MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Australia

Check out what mobile marketing can offer to QSRs

Digital Director, Leigh Grey-Smith, shares his thoughts on the latest trend.

QSR Media talked to Leigh Grey-Smith, Digital Director at the Sphere Agency, to know more about the advantages and disadvantages of mobile marketing, and the impact it has made in the QSR industry.

(Read part 1 and part 2 here.)

QSR Media: Mobile marketing for QSR's, why?

Grey-Smith: Mobile marketing is an excellent idea for QSRs, as the most optimal search terms for mobile users are based on location and need. QSRs have the ability to quickly satisfy that need, whether it’s a delivery service or just proximity to an area, and therefore mobile SEM is critical to capturing that local market.
We often find a common structure for search terms from a mobile device are {category/product} + suburb. For instance ‘furniture richmond’.

Moreover we are also seeing a pattern that users are more likely do perform product research on tablet and desktop devices, then more likely look for store location, and contact details when on mobile.

Another benefit is the ease of targeted marketing. Advertising to someone at home will likely result in a delayed sale, as it may be days or weeks before they physically come in to the restaurant, or order food. Hence reinforcing the product research phase on desktop / tablet.

However, advertising that can target someone on the street who is looking for lunch, and in the locality will compel him or her to search for that place and buy food right away. Targeted marketing strategies really need to be developed to the unique properties of product or service that is being offered.

QSR Media: How big of an impact can this type of marketing make?

Grey-Smith: With mobile search share nearly doubling over the past year, and an average of 25% of all searches being conducted on a mobile device (tablets or smart phones) in the first quarter of 2013, there is clearly a large market to tap in to.

Given that traditional SEO and SEM tactics aren’t effective for the mobile web, effective mobile marketing strategy will have a huge impact on accessing this market and generating traffic and, more importantly, conversions for a QSR.

QSR Media: How can QSR’s maximize reach with mobile marketing?

Grey-Smith: Ensuring your website is mobile compatible. Responsive front-end code frameworks such as ‘bootstrap’ will automatically adjust to various different display dimensions. However you need to ensure that the information mobile users are looking for is easy to access, as the pages depth for mobile users is much less than desktop.

You can also just target mobile users for search campaigns, so we always recommend running Enhanced Adwords campaigns in order to take advantage of the shift towards mobile focus.

Additionally, QSRs can expand their retention figures by creating an app that will retain loyal customers by offering a custom user experience that caters to their exact needs. Although the initial user experience will most likely be through the mobile web, repeat customers have a high adoption rate of restaurant apps.

QSR Media: What are some of mobile marketing’s limitations or disadvantages?

Grey-Smith: There are several disadvantages to mobile marketing: firstly, there is a ‘feature page’ style to web searches on mobile devices - if you aren’t amongst the first five results, there is a higher likelihood of your mobile site going unnoticed than if the search were conducted through a desktop. The competition is a lot higher simply because the acceptable field of search ranking is so much smaller.

Another issue is that platforms are too diverse. Mobile devices come in many shapes and sizes, so screen size is never constant. They also use different browsers and operating systems, so creating a mobile website not only far more complex, but it also carries the risk of being transcoded if the site code isn’t standards compliant, which will greatly affect a mobile site’s search ranking.

QSR Media: Mobile marketing and purchasing decisions, what kind of data can you share with us in this space, particularly with regard to ordering fast food on mobiles?

Grey-Smith: A recent study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Viggle has shown that about 69 percent of consumers are ordering food online using a mobile device. They also use mobile devices to find out restaurant locations, check out menus and see other users’ reviews.

The same study showed that 50 percent of users surveyed have downloaded a restaurant-branded app on their mobile device. The mobile web and apps particularly offer efficient conversion methods and payment systems that make it incredibly easy for people to make a purchase.

One thing we have noticed is that with the viral in store campaigns we’ve worked on we’re getting a 20% coupon redemption rate for each campaign element: we definitely see this in particular as a growth area.

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