, but what about inventory? Yeah. What about, you know, things on the shelf? Or, you know, products or toppings or whatever, if nobody’s purchasing it?

Why do you have that much space dedicated for that one individual? And that’s, you know, the other part is, you know, looking at net, net promoter scores of consumers and getting their feedback of, you know, what’s working, what’s not, but, you know, what’s their experience within the store? And what is it they’re purchasing? And what are their expectations? So, you know, it’s more than just, I guess, the data, but there’s so much data that you can potentially be using across the spectrum. Yeah.

Damon Pistulka  16:23

Yeah. It’s really interesting. So when, just just for a point of reference, like how many text messages would would a place like Papa John’s send on a daily basis?

Bernie Fussenegger  16:38

That is a great question, which I do know. So when I started, and I took over the email programs, we were at, probably, the database size was roughly 75,000 to 100,000. Over my time, we grew it to 14 million. Yeah. And there were some and I’m going to go with email first and email, we would send I think there was a couple of years where we said close to 2 billion emails a year. Oh, gee, that.

So it was, we became very reliant on email, we knew that when you sent it out, you were going to get x number of sales, next X number of transactions. And then, you know, with SMS, it was roughly, we’ve probably sent about seven or 8 million a week. So you know, multiply that over, you know, yeah, weeks. But then, you know, there’s a lot of rules and regulations. So I mean, with SMS, you know, we grew it to 4 million. The TCPA came around, and, you know, legal teams like, yeah, I think we need to Nix this whole list and start from New. And you know, this was probably seven years ago. So going back to zebra and building it back up to four, 4 million to be totally compliant.

Yeah, we had the right people in there, and making people making sure people opted in the correct way. Yeah. And then along came, you know, the mobile apps and push notifications and push notifications right now are kind of like the wild wild west, they’re out there. There’s not a whole lot of regulation other than you opted in. But you know, look at the what I love about push notifications is the way that they’re using data, look at your Fitbit app, or you know, any of the health type fitness apps that you have in the way that they engage with you.

A lot of these game maps, look at the way that they entice you to come back in the offers the specials, the messaging way that you’ve competed against somebody the way that they really use that to keep their act, you know, to keep them on your phone. I mean, that’s the big thing. This thing right here with the space that you have in the amount of apps, for you to have a position and placement on someone’s phone is very special. And it’s something that you don’t want to abuse. But how do you truly take advantage of that?

Damon Pistulka  18:52

Yeah, yeah, because that’s your right, if you can get if you can get the notifications coming up on their phone from time to time, you’re top of mind. And then and then with the like you said, the text ordering the app based ordering, it’s, it’s even easier because it comes up they can convert right there if they feel like

Bernie Fussenegger  19:13

and when you look at email and SMS, specifically, yes, they’re, you know, more towards the middle of the funnel towards the bottom. But once you get that individual into your program, just some of the basic things that you could do a welcome series email, and not just one, but how do you you know, space this out over the course of a month where you’re continually in front of that consumer, you know, every five days with a different message about your brand, you know, that becomes powerful.

You’ve got opportunities for you know, the birthday, their birthday, anniversary, but then once they start purchasing, then you open it up towards so much more that’s dynamic based on their behaviors based on if we’re going to launch a specific product, or whatever it may be next month, let’s pull out and give you know this big segment. Special preview of what you’re doing because they ordered something in the past, it’s very relevant.

But you can then become very personalized. And the same thing with SMS, maybe not with the same frequency, but then you know how to use SMS more as a utility, if you will, and you know, forgot passwords or order confirmation on the way, things like that to where, you know, they requested it, they’ve been the consumer, and you’re giving them you know, their expectations with it well, while also giving more of a brand messaging, but you don’t really want to spend send, you know, 66 text messages in a week. It just, you know, that’s a very personal device that Yeah, you’re encroaching upon at that point?

Damon Pistulka  20:40

Yeah. Wow. When you think about the possibilities that you guys, you were, you were considering, like you said, if if I’m a customer with years of history, and to be able to to say you’re coming out with a new product. And you know, it’s similar, like you said to another product, just, there’s just so many things to talk to people about, it’s your, you know, last year you bought it, you bought a pizza on your birthday, you know, you gotta get one this year, we come out with this new one that you like, even better, there’s just so much you could do based on having that knowledge.

Bernie Fussenegger  21:19

It is and you know, that even outside of pizza, I mean, you’re creating excitement and awareness before promotion starts and even having these people that then could be potentially your ambassador, and tough for you. Yeah, and promote your brand and share your message out to their friends. I mean, that’s pretty powerful. And when you start treating them, like a, like a person, and not a number, or, you know, this is our customer over here, but you know, this is Dustin over here, this is Alice over here.

