Burger King – Marketing Strategy

Food Trucks and Touch Screens?

Burger King is creating a good amount of marketing buzz around their new menu and the experience that consumers will have.  They have redeveloped their menu, which is somewhat reminiscent of McDonald’s to be more health conscious by adding salad and wraps options.  They will somehow be incorporating a touchscreen into their point of sale and using food trucks to get their product out to the masses.

 

What is their marketing strategy here? Here are some takeaways from the whole concept.

Takeaways:

Track your sales. For a big company to shift like this means that their stores aren’t performing as well as they hoped.  John and I are adamant about tracking sales dollars and quantities and as Burger King probably has been losing share to competitors, they hope to get it back with this new product launch. Track your sales so you can make marketing programs to tackle a downturn.

Get people in your door.  Any type of retailer knows that if they can get you in their door and on their grounds, they can probably sell you something you did not want to buy, eat, or have. Give them a reason to come by – like Taco Bell and the Locos taco, Burger King hopes to create a new customer experience.

Test your product.  With the food truck, Burger King plans on sampling the new product to the masses before they actually release to stores. How can you do the same? Test your market before you assume that everyone will love your product or service.  You might be liked be everybody because you smile, but that does not mean you know what everyone likes to smile about.

My List of What Not to do When Launching a New Item

There are many articles, books, writings, etc. that speak to what you are supposed to do when marketing a product – whether a new product or an existing one.  I decided to compile a list of my own for what not to do when launching new products because, frankly, there are too many dos out there and not enough don’ts.

So here it is, my list of do nots:

  1. Do not have inconsistent messaging across your brand
  2. Do not have a bad price/value relationship – evaluate what your competition is offering and at what price point they are selling as a benchmark
  3. Do not launch a product with negative profit, unless it will serve as a loss leader
  4. Do not arbitrarily set your price – evaluate your competition and price gaps to make a good pricing decision
  5. Do not advertise your new product for the sake of advertising.  Make sure that you are communicating your selling points only.  Too many messages makes the advertisement in effective
  6. Do not launch a product that doesn’t fit within your small business marketing strategy
  7. Do not forget about tracking the sales performance of your new item
  8. Do not forget about going after low hanging fruit opportunities.  The low hanging fruit opportunities in aggregate will equal a big win
  9. Do not position your product for any consumer that is willing to purchase your item, like most small businesses do.  Have a targeted marketing strategy to increase the effectiveness of your marketing.  In marketing, a small net will catch more fish.
  10. Do not forget to tell consumers that your product exists.  All new product launches must be supported with small business marketing support
  11. Do not discontinue your item if sales are slow initially.  It takes time to generate sufficient awareness, trial, and repeat purchases
  12. Do not discount your consumers.  If you learn their decision tree for purchasing, you have a high likelihood of selling more if you market to the points on the decision tree
  13. Do not forget to track your sales during promotional offerings.  Tracking will allow you to determine what promotional pricing provides the highest ROI for you
  14. Do not place your item on shelves that do not make sense (such as a child’s product being sold at a height that is above children); do not sell your item in stores where your targeted consumer does not shop
  15. Do not develop packaging without evaluating what you will be shelved with.  You want to differentiate yourself as much as possible on shelf so that consumers will easily spot you or be visually be gravitated toward you
  16. Do not forget to bundle your new item with other complementary items that you might have to sell as a package deal
  17. Do not have an idle social networking account.  Use your social media to run polls and interact with your consumers.  At the very least, when you run a poll you will find out something about your consumer!

Doritos & Taco Bell – Creating Marketing Buzz

Doritos and Taco Bell have teamed up to deliver the Doritos Locos Taco.  Why does this makes sense? I’m not exactly sure but, I can tell you that Taco Bell of Yum Brands has not been as successful as they have been in the past and they definitely needed a marketing program that will make or break them. What was the benefit to partnering with Doritos? Good question.

Aside from the need of a great marketing campaign, I feel that this cross-selling of product is a great way to accomplish a few things: creating awareness, stimulating trial, redefining the brand, and better understanding your consumer.  I would not be surprised if research demonstrated that the consumers of both brands are similar in age, preferences, lifestyles, financial well-being, and most importantly new product adoption.  On a side note, it appears that Taco Bell is doing the marketing aspect very well with a countdown, official day to start the program, and reaching out to many different categories with the Locos Taco options.

