time to onboard
reduction in ad hoc emails
usage of inbound sales in January 2020
Uber Eats slims down its onboarding process and nurtures their restaurant partners
“With Marketo Engage and BluprintX, we’ve moved from a shoestring operational approach to communications to one that’s much more robust and considered.”
-Connor Sinclair, Uber Eats’ Senior Restaurant Experience Manager for Australia and New Zealand
At a time when convenience is everything, Uber Eats leads in the food delivery category, especially in Australia. Since launching in 2016, they’ve signed up over 320,000 restaurants to the platform, satisfying hungry bellies nationally with their meal of choice. Australians enjoy the convenience of dining on their favourite multicultural cuisines, so it’s no surprise the app’s uptake was rapid. As a result, Uber Eats Australia grew ahead of much of the world. The account management and marketing teams worked hard to keep up. However, they quickly needed to rely on their own initiatives to drive continued growth while still servicing their customers: restaurants on the platform.
When a restaurant signs up to the service, they become a business partner as well as a customer. Uber Eats invests in the success of each restaurant partner, providing support through data analytics, marketing opportunities and onboarding. Each new account requires heavy lifting from Uber Eats’ sales and account management teams in Australia. Over time, handling this fast pace resulted in ad hoc communications, with a complex tech stack in the background.
“Everything in the Uber world is at breakneck speed. We lean quite heavily on our email communication channels as are our main source of information,” says Connor Sinclair, Uber Eats’ Senior Restaurant Experience Manager for Australia and New Zealand.
To realign communications with company strategy, Connor was charged with developing a clearer way of communicating and reporting engagements between Uber Eats and their restaurant partners. Uber Eats were already using Marketo Engage, integrated with their Salesforce CRM, but lacked internal resources to harness its potential. Connor turned to partner agency, BluprintX to identify the best execution of Marketo Engage. He aimed to deliver a more measured, strategic voice to communications, refine the onboarding process and identify further opportunities to improve sales and account management outcomes.
Driving a centralised, considered voice
Connor saw Marketo Engage as a primary resource to help eliminate the increased incidence of arbitrary communications happening across different teams. He wanted to leverage the platform to introduce a centralised model that delivered a more considered and uniform voice to interactions with partner restaurants. “We needed to move at a quicker pace: the advantage of having BluprintX was their expertise and understanding of the data structure and its relationship with our CRM via Salesforce,” Connor says.
The first stage of work involved six months of in-depth analysis for BluprintX and Uber Eats. This ‘triage’ approach helped develop rules around the transfer of business knowledge and identify strategic opportunities, with Connor working closely with Mina Saleeb, Account Manager at BluprintX to understand Uber Eats’ inner-workings. “It’s no understatement that our data structure is really complicated,” says Connor. “There’s a lot of nuances, in terms of how we communicate with different segments. We work with small family-run restaurants, and then we have strategic partnerships with companies like McDonald's.” It’s critical that each email connects to the needs of each restaurant partner and ties back to Uber Eats’ overall strategy. “Data structure and depth into the data warehouse was definitely a learning curve for me; a restaurant partner’s journey morphed depending on where they were up to in their journey and this needed to be factored in and mapped appropriately to ensure seamless communication,” says Mina.
Together, Uber Eats and BluprintX worked through cleansing and re-cataloguing the data. From there, Connor developed a plan to create a consistent voice for communications with restaurant partners that would support the sales and account management team by automating emails they previously wrote on a case-by-case basis. “Mina was really exemplary in creating an understanding that we’re not simply contacting a restaurant. There’s a person behind it who’s opening our emails. We have to think about who we’re communicating to and when they should receive it.”
Marketo Engage now powers the automation behind several nurture programs across their early and mid-life sales funnel. An essential part of the process involved reassessing and defining the lifecycle stages within Uber Eats, and how that reflected their sales funnel and segmentation. The result helped build a cohesive strategy focused on improving engagement.
Email marketing plays a critical role across different lifecycle stages, starting with onboarding new restaurant partners. “We see open rates anywhere from 60 to 70 per cent in the acquisition and early lifecycle. It’s crucial that they’re timely, relevant and correct,” says Connor.
Introducing an appetising workflow
When a restaurant signs up with Uber Eats, a number of steps must be completed before their account becomes operational: from filling forms with business information, activating the agreement, creating their menu and organising a professional photoshoot. Before Marketo Engage, the process involved phone calls and heavy lifting by the sales team. Now, it’s a more streamlined process. Personalised and carefully timed emails help walk new acquisitions through the set-up process and free up resources for the sales reps and account managers.
Increased adoption of Marketo Engage, synced with Uber Eats’ CRM platform, has strengthened alignment between marketing, account management and sales. The account management teams now have the capacity to improve upselling and the roll-out of new programs, such as Uber Eats’ Virtual Restaurant, which offers partners the opportunity to diversify and add different menus. The marketing team perform the upfront work: designing campaigns and email flows intended to educate or upsell. Next, the sales team populates the campaign through their CRM. Marketo Engage takes care of the execution. Backed with Marketo Advanced Business Intelligence Analytics, Connor’s team can measure opportunities and closures to assess the campaign’s success. If it’s successful, it’s scaled-up and repeated. “We’ve developed a good feedback loop that helps us identify gaps in data as well as programs.”
Faster service, smooth delivery
Since engaging with BluprintX and redesigning their use of Marketo Engage, Uber Eats can activate a new partner restaurant in five days, a process that used to take two weeks. By introducing a strategic approach to communications with partners, Uber Eats reduced the number of ad hoc emails generated by the account management and sales teams by 95 per cent. And during the downtime over Christmas in Australia, they leveraged Marketo Engage tool to drive pre-booked consultations for account managers when they hit their desks in January. This led to 100% usage of inbound sales for the month.
“It’s been a trailblazing 18 months. We’ve performed foundational work that we really needed. Next, we’re going to develop a nuanced and personalised experience for each customer, using analytics to make better decisions for an even more considered approach to how we communicate at scale,” Connor concludes.