And this is we’ve heard from them, we talked to them, we’ve got them part of focus groups, we got, you know, them part of, you know, smaller segments to where we’re talking more frequent, to understand what we’re doing right, what we’re not doing, so that then they become even more loyal because they feel like they’re part of that brand, and really part of an ambassador for your brand. Which once you get to that point, you know, that becomes even more powerful.

Damon Pistulka  22:13

Yeah, it’s like Andrew Doyle talks about he says, build voracious advocates for your brand. Absolutely. And then engage them. Yeah, absolutely. And when you’re, when you’re doing that, I mean, yeah, it can work for you could have a sports team, you could be race cars, you could be, you know, groceries, it really doesn’t matter if you have the data to be able to, to really think about why someone may care about and it really you’re putting yourself in the shoes of the customer and going, why would Damon like to get an email from us today?

Not not, how can I sell them? Yeah, but why would he like to get an email from us today. And I think that’s, I think about that, because myself for the last few years, I’ve really come around, and started to understand how to how to, to actually sell the way that you, you should sell and by giving people what they really want, and just showing them that it’s there. And, and it’s when you think of it in those ways, and you have the data behind it, it’s so powerful

Bernie Fussenegger  23:14

it is and you know, we’re talking about media, and communicating, but you know, going almost old school, and this is something that I talked with, you know, some of the clients that I work with is, you know, customer outreach program, identify your best 20 to 40 consumers, and call them up on the phone, you know, pick, pick up the phone and call them up, ya know, at that point, you’re becoming more personal with them.

But, you know, ask them, What is the experience? Like, what are your expectations? Why do you buy from us, and you know, start that two way dialogue to where, you know, they’re going to start feeling more than just a consumer that there’s this, you’re, they’re giving you advice, and you’re asking for it, but you know, it’s physically talking to the consumers as well. And it’s not relying on a survey that goes out or an email or something else. But you know, you got to have a vocalization and talk to someone as well to really build even stronger brand loyalty.

Damon Pistulka  24:10

That’s a great point. Because if you did that with if you were a restaurant and you did that with your, the your repeat customers of people, yeah, you figure out your big spenders, you figure out your top two or three different kinds of people that you identify in there and you talk to 10 a week, that’s 500 over that 500 calls over a year, a lot of times to talk to people and they’re going to help you they’re going to help with your improvements.

They’re going to help you with creating a better menu they’re going to help you with layout of the facility and or whatever it is, they’re gonna help you with all these different things that like you said, if if someone calls me and says Damon, you know, you’re a good customer of ours, and I’ve seen him around, just want to see what do you think about that? This.

Bernie Fussenegger  25:00

And on the flip side, you can look at some of your customers that may have a bad experience and talk to them. Yeah, and you know, through that process, you may bring them back into the brand. But you’re also going to understand what’s not working, why they left or you know, the problems that they had. So you can make those improvements. So, you know, it’s not just your best, but look at some of the ones that may not be performing the way that you that you want. And their expectations might be a little bit different. Yeah, learning from both ends that, you know, I think is very important.

Damon Pistulka  25:31

That’s true. That’s true that the the bad experiences can teach you what you need to do even better. Yeah, even better, that’s for sure. Wow. I mean, it still, you know, we’ve talked a few times, and stuff. And I still am boggled when I think about the the amount of data so I mean, did you have data scientists that mean, basically, they were just analyzing stuff for you?

Bernie Fussenegger  25:55

That didn’t come? That really didn’t come until later? It really is probably within the last 678 years, something like that.

Damon Pistulka  26:02

Yeah. Yeah. cuz I’ve talked to people other just with product sales. You know, once you get up, you know, like over 100 million or so, it seems like you really just need to get analysts. Yeah. And you start to do that. So the size of your business? I’d say it’d be, you’d have to have a lot of them.

Bernie Fussenegger  26:21

Friends, what’s working? What Yeah, once you start getting into segmentation, who are the segments we need to go after? Why do we need to go after them? You know, what’s their lifetime value? What’s their ticket average? What, what’s their propensity to order?

x, y, and z, I mean, there’s so many different variables that you could really dig into, and you look at just, you know, with pizza alone, that’s one thing but look, like a retail, you know, box store that’s got millions of skews in the amount of data that they’re pulling in with one fascinating, but to be a big thing that you would need an army of data scientists that are, you know, rummaging through all that trying to pull out all the right things that you need to focus on.

