Why Tyson’s Digital Strategy Earned them the Drexel Analytics 50

Lima Consulting Group

The Drexel LeBow Analytics 50 is a national recognition of analytics distinction honoring 50 organizations using analytics to solve the toughest business challenges. Honorees are selected by a multidisciplinary panel of academia and business leaders based on the complexity of the business challenge, the analytics solution implemented, and the solution’s business impact on the organization.

Tyson Foodservice was selected as a 2021 honoree for their recent efforts to leverage digital technology to learn more about their customers, enabling them to deliver winning customer experiences and standardize sales best practices across the enterprise. What makes this award even more relevant, is that they did all of this at a time when their customers needed them the most.

According to Keith Barber, Director of Digital Customer Experience, Tyson Foodservice, “We’re in a position to innovate how we serve our longstanding distribution relationships while also opening up lines of communication for the first time with 1.4 million businesses. We have new ways and new answers to bring to the market at a time when they need us most. Having a third-party help to educate our decision-makers and at times serve the role of arbitrator was essential. Our ability to arrive at a cohesive, multi-year strategy couldn’t have happened without Lima Consulting Group (LCG) and its model. It provided us with a disciplined and deliberate roadmap that aligned everything with meticulous detail.” Barber is inspired by what the strategy is unlocking.

Tyson Foodservice is the business unit at Tyson offering menu solutions to anywhere food is served including restaurants, schools, hospitality, criminal justice, and healthcare institutions. Since their internal B2B sales unit is relatively small, each sales rep is only able to focus on the largest national restaurant chain clients and non-commercial operations, but there are over one-million customers who purchase through food distributors, which are referred to as “unattended operators.” Since Tyson doesn’t have direct relationships with them, Tyson doesn’t know the specifics of the Tyson products they are purchasing. These distributors don’t exclusively sell Tyson products, may push their own private labels, and don’t share order data. Tyson Foodservice knew there was room for improvement.

Tyson Foodservice ultimately partnered with Lima Consulting Group (LCG) to build a strategy and instrument a solution that gave them visibility to the complete customer experience. LCG built a dashboard in Adobe Analytics that ties data from a comprehensive technology stack, including digital properties, CRM and ERP, to provide Digital Marketing’s contribution to Sales, which is the primary key performance indicator.

To gain the visibility needed, Tyson had to first document, integrate, and digitize processes with the customer at the center. They leveraged LCG’s design thinking practice and used process mapping along with customer journey mapping tools to do so. The visibility of the customer experience now mirrors the entire relationship with Tyson, from the moment a food service professional becomes aware of Tyson, all the way to the re-ordering process, and all the steps in between.

“The business impact has been electrifying to influence,” said Barber. Tyson has been able to establish baseline costs to acquire a lead and a new selling relationship. Sophisticated lead scoring algorithms enable improvements in the ratio of closed deals, leading to an accelerate pipeline.

Marketing is now better able to justify the business case for future digital marketing investments using a complete customer centric view. The marketing department is in the process of building many more personas using customer segmentation data and coordinating a robust content marketing capability to launch a personalization at scale strategy using Marketo. Time savings in data preparation and analysis was improved by 8,000% and is done near real-time now, instead of on an ad-hoc/as-needed basis.

According to Barber, “We have grown our content marketing campaign volume by 5,000% since the beginning of this initiative.”


About the Author: In 2004, Paul Lima founded Lima Consulting Group, a multi-national consultancy with offices throughout the Americas. Paul’s personal mission is to apply innovation to help organizations transform their digital futures.  He is the author of the firm’s flagship offering, the Digital Transformation Maturity Model used by Fortune 100 companies and mid-sized businesses alike in strategically applying digital innovations to deliver world-class, customer experiences.  

Paul is a veteran of the US Army and served as one of the founding officers in the Nation’s first cyber-warfare unit in the first Joint unit headquartered in the Pentagon. He earned a Master’s Degree in the Management of Technology awarded jointly by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering (SEAS) and the Wharton School and holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy.   

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