McDonald’s Moving Mobile Series

Chapter 3: McDonald’s Winning Mobile Advertising Strategy

Mobile Advertising

Smartphone penetration is rapidly growing and 9 out of 10 people say they take notice to mobile ads.

McDonald’s is promoting the new triple cheeseburger on the Rolling Stone mobile website. The ad reads “Spend Less. Taste More” and features the McDonald’s logo as well as an image of its triple cheeseburger. It is simple and eye-catching and when selected, consumers are redirected to a location finder to feed their indulges.

What I find to be a clever addition to the mobile ad is the Twitter icon that leads to the McDonald’s Twitter landing page. By adding this social network element into the ad, McDonald’s is giving consumers an opportunity to continue a relationship with them.

Another McDonald’s mobile ad that caught my eye was the Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal, a new breakfast product. What’s makes this ad a ‘winner’ is that it is being promoted mainly on Us Magazine’s mobile website. People are most likely to read this magazine during the morning hours. Promoting the new breakfast item within a magazine mobile website that has the most traffic in the A.M. hours is considered a good marketing strategy in my book.

By clicking on this breakfast ad, the smartphone user is able to locate the nearest McDonald’s and obtain mapped directions from their current location. Consumers can do all this without even leaving the mobile website they were initially on. Now that’s trouble-free!

Creative, resourceful and simply ingenious; those are only a few adjectives to describe the mobile campaign that McDonald’s has put in place. The mobile website and app are direct and straightforward which makes it very appropriate for mobile devices and busy consumers. They provide a unique and creative way to distribute and redeem coupons as well as entice consumers into McDonald’s restaurants, gaining them more burger sales. While we move forward into an era of high technology and consumers who want more, mobile is the way to attract new customers, as well as retain and reward old ones.

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McDonald’s Moving Mobile Series

Chapter 2: Gamification and Augmented Reality

Gamification:  Gaming in the Marketing World

Implementing game-centric design techniques into a marketing campaign is proven to work if incorporated fittingly. Gamification allows brands to deeply engage with its users within an entertaining platform, thus building participation and trust.

McDonald’s recently ran a mobile advertisement for a word scramble game that incorporated dollar menu items. In addition to learning about the dollar menu items while playing, users can also find the nearest McDonald’s location. The ad for the game was promoted on popular iPhone apps.

The ad encouraged users to test their McDonald’s knowledge; “You make smart choices every day. Like thinking before you speak and buying the McDouble. Show off your smarts at McDonald’s.” After unscrambling a word, users can share their score on Facebook, which facilitate spreading the word about the McDouble promotion. Users can also browse the dollar menu to see all of the different items with a picture and description.

What worked about this game? McDonald’s challenged people by asking them to test their knowledge. Not only were people playing the game, they were also learning about products. By capturing people’s attention with this amusing game, consumers were inadvertently thinking about the products. When the consumer than goes to think about grabbing a bite to eat, McDonald’s is in front of their brain.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality adds computerized graphics and sounds to the natural world as it exists. It matches what you are actually viewing in the real world with a virtual, computer generated scene, adding extra information to what your eyes actually see. It has been around for a while but recently it is being used to give consumers an inimitable and personal experience.

Last year McDonald’s launched an augmented reality campaign that aimed to increase Happy Meal sales by engaging consumers via a Smurfs promotion. McDonald’s created a mobile Smurf game that, when inside a McDonald’s location, came to life. Smurf avatars decorated the restaurant and unlocked additional Smurf fun for consumers.

Kids were able to turn themselves into Smurfs and take part in the game to help garden with Papa Smurf. Kids learned what plants need to grow and practiced this knowledge by taking care of the digital plants on the screen.

Why did this work? In-store signage brought the individuals’ game to life. That is pretty incredible. Kids were able to ‘Smurf-ize’ themselves and see themselves on screen. The whole Smurfs campaign, from the mobile game, to signage, to the Smurf Happy Meal toys were flawlessly integrated therefore creating growth and higher sales of Happy Meals.

McDonald’s Moving Mobile Series

McDonald’s is dominating mobile marketing; they are leveraging the power of cutting edge location-based services (LBS) technology, while also respecting and harnessing the great power of consumer preference.

Mobile marketing is the latest technology that businesses of ALL types and sizes should take advantage of.  McDonald’s has undoubtedly picked up on this; they have created a 360-degree mobile strategy that has a solid following base. Their mobile strategy includes mobile advertising, a mobile website, a mobile application, gamification and augmented reality. Throughout the course of this week I will discuss these five factors that make McDonald’s mobile strategy so victorious as well as tips on how your business can do the same.

Chapter 1: Mobile Website and Application

On the McDonald’s mobile website, consumers can learn the nutrition of all menu items, look at job openings and find a McDonald’s near him or her. This restaurant finder, when selected, will navigate you turn-by-turn, to the closet restaurant. McDonald’s has looked at the main consumers they are serving, people who want FAST food aka busy consumers, and has made a mobile website that is uncomplicated and incredibly easy to use for these busy people to use. By using LBS McDonald’s is able to drive in-store traffic, and ultimately, increase sales.

The mobile app has the same features that the site does. It can be downloaded easily on iPhone and Android smartphones. My guess is that since eight million people have already downloaded this new app, consumers are finding it pretty effortless and beneficial.

There is so much valuable market research McDonald’s is getting from the users who download this app. Classic paper coupons are hard to track, but linking a coupon from a mobile device provides practical information McDonald’s can use to understand the habits and preferences of its customers. In return they are able to construct highly personalized promotions for certain menu items, specific locations or times of the day for that particular consumer and send it right to their phone. The customer is more likely to redeem the coupon because of its personalization. If you think about it, this in no way can be achieved through plastic membership cards.

Some view the mobile web as just a smaller version of the web and overlook the real world implications of being able to walk around, while online, with a device that can pinpoint where you are. Start thinking about utilizing a mobile app or creating a mobile friendly website because by 2014 mobile search will far surpass desktop search. More consumers are on the move searching for local businesses and services via their mobile devices so don’t let your business get left in the dust, embrace mobile technology!