Damon Pistulka  27:03

Yeah. And just and just organizing that the only analysts to be able to work on the right things, because you can go down a rabbit hole pretty easily. Oh, months?

Bernie Fussenegger  27:13

Yeah. And I think, you know, with that it’s, you know, what are the KPIs that you’re setting up prior to a campaign? And what are your goals? What are your expectations, the KPIs? And what are your measurements? And how are you measuring along the way can help keep some of that I think contained as far as the rabbit holes, because you’re right, you could go so deep and probably get off focus when that happens.

Damon Pistulka  27:36

Yeah. So let’s, let’s let’s summarize up your your papa john’s by a couple things. So what what was the thing that was the most fun that you did while you were there?

Bernie Fussenegger  27:46

The most fun, I guess it would be the, I guess it would be my baby that we built. And it was this local email tool that allowed our franchisees the ability to send email and SMS, it’s something that, you know, we started way off in 2007. And as far as I know, they’re still using it, and, you know, nice lifetime lifespan for something like that.

But, you know, as understanding the problems that we had back then of, you know, we’ve got one message, and how do we get more offers, and this was, you know, gave us the ability, but, you know, you think about a franchise organization like that. Yeah. And you look at any individual market, they know, when a Domino’s has opened up, they know what their competitors are doing in their market. So they needed that ability to be able to act fast, be able to act quickly, to then really compete with their competition on a day to day basis.

And these tools allow us to do that. And you know, that was one of those, that being part of the inception, being part of the discovery, working with the development teams, the technical teams, adding segmentation, adding new tools along the way, it was something that was always evolving, and always did evolve with the features and functionality. And it’s one of those that, you know, we work with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and that was really something that helped them with their business as far as their distributing sending tool that they built that went to all their partners. Wow,

Damon Pistulka  29:09

very cool.

Bernie Fussenegger  29:10

That was kind of fun. And that was, like, you know, you know, sit back, and it’s like, Okay, this is the one big thing and there’s a multitude of others that Yeah, there’s not one person that is, you know, there are so many people involved in this. Yeah, architects, you know, developers, and you know, it’s the process and how does the team come together to truly build something that’s beneficial for the brand is, you know, really the coolest part.

And when you look at online ordering, going from 2% to 60 70%, you think of all the people that were involved in that process, over the course of 20 years, and it’s amazing, the number of talented people i was able and fortunate enough to work with along the way and oh, yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing. And you know, with us, we built a lot of this ourselves. And we have developers have built this ourselves, and it’s It’s pretty cool to say I was part of that.

Damon Pistulka  30:02

Yeah, no doubt, no doubt because it is so cool to get to talk to you about this because it just it like I said before many times when we talked, it’s just fascinating to me. Because of the a the breadth of experience you had there. And then and then the growth I mean, because when you started, and I’m gonna wrap this up, because a lot of time on this, but how big was the company when you started? I would say, under 1000. Stores? Yeah, yeah. So yeah. But if we were over 5000 Oh, my goodness.

Yeah. That’s crazy. Cool, man. And I’m, I am excited to see what how you’re going to be helping people in the future. Because I know what you’re doing. And what you learned, is really, it’s going to be able to help a lot of other business people, what they want to do. So what are you excited for? Now? What’s what what I mean, because now you you’ve been kind of out, you get this like, Okay, I understand you’ve been hanging out a while you’re, you’re, you’re looking at some different opportunities, but what really excites you now in the field of, of your three R’s, and, and for people being able to, you know, do good things in their business?

Bernie Fussenegger  31:14

Yeah. So the one thing I’m really excited for is, you know, for the last 20 years, I’ve always done consulting on the side, I’ve always had, you know, my side business brands, websites, and whatnot. But really, the last three to four years, you know, started building up my personal brand, which has really evolved into my business brand B to the seven. And my focus there is how to take a lot of these past experiences at Papa John’s, with data driven marketing with omni channel to really focus in on how do I help restaurants, retail, any service brands, with their marketing programs.

And, you know, for a long time, it’s like, oh, gosh, I don’t want to be associated with anything, Papa John’s, I’m going my own way. But in reality, the experiences that I’ve gained there from, you know, basically a startup to multi unit franchise with very limited data to tons of data. Yeah, that experience in that understanding is very translatable to so many other different industries. And, you know, when I’ve talked to people, they’re like, Well, you know, health care, for example, or even, you know, some of the other categories of, well, you know, the customers aren’t the same.

In reality, when you step back and look at it, you got to know who your customer is, you got to know what makes them tick, you’ve got to know what their channel is. And then you’ve got to have programs that are built around it, whether you’re selling a car, whether you’re selling pizza, you still have to have that foundation, and then reach, retain and regain, you know, fits into all of that how you’re going to reach new customers, doesn’t matter what brand what category and that is everyone’s objective, how do I get new customers in the door? And, you know, what is your strategy?

