August 16, 2021
Great Ideas

Why Burger King is Queen of Digital Strategy

Burger King is a perfect example of how a company can use digital strategy to their advantage.

Photo by <a href="">Aaron Weiss</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

Burger King's Whopper Detour campaign is a perfect example of how a company can use digital strategy to their advantage. Burger King, the fast food chain known for its flame-broiled burgers and fries, launched a new ad campaign that was designed specifically for internet users.

Companies in the QSR (quick service restaurant) space are constantly battling for market share. It's one of the most competitive spaces in the Western world with annual advertising expenditures in the multi-billions.

With the overall goal of gaining market share in 2018, Burger King created a digital goal of increasing downloads of the Burger King app. Simple enough, right?

The way they set about achieving that goal is where things got really interesting.

With the Whopper Detour campaign, Burger King unlocked a free burger when users were within 600 feet of McDonald's restaurants. After downloading the BK app, users could visit any of 14,000 geofenced McDonald's locations across the US to take advantage of the promotion. After downloading the app and visiting a McD's store, app users received a coupon to purchase a Burger King Whopper for .01c.

On top of tremendous amounts of press and prestigious advertising awards like the Cannes Lion, the marketing campaign drove astonishing results that all connected to the digital goals over just a nine-day span:

  • 6 million app downloads
  • 300% increase in mobile order value
  • 40x improvement in coupon redemption
  • $15 million in new spend expected from new customers

Chances are you'll never have a Burger King-sized budget. I never have and probably never will either.

But, you can have a Burger King-sized strategy.

All of the awards and press they received would have meant nothing if it didn't drive results that connected directly to their digital goals. Rockstar Burger King CMO at the time, Fernando Machado, wouldn't have let that happen.

For BK, a great idea was born from a great strategy.

One of the great things about having a digital strategy is the foundation that is created to develop great ideas. Strategy isn't created only for its own sake, or to sit on the corner of someone's desk and to be followed like a rule book.

Piecing together a great digital strategy will generate more ideas for your business than you can imagine. As you dig into the specifics of your own brand, the channels that you choose to activate on and the goals you set to be successful, then the ideas will flow.

Ryan Sawrie

Digital Leader, Author

Ryan Sawrie is the author of Build Your Digital Strategy and a veteran digital marketer. Ryan shares his insights to creating digital strategies in BYDS and at the website.

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