A deep dive into 5 billion dollar companies implementing platform-based marketing into their operations.

Nike

“Digital is the ‘new normal’ in consumer behavior, and we believe the trends that we’re seeing are here to stay,” John Donahoe, president and CEO of Nike, said in a December earnings call. “Consumers want to get what they want, when they want it, how they want it.”

I personally think Nike takes the crown for utilizing platform-based marketing, as they have cultivated a cult following for their limited sneaker releases, Nike Snkrs App, and made that process more accessible to customers. Nike has dedicated an entire department to content creation for their mobile platform. Allowing customers to not solely engage with their platform for releases but also explore the creativity that goes into each release.

This approach with their platform has boosted their customer engagement, leading to increased order frequency, and furthering sneaker culture which is ultimately beneficial to their bottom line. Nike also has another app dedicated to their regularly and widely available retail lines, it would be safe to say 80% of the people who have downloaded the Nike Snkrs app have ventured into their sister platforms to see what is up, thus further customer engagement.

Now I would say you do not need an app to lead to another app, however, I commend Nike’s dedication to platform-based marketing. As it has proven to be very successful and effective for Nike. Nike is a great example of platform-based marketing being used as a sales leader.


Depop

Dubbed the gen-z marketplace for fashion and if you know anything about gen-z, it is that they are glued to their phones. “98% of Generation Z members own a smartphone. 55% of Generation Z use their smartphones for five or more hours daily. And more than a quarter (26%) are glued to their mobile devices for over 10 hours a day.”(source) So do not tell me a mobile platform is not vital for your business, that is a market share up grabs, well up for clicks. Depop took two things that just made sense and put them together. Their target was young people and young people love convenience and fashion, but they also love sharing it.

Depop made fashion more sociable by implementing social features into their mobile platform, making aspects of fashion and selling clothes more involved and appealing to customers. Thus leading back to increased customer engagement and higher-order frequency per customer. Furthermore, to truly confirm the importance of platform-based marketing, Depop was recently acquired by Etsy for 1.6 billion dollars, that’s right 1.6 billion with a B. However, that is not the craziest part, Depop only collected 70 million in revenue, just 70 million for a 1.6 billion buyout.


Finishline

I would say Finishline’s implementation of platform-based marketing is one many, if not all, can use or takes notes on. It’s a news feed, a dedicated section to just news about shoe releases and events within the brand. Keeping their customers update on their latest sneakers and stories behind them. This boosts customer engagement by giving them a convenient one-stop-shop for related information and also gives a customer something to look forward to.

A content feed has shown to be very effective, I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent many times just aimlessly scrolling up and down on Instagram to pass time, not even taking in the content, just scrolling to scroll. So for a Finishline customer who is into sneakers, they have a space to explore and cultivate a following for Finishline.


Chick fil a

For a company that’s closed on Sundays, they are doing phenomenal. Chick fil a’s per location makes more than McDonald's and offers the best-tasting chicken sandwiches known to man. I think chick fil a mastered platform-based marketing, they have gamified the experience, making customers want to come back and back.

For many restaurants and their brands, word of mouth is usually their biggest sales leader. However, word of mouth can only go so far, and if you want to grow and not just be the size you are. You are going to have to maximize the voice of your customers. They did 3 things right, implemented loyalty into their app, offered a tier level loyalty program, and made it their portal for 3rd party services.


Buffalo wild wings

Simple and short with this one, they knew their customers is all I can say. Buffalo wild wings incorporated gaming into their app, pure genius. They know their customer base is adults and adults who love sports. Put the two together, if you are betting right next to where you eat, what’s an extra $8 wings plate on a $100 bet.

Here is the kicker in my opinion, if you are already into gambling you are into losing money, you think you will win and no one truly bets and thinks they are going to lose. So that $8 plate of wings could turn to $14 or $20, with a customer thinking they’re going hit big. Then when they lose, the only way to not feel like a dumbass who counted their chickens before they hatched is taking a sip of that good old liquor. That’s a well-oiled machine