Samurai with two swords preparing for battle.

QSR Marketing Al Ries Style—”Stop Following the Leader!”

Al Ries reminds us that just because the McGaints are utilizing one strategy that seems to be effective, that is not necessarily the only way to be a successful player in the QSR market.

Al Ries is a legendary branding strategist, bestselling author and originator of the concept of Positioning. If you took any marketing classes, or have read any marketing books, chances are you have read one of the 10 or so books Al Ries has written such as, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, or seen one of his many articles in Ad Age.

QSR marketing is one of his topics from time to time, and Al offers a perspective on how to compete against the McGiants. (more…)

Coupon being cut out of direct mail marketing print ad.

7 Steps to Start Your Successful Direct Mail QSR Marketing Program

You can help drive transactions and profit margins with direct mail.

The basic rap sheet on direct mail is a high cost/low response medium. And it certainly can be. It can also drive both transactions and margin if you analyze and optimize.

Here are 7 steps that will get you started: (more…)

Arrows hitting right price in bullseye

How to Increase Your Gross Margin through a QSR Marketing Pricing Strategy

Apply these 3 steps to increase your gross margin through pricing.

One part of pricing in QSR is the art of balancing margin, transactions and costs. As a regional QSR, sometimes you need a quick and simple, yet proven, method to find your optimum pricing.

Below are 3 steps that can help you: (more…)

Business team working with social media images and terms

Social Media—The Low-Cost QSR Marketing Tool

Yes! Social media can generate high ROI and transactions.

How many times have you heard that the real value of social media is for listening and learning?  Or that it’s a great engagement tool. Or that it’s great for customer service. Tell that to your boss and the board when they ask about the resources you’re allocating to social. They’ll love that. The reason you hear these comments about social media is because those who say or write those statements don’t know how to generate sales using social. (more…)

QSR Marketing POP Effective Advertising Drive Thru sign

Utilizing Drive-Thru Research for QSR Marketing

Drive-Thru Marketing Research: the most underutilized, inexpensive, convenient and quick way to gather information that will improve your marketing.

Think of the time you, your marketing department and ad agency spent on debating which message or execution would be most effective.

You usually don’t have time to conduct online research or focus groups. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how willing your customers are to give you their opinions while at your drive thru. You’ll be amazed at how much helpful marketing intelligence you’ll pick up just hanging out there.

It’s Drive-Thru Marketing Research. (more…)

A rubber burger illustrating fast food shelf life photgraphy

4 Ways QSR Marketers Can Increase the Shelf Life of Food Photography

Increasing the shelf life (or service life) of your food photography can dramatically reduce its cost.

You don’t need a calculator to compare the cost of a shot that lasts one year, to the cost of a shot that lasts 5-10 years. If you’re a regional QSR, that can make big difference to your bottom line.

Here are 4 easy ways to make sure your shots have a long shelf life: (more…)

Weighing rubber fast food burger to set best price

How Weighing Your Food is the QSR Marketers Key to Pricing

Actually weighing your food vs. the competition will narrow your pricing options.

Weigh your food offerings. I’ve done this with individual products and combo meals across all dayparts. Take your featured combo meal, and purchase your competitors’ most comparable offerings. Remove the packaging, and weigh each piece separately, then collectively. (more…)

People not looking at point of purchase (POP) on fast food restaurant

5 Tips for More Effective QSR Marketing Point of Purchase

Only 13% of consumers even glance at your point of purchase (POP). Here’s what you can do about it.

Visual confusion seems to be the primary issue reducing POP engagement, according to Dr. Hugh Phillips, author and internationally recognized expert on the cognitive psychology of shopping.

In a recently released book entitled Marketing at Retail, Phillips argues that the net effectiveness of POP at retail drops below 10%, to around 6-8%, when you factor in poor design and store-level installation compliance—sobering statistics, considering the investment QSRs make in POP.

Fortunately, Phillips offers 5 tips to improve your customer POP engagement: (more…)

Restaurant covered in effective QSR marketing POP design.

POP Design—The Quick QSR Marketing Transaction Booster

4 proven elements of effective POP design–that are rarely followed.

I’m sure you’ve noticed. Everyone from the CEO to the mailroom clerk is an expert on POP design. Why?  Because it’s easy to change. “Add this here. Make this bigger. Make that smaller. Oh, and add this too.” But there is one word that describes perfect POP design—Simple. That’s it. Simple. Think about it. You’re really working with simple elements—a product and many times a price. The real thinking and focus in POP design are the following 3 points: (more…)

Regional QSR battling giant McDonald's with boxing gloves

Store Tailoring—A QSR Marketing Plan for Brands Being Outspent

A proper Store Tailoring Plan will build transactions using each store’s strengths.

When you’re a regional QSR, everywhere you turn you’re being outspent. Turn on the TV and you don’t just see one of your McGiant competitors’ spots. You see two or three different versions for two or three different dayparts.

So, how do you compete? (more…)