Dinner Is Served: How To Put Right Ads In Front Of QSR Customers

What do quick-service restaurants (QSR), fast casual, grocers, and convenience stores have in common?

They all put food on the table, and they all need effective advertising.

There used to be a very clear line between at-home and away-from-home dining experiences, but nowadays, the line separating grocery stores and restaurants is often blurred.

All of which has left some advertisers wondering: “How can I reach my target customer?”

When thinking about advertising your QSR brand, it’s important to consider several factors beyond targeting who’s the hungriest.

In a recent Mintel/Lightspeed consumer survey, 69% of respondents said they’re so busy that they can’t finish their daily tasks and, of those, 55% eat their meals on the go. This lends important insight into today’s consumer mindset. While quality and value are also top of mind, what consumers (especially families) are looking for is time and convenience, which means zeroing in on hyper-specific local markets.



Knowing this, there are three ways QSR advertisers can leverage the master brand locally:

1. Identify the master brand platform (aka “brand promise”) and how it will help your franchises achieve their business objectives.

2. Unlock the master brand platform so it means something to your target customers.

3. Express “locally owned and operated” messages so advertising feels like it's coming from a member of the community.

But there are still more factors to help assure your brand’s message is heard and consumers act on it, in turn creating the most successful media placement.

Here are several other items QSR advertisers need to add to the menu before serving up their 2019 media plans:

Focus on targeted spending. For a more efficient media buy, focus on opportunities specific to ZIP codes associated with store locations.

Go all-in on video. Use all screens and different forms of targeting to drive directly to order.

Consider crucial pod placement. This impacts your TV spots more than you may think. Being first or last increases the chances that people are viewing and engaging with your ads.

Incorporate OOH in key locations. OOH ads adjacent to store locations will drive traffic and frequency of visits. Connect mobile to OOH for direct ordering.  

Lean on national support to do the heavy lifting for reach and frequency. Use local dollars to fill in the gaps.

Allocate 5%-10% of budget for Test & Learn, allowing you to constantly optimize plans throughout the year.

At the end of the day, consumers aren’t going to magically gain back the time and desire to cook every day, let alone for every meal. This means QSR advertisers have more of an opportunity now to reach the audience that matters most to their brand.

But by employing these media tactics, you’re sure to supersize your campaign by attracting the consumers hungriest for your brand.

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