Monday, August 6, 2012

McDonald’s Moving Mobile Series

McDonald’s — one of my very favorite brands — is dominating mobile marketing and leveraging the power of cutting edge location-based services (LBS) technology. And, while doing so, they are also respecting and harnessing the great power of consumer preference.

Mobile marketing is the latest technology that businesses of all 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 app, gamification, and augmented reality. Throughout the course of this week I thought it would be fun to discuss these five factors that make McDonald’s mobile strategy so victorious, as well as include 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 nearby. This restaurant finder, when selected, will navigate you turn-by-turn, to the closet restaurant. This tool was great on our recent trip to Maine!

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 for busy people to use. By using LBS, McDonald’s is able to drive in-restaurant 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.

McDonald’s is gaining incredible insight 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 businesses can use to understand the habits and preferences of their customers. In return, McDonald’s develops highly personalized promotions that market specific menu items and restaurant locations at preferred times of the day for that customer and sends it right to their phone. The customer is more likely to redeem the coupon because of its personalization. This could never be achieved through plastic membership cards.

Some still view mobile as just a smaller version of the web and overlook the benefits of being able to walk around, while online, with a device that can pinpoint where you are.

Businesses should start thinking about utilizing a mobile app or creating a mobile friendly website now — because by 2014, mobile search is expected to far surpass desktop search.

Don’t let your business get left in the dust, embrace mobile technology!

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