El Pollo Loco, TD Bank & Marriott Executives Share Advice on Consumer Engagement

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At a recent Brand Innovators Marketing livecast on Consumer Engagement, marketers from El Pollo Loco, Marriott International and TD Bank shared how they approach consumer engagement.

Consumer engagement is key to brands that are looking to cut through the clutter and engage consumers. At a recent Brand Innovators Marketing livecast on Consumer Engagement, marketers from El Pollo Loco, Marriott International and TD Bank shared how they approach consumer engagement.

El Pollo Loco is trying to elevate engagement with the brand by breaking through the noise in the QSR space and developing relevant and engaging content to keep consumers engaged. This summer, that meant delivering food by drone in the “Chicken’s Can Fly” program.

“You think about how many brands are out there and how many people are competing for attention, you really have to figure out how you can differentiate yourself, not just be your traditional ‘what’s playing in the fast food or QSR space’,” said Andy Rebhun, Vice President & Digital Officer at El Pollo Loco. “You really want to just elevate the thinking and the way you engage with your consumers as a brand. Given that there are emails, there are text messages, there are commercials hitting consumers every second of the day, you want to keep it engaging, and keep it fun - do something that is going to be very different that is a little bit unexpected.” 

For TD Bank, consumer engagement is about bridging the gap from the transactional landscape to the partner landscape and bringing warmth to the consumer in their interactions with the brands.

“I leverage a people-based marketing strategy and try to be as thoughtful as possible through that whole communication,” said Danielle Smurlo Vesce, Head of Marketing, Brand & Partnership Strategy, Retail Card Services at TD Bank. “A few areas that I look at for success are a clear call to action, this is an emotional thing that you have just done, whether it is interacting with your day-to-day bank, whether it is a financing loan, whether it is simply a split payment option. This is something that anything that has to do with finances, it brings more of that emotion to the table. You really have to have clarity of message because there is going to be something else you are going to require of that consumer and in doing so you are going to need to have that dialog that is warm.” 


For Marriott, recognizing that people have different travel occasions, be it for business or vacation is important. The company aims to meet consumer needs whatever the occasion. As a travel brand, a lot of this is translated through their loyalty program.

“Loyalty across the board has changed quite a bit, really across all industries. Whenever there’s a lot of changes in life and in society, when you think about lifestyles and jobs, people’s preferences change with them, and that does impact loyalty,” said Ellen Cory, Vice President, Global Enterprise Insight & Strategy at Marriott International. “Travel patterns are changing drastically. We’re focused on staying connected with travelers – even if someone’s travel has reduced significantly. With loyalty, we’re trying to recognize where the consumer is. People haven’t dropped off of travel willingly; it’s not their choice and it’s not a lack of loyalty. The appetite for travel hasn’t changed; it’s the ability to travel. We’re excited to see those travelers eagerly coming back.” 

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