What are your programs, what are your channels that you do to have that, and then back to the retain, you want to retain all your consumers? So what are the messaging the programs that you have, once you start bringing these customers in how you create, you know, creating and gaining that data, and then the regain once again, but you know, that’s really a foundation that applies for any brands, you know, you know, what am I doing now, so a lot of it is, you know, consulting with other restaurants, consulting with other partners with the beat to the seven.

Another one is formed a partnership with two other professionals three ring circus, which is a social media creation studio, where we do a lot of stock animation. You know, Bobby, ordinary, when you can be extraordinary with a lot of this creative. You know, we’ve got a photography that team does is phenomenal in the background that they have one of them has done a lot of the photography for Papa John’s over the years. And, you know, he’s been doing this on his side, he’s worked with a lot of bourbon brands, the other professional Rachel, that’s part of the partnership, you know, she’s done a lot of work for Humana and healthcare, but she’s a, you know, phenomenal photographer.

So, you know, taking a lot of our experiences and working together as a team, to then helping other brands. So we’ve got a couple clients on that side, where, you know, we’re doing a lot of testing, developing, you know, a lot of the animations for them to use within their social, you know, that’s another part of, you know, taking our experiences and understanding, you know, what the focus is for a brand and then, you know, working with them to create really one of three areas What is your brand message, what is your promotional message, and then have enough fun and entertaining section that really engages with the consumer as well.

So really, that’s kind of the two areas that I’m looking at any also looking for a full time if it’s there, and, you know, how does this all fit together for myself, it’s, you know, I’ll always do stuff with my clients and brands on the side because that gives me the ability to continuously learn to continuous you know, try different things that you know, may not with a like with Papa John’s, for example, you know, there was very little A structure. So with the clients that I had with them, I was still able to go out and try different things and learn different things, and really be able to expand my mindset and my features and my experiences with other brands as well. Yeah,

Damon Pistulka  35:14

yeah. Well, that’s exciting. It’s exciting. So, yeah, what what do you think, is the coolest technology development that you’ve seen in the last few months? The coolest? Yeah,

Bernie Fussenegger  35:30

I’m not sure if it’s really, technology in general. But it is what brands have been forced to do over the last year, if you will, yep. To meet consumers expectations. And some of that is, you know, a lot of brands may not have really been active online, or may not have online ordering, but they were forced to get into a space that they were not comfortable with. Yeah, some of them excelled. Some of them didn’t.

But you know, it’s the way technolog technology has been used over the last year is, in my opinion, gonna help shape the next five years. And when I say that, you look the data that they’re collecting, how are these brands now going to be able to be more focused to be more personalized, be more one to one now that they’ve got this data. And when I say data, it’s, you know, understanding who Damon is, what has he ordered, but then building and developing programs that are now going to be data data driven, that they weren’t doing a year ago.

And you know, a year ago, this was the CMO or the CEO, saying we’re going to do this, this was a event for their brand, to go into a space that they probably weren’t ready for. And they were probably resisting and probably thinking, we never need to do that. Because, you know, we’re sitting sit in restaurant and whatever it may be, or, you know, we might be a retail establishment that, you know, our doors are always open.

Yeah, not always going to be that way. And this is an event that I think showed us that but you know, where are we going to go from here? And how are we going to be more personalized? How are we going to look at the technology? And these are things that we’ve been talking about for you know, five, oh, yeah, years, but not a lot of brands are doing it? Right. And when you think of, you know, what’s going to happen after this, hopefully, you know, brands are going to start evolving and understanding the importance of data and why they should collect it. And while they should have data driven, driven programs around it,

Damon Pistulka  37:27

yeah, yeah. I agree. I agree. And I’m glad to glad to hear you say that because I really think that there is when we look at the we look at what was forced upon companies in the last year plus there you look at the way you had to relate to people the way that you had to the remote work environment the real peace in that the the e commerce that just more transactions being done just because of the physical requirements of it. I don’t think that that so I think some of that is going to stick because I know for me Look at me all dude like me.

I like ordering online now. Oh, yeah. And I didn’t before I like it now because I order it shows up on the doorstep. That’s done and and whether it’s ordering food, whether it’s already supplies, whatever it is, and and when you look at that, that’s that is even I think more prevalent in younger generations. Yeah, what it did is a force just about everyone to get kind of used to it. I mean, my my mother was ordering groceries online. Yeah. For for almost a year. Do you think I don’t think that that will probably change they’re used to being able to go in and make their little list out online and go pick it up?

