QSR Mobile Advertising: A Proven Strategy for the Digital Marketing Age

In the quick-service industry, your brand must live up to its name when it comes to marketing by focusing on being in the moment with your customers.

Consumers make spur-of-the-moment decisions; you may only have seconds to grab their attention before they take their business elsewhere. That’s why mobile advertising is crucial for QSR businesses in the digital marketing age. Marketing that leverages mobile capabilities grabs consumers as they’re on the go, introducing them to your brand when they’re motivated and ready to buy.

Emerging innovative mobile technology uses sensors, geolocators, and consumer data to get your brand’s message out at exactly the right time, increasing QSR traffic and sales. By taking advantage of mobile advertising, you can target your campaigns to reach the most motivated buyers. Below, let’s explore how you can strategically use mobile advertising opportunities and techniques to gain new customers and incremental sales.

Leveraging Geolocation-based QSR Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising strategies can be leveraged to build awareness of an upcoming brand event as well as build scarcity for a given promotion or product. By incorporating geolocation, brands can target the right consumers in the right places—at the right moment. Take, for instance, Burger King’s Free Fries Friday promotion in 2011.

qsr mobile advertising
Engage your hungry audience on the go using mobile advertising | Image courtesy Pixabay user LibbyandMarcelcom

In this textbook example of using a multi-platform approach to omnichannel marketing, their team drove awareness of the upcoming mobile campaign for this newly offered side item through social media. Interested individuals opted into an app and, on the day of the event, GPS technology alerted the company to where a consumer was located in relation to one of their stores. Consumers then received a notice on their smartphones about the Free Fries Friday promotion along with the details of their nearest Burger King location.

The two main benefits to this strategy are obvious: (1) it enticed the consumer with a free deal and (2) it showed them how to easily take advantage of it. Campaigns like this combine scarcity with convenience and, together, these two components drive brand awareness. This marketing technique was incredibly successful for Burger King. Their mobile ads saw significantly higher click-through rates than average and their stores gained a 37% increase in traffic. The reason for this success seems almost too obvious: advertising in the moment—the right moment.

How Moment-Based Rewards Drive Conversions

Today, moment-based rewards are important in gaining brand awareness and conversions as consumers look for instant gratification. Mobile app-based advertising works for QSR companies because:

  • Consumers demand it: 52 percent of millennials say they want to use their mobile devices to take advantage of deals offered by restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. There are a multitude of reasons for this but it can essentially be broken down to the convenience of using a mobile app coupled with our societal habit of carrying our smartphones everywhere we go.
  • It simplifies offering customer rewards: One study found that mobile users, when interacting with a brand’s marketing campaigns, had a 10 percent higher positive view of the brands that offered rewards rather than those that simply advertised. Via modern mobile technology, you can offer timely discounts, rewards programs, and other awareness drivers that increase the positive perception of your brand—and new customer conversions.
  • It encourages consumer-brand interaction: Consumers use their mobile devices to share positive experiences of their interactions with brands. These organic relationship-building moments are highly valuable to brands as they create a personal connection between the brand and the consumer.

How QSR Mobile App Advertising Enables Accessible Consumer Data

Mobile advertising catches consumers as they’re on the go and ready to buy, encouraging them to spend with your brand. Simultaneously, mobile can also be used to collect data so you can be confident that you’re reaching the right market.

Let’s again consider the Burger King case study. During their Free Fries Friday campaign, they geotargeted consumers closest to Burger King locations. Announcing deals to individuals 40 or 50 miles from a Burger King would have proved fruitless, as most consumers would not be willing to travel that far for a free fast food side dish. Instead, the company was able to focus their message on those in the vicinity of a Burger King, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Mobile app marketing is highly effective due to its ability to deliver contextually relevant messaging and offers. Other benefits include:

  • It minimizes privacy concerns: When a consumer downloads an app, they want to receive deals from the brands represented by the app. Standard mobile advertising that is not app-based doesn’t include that built-in permission. Instead, it’s the equivalent of a cold call.
  • It’s where consumers spend their mobile time: About 82% of mobile time is spent in apps. If you want to reach consumers via mobile advertising options, apps are your best strategy.
  • It offers data that traditional site tracking can’t: Mobile apps can use a shopper’s location to target them when they’re more likely to buy. Sensor technology allows users of the apps to be alerted as they approach QSR locations, reminding consumers of the brand while they’re on the go and more likely to be able to conveniently make a purchase.

It has become clear that in order to connect with on-the-go consumers, your marketing team must leverage mobile advertising to promote your QSR brand. A consumer who’s looking for a place to grab a quick meal or beverage will be more apt to choose your location if you offer them a timely opportunity to interact. Consumers are barraged with offers these days, so timing is everything in gaining their attention and, therefore, their business.

To learn how Shopkick can help you increase traffic and sales in QSR, get in touch today, or explore our Partners page for more information.