 

What can we learn from this example? John and I have trumpeted that understanding your consumer is vital for your success, but in addition to this, understanding your competition as well as other brands in similar industries maybe a token for new markets as this could lead to partnerships, cross-selling, and potentially more brand loyalists who were not aware of your brands and products.  Only time will tell if Taco Bell and Doritos really hit it off well as they both gain awareness around the marketing campaign but a “win” from the campaign that they gain is trial of the product and bringing consumers into their stores – this is harder to do than you think.

Takeaway for a Small Business Owner

The executives at Doritos and Taco Bell both understand their consumer well and with this were able to cross-sell them without cannibalizing their own sales in new markets.  Both created great marketing buzz around their brands.  So what if you are not a big business? Well, here are a couple examples:

If you own a flower shop, you might partner with a local chocolate shop to deliver a combination of products for those I love you, I am sorry, congratulations, or get well moments.  If you have a bicycle shop, think about offering a special to people who shop at the running store with a coupon or special promotional event with the respective shop.  For specialty ice-cream shops, partner with a local elementary school or swimming pool to blast your message. The options are unlimited but creating free marketing buzz should not only be easy and fun but it can also help you grow your market.

Are You More Convenient Than Your Competitors?

Take a look around you.  If there is one thing that marketers do well, it is to make products and services more convenient for their consumers.  Convenience has been on trend for a long-time.  For example, the number of microwavable frozen foods has proliferated in the last 15 years.  Moreover, if you were to do an audit, I would bet that more frozen foods are microwavable than oven-only, although microwavable implies “oven ready”.  Outside of frozen foods, even the marketers at Tide have been challenging themselves to reinvent the way we do laundry to make it more convenient.  Tide has removed multiple steps in the washing process (detergent, stain-remover, and brightener) by combining into one process through the launch of the Tide Pods.  I don’t think there has ever been a trend as clear as this one that is screaming at you – the small business owner – to leverage immediately.

The proliferation of more convenient products and services is seen all around you: Fandango, fast food, at home grocery deliveries, iTunes, TiVo, Ronzoni boil in a bag, EZ Pass, Chase check deposit smart phone app, etc.  Not only has convenience been an on-going trend across multiple consume categories, but it also is a behavioral need that marketers and product developers are constantly trying to improve.  It is also obvious that the need for increased convenience in our lifestyles is becoming more apparent.

In today’s world, you can narrow down all sets of purchasing consumers that are in the labor force (implies the ability to purchase due to income) into 3 cohorts:

  1. Married couples
  2. Cohabitating partners
  3. Those living independently

Among married couples and those that are cohabitating with a partner, most likely both spouses or partners are working unless a child is in the picture.  If a couple has a child, maybe only one member of the relationship is working.  In either case, these relationship types demand products and services that are more convenient.  If both members of the relationship are working, then time for standard household operations is limited.  Even in the scenario where only one member is working and the other is raising a child, time to conduct household operations is still limited since the member that is not working is pre-occupied with the child.  Therefore, cohorts 1 and 2 in the above are living a lifestyle that demands more convenient products and services.

For those living independently and are working, they are in the same situation as if both spouses in a relationship are working – time is limited for household operations since there is no one at home to take on the household operations.  With that said, even cohort 3 is living a lifestyle that demands more convenient products.

My reason for painting the above picture is to facilitate the point that the size of the prize for consumers that demand more convenient products and services is massive.  Unlike other need fulfillment tactics, achieving convenience is never finalized – you can make your products and services more convenient, but there will always be opportunity to improve the convenience through some form of innovation or process improvement.  With that said, the question is not are you convenient but rather, it is are you more convenient than your competitors?

I’ve yet to see the implementation or activation or convenience trickle down from big business (Tide, Apple, Fandango, etc.) to small business (you).  This is your opportunity to make convenience the next small business marketing trend by implementing increased convenience in your marketing strategy.