Bernie Fussenegger  38:54

Yeah, you know, and it’s listening to and you know, if brands don’t listen to what the expectations are their consumers are I can just go somewhere else. Yeah, you know, how are you listening then how are you creating creating an experience that I want to keep coming back into?

Damon Pistulka  39:11

Yeah, yeah. And and mixing it into the hybrid model of Yeah, I like to order on top online sometimes but I want to stop in sometimes you know and see. So it’s really gonna be interesting how the brands can do it because everything from restaurants to doctor’s offices, I have had to change and and you know, just so many opportunities for people to rethink the the the customer engagement and the customer how you just deal with it and the journey and how you can make it better that it’s mind boggling the the options we have it really is.

I mean, yeah, cool. Yeah, it is. So you know, Bernie, it’s been awesome getting talked to you. And I want to I want to be cognizant of our time here. I know you’ve got another appointment, but man, I am so happy that we had This time to talk on faces a business. So if someone wants to get ahold of you, what’s the best way to reach out? Is LinkedIn a good place to find you?

Bernie Fussenegger  40:09

LinkedIn is probably the best place. For any piece of Nagar that should be. I think my dad might be out there, you can tell the difference. Yeah. Absolutely. Definitely on Twitter, and yeah, website, B to the would be another way. But usually LinkedIn, where I’m most active, and Okay, and Twitter.

Damon Pistulka  40:31

Good stuff. Well, thanks so much for being here today. Bernie, it’s awesome talking to you. Again, I’m just, I’m a junkie about this stuff. And we can talk about it for hours. But I will, I will spare the listeners that are listening to me babble on, but your experience and the way that you think about this, the way that you think about this is so cool, to be able to get into a more depth in depth conversation with you, because man, you start on unpeel the onion around you and get the layers open, you can really tell how you understand this at a deep level?

Bernie Fussenegger  41:03

Well, yeah, and that’s another part, you know, over the last three, four years, it’s how do you then for myself, it’s how do I make my personal brand and professional brand? stand apart from what everybody else is offering? And how to use my back experience? To then help with that? And yeah, really formulated and really settled on, you know, the reach, retain and regain?

And how does that then apply to so much other but you know, it’s understanding how to use that data, how to understand how to use the channels, how to understand segmentation, Target, forwarding, I mean, it all fits together and without data. I mean, you’re just basically, here’s a high level batch and blast, no experience. Yeah, yeah. That’s also the relationship building. So you know, social has a very big part in this as far as, you know, how do you build a community?

How do you engage with that community? How do you listen provide value, so that’s a no whole nother Avenue. That’s, you know, part of the levers that you pull, but you’ve got to build a relationship with your audiences and with your customers. And social is the perfect, you know, it’s a long tail game with social, it’s not Yeah, that you’re gonna do today and tomorrow and expect results. It’s how are you present? How are you active? How do you engage? And that’s just as important as some of the other data marketing elements that you’re doing. Mm hmm. And we could talk all day on

Damon Pistulka  42:21

all of this. Yeah, it’s so true. That’s so true. Well, Bernie, so great to have you there. have you here. Thanks, Kelly was on she said, Hey, two awesome, folks. She said. Hi, Kelly. Hey, Kelly, thanks for listening today. I’m just so so blessed to have you here today, man, and very much appreciate it. Yeah, I’m glad we can have you here. You know, I like your sports choices. I mean, I Kentucky’s cool. St. Louis Cardinals, definitely the Cowboys. I’m going to go but a everyone’s got to have their choices. And mo it’s awesome that you have them.

Bernie Fussenegger  42:56

You know, growing up growing up in Louisville, we didn’t have a whole lot of choices. There was Yeah, I think the Bengals at the time. And in our market. It was Green Bay that was on all the time the Steelers and the Cowboys. Yeah. When I was six years old. I chose the Cowboys better for worse, for better for worse.

Damon Pistulka  43:17

That’s good. That’s good. Well, it’s it’s it’s the making those choices and sticking with a man. Yeah, absolutely. All right. Well, wonderful. Thanks for being here today. Bernie. Thanks everyone else for listening. We’re going to be back again on Thursday. This week. We got I believe it’s Lisa cup rally on today. Oh, on Thursday, she’s going to be talking about she has a great cause where she and she has a hole. Oh is online where she helps to inspire children to read. It’s really cool. So we’re gonna have that going on. And yeah, so thanks again for being here. Bernie. We’re gonna sign off for now everyone else, this be safe and we will see you again next time. Bye.

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