The quick-serve restaurant space is pretty darned competitive. Any given downtown or business district has a zillion options to choose from – from subs, to pizza, to southern-fried chicken. And most of those restaurants, particularly if they’re chains, have a mobile app.
A restaurant chain we recently partnered with was in a particularly tight spot. Not only were they losing business to neighboring competitors, they were targeting a harder-to-reach demographic and desperately needed to raise their mobile game. Like many QSRs, this chain had a mobile app, but they weren’t seeing the adoption they wanted, especially not from the niche audience they were aiming to reach.
This QSR is usually found in busy Main Street-type areas or shopping districts, surrounded by Subways, Pita Pits, Pizza Huts and other popular chain restaurants. While that physical competition will always be present, our client was a disadvantage because they lacked mobile sophistication. They had an app, but most consumers didn’t know about or use it – despite the fact that it could make the process of ordering and picking up food fast, easier, and often less expensive.
The best solution was mobile app conquesting. By targeting locally, demographically, and by the apps consumers in their target audience used, we knew we could help them boost their peak-time business significantly. And since we were targeting certain mealtimes, we used dayparting to their advantage, as well.
Using our relationships with premium publishers, as well as our own troves of first-party data, were able to reach and engage users from within their target demo who regularly used other popular QSR apps. We used enticing creatives to invite them to download our client’s app by extolling its many benefits, including convenience and exclusive, app-only coupons. Creatives were designed for breakfast, lunch and dinner crowds, and copy and images related to mealtime decision-making. The custom creatives were designed in three different standard sizes (320X50, 320X480, and 300X250).
The campaign was day-parted according to three logical segments: Breakfast (5am-10am), lunch (10am-3pm), dinner (3pm-8pm) and late night (8pm-5am). Iterations of each ad were created so that messages could be A/B tested and the campaign could be optimized on an ongoing basis. We also employed geo-fencing since the audience obviously needed to be within easy driving distance of a restaurant.
The biggest ads got the most engagement, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone. And because they were targeted to people who already use QSR apps with an ad for a nearby restaurant close to a mealtime, results were promising across the campaign. Engagement rates with the ads averaged about four percent across the board, and were highest for the 320×480 placements. More importantly, all that engagement came from the target demographic.
The campaign drove seven percent conversion, totalling about five hundred installations per day throughout the two months. Dinner received the biggest bump, followed by lunch and then breakfast.
Users were eager to take advantage of the offers and streamline the ordering of their meals while getting exclusive discounts.
While this strategy worked extremely well for this particular restaurant, it can work for any restaurant, using a variety of benefits to entice users. A well-known pizza chain used Scene movie points to their advantage as an app-only benefit. Other restaurants offer free sides with app orders, Air Miles, and other perks.
The point is – mobile app conquesting works, and it’s highly customizable. Target users from a competitive business, offer them a unique benefit, and see for yourself how dramatic the results can be.