10 Ways to Analyze Your Business Performance to Increase Sales

If you are looking to increase business sales, you first need to analyze your business performance to determine the right marketing tactics that will help you to achieve your goals.  Below are 10 ideas to help you get started to analyze business performance:

  1. Optimizing the Path to Purchase. If a consumer is standing in front of a shelf that houses your product or is scrolling through an online store to find a product to purchase, what matters most to the consumer?  Build a survey for your consumers to fill out so that you can determine what matters most to them.  As an example, if you are in the ice cream section at a grocery store – what is the first thing that you look for – Flavor? Brand? Price? Size?  Assuming it is size, what is the next point in the consumer’s decision tree: Brand? Flavor? Price?  Keep narrowing down so that you can find out what is most important to a consumer by building a decision tree analysis similar to the above.
  2. Advertising Channels.  Do you know where your competition is advertising and how often they are advertising?  Try to find out what your competition is doing this way you can preempt your competition and reach the same consumers that they are trying to reach.
  3. Product Mix.  Is your product or service line segmented to target a variety of consumers?  For example, Verizon Wireless offers a broad mix of phones, each targeting different consumers – Blackberrys for businesses, iPhones for the tech saavy/innovators, pre-paid for those that don’t need many minutes, phones with great cameras, phones that are waterproof, etc.  By offering a wide product mix, Verizon Wireless is maximizing their revenue by expanding the pool of target consumers.  Secondary, check out what your competition is offering to see if there is opportunity to improve your product mix.
  4. Optimize Price Mix. Similar to number 3 above, determine if there is opportunity to segment your products not by product type, but by price bracket.  Not all consumers are willing to pay $120/month for cable TV, however, cable providers maximize their pool of consumers by offering pricing structures that segments their consumers based on what the consumer is willing to pay.  This is similar to pricing discrimination.
  5. Leverage Surveys.  Different from number one on this list, use surveys to determine the attitudes and usages of your consumers toward your product/service, industry, category, etc.  This might give you some valuable insight that will help you to get an edge on your competition.
  6. Analyze the Competition.  Is your competition launching new product or offering discounted pricing for a similar service?  If so, this might give you valuable insight on new suppliers (which could be helping your competition to drive down their price), industry trends (leverage research that the competitor might have that you don’t), or new product renovations (packaging concepts, product features, additional services, etc.)
  7. Monitor the Price Gaps.  If you haven’t already learned by now, we have taught many times that there is a relationship between product benefits and propensity to purchase which can be quantified through a metric called elasticity.  If the difference in price between you and your competition is not being carefully monitored, you can be losing sales based on the elasticity impact.  Read this article on price gaps for more information.
  8. Distribution Channels.  Is your product distributed in all channels that sell that product type (locally or nationally)?  To give yourself an easy start on where you should at the least be distributed, do some research to determine where your competition is distributed and you are not.  Fill those gaps to increase your sales.
  9. Increase Awareness.  Leverage effective advertising strategies such as coupon marketing to drive trial of your product.  Design the coupon to entice repeat purchases so that your consumers continue to come back.  If you are a service company, design a clever advertising campaign that targets your niche of consumers.
  10. Keep the Consumer Top of Mind.  Who doesn’t love free products or trials – offer these to bring new consumers into your pool.  Reach out to your target consumers via social media to engage with them, drive loyalty, and make them feel special.

A Twitter Follower vs. a Business Follower

Today I performed an experiment. To give you some background, this website was launched about 6 weeks ago and today, I have about 88 twitter followers. Granted, a small following but nonetheless, a following that will provide a statistically significant result.  As you can imagine, this website is still in the “developing awareness” phase.

I decided that I wanted to test my followers.  I tweeted that I am trying to achieve Facebook Likes and would like them to take two seconds out of their day to like eMarketingFreak.com via the Facebook Like Button on my homepage.  I retweeted this about an hour later.  Six hours later, I had zero likes.

There is clearly a way to target a twitter follower however, what this experiment has showed me is that 100% of my organic twitter follower fan base are just that: twitter followers.  I would prefer business followers, obviously.  But unfortunately, I am still in the slow process of getting ranked high in Google so that I can be found.

What does this mean for your social media marketing strategy?  Firstly, twitter is ineffective in the early stages of your website.  Your twitter followers will consist of twitter followers, but not business followers.  Business followers come through time as you develop trial, awareness, and market penetration.  Secondly, twitter is filled with business owners like yourself – people that are trying to promote their business.  They will follow you because you are relevant to their business in some way, however, they will only stay as twitter followers – never a business follower.