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For Burger King, the goal was clear: Boost usage of their mobile app and drive stronger engagement with their brand by embracing the creativity and innovation that today’s build-for-purpose marketing technology stack makes possible.

In today’s highly competitive quick-service restaurant (QSR) space, grabbing consumers’ attention and successfully building a strong, sustainable relationship is no easy feat. Flashy ad campaigns and major promotional partnerships are table stakes for today’s major QSR brands. However, few in the space have made a serious effort to leverage powerful customer engagement technologies to stand out in a crowded marketplace and surprise and delight their millions of customers. Last year, Burger King decided to change that.

For Burger King, the goal was clear: Boost usage of their mobile app and drive stronger engagement with their brand by embracing the creativity and innovation that today’s build-for-purpose marketing technology stack makes possible.

A “Detour” Worth Taking: Powering Brilliant, Mobile-First Experiences

Burger King and agency creative partner FCB NY began with a focus on leveraging technology to support strong customer engagement and a clear ROI. The concept they came up with was deceptively simple: Give out one-cent Whoppers to customers, but only if they opened the Burger King mobile app with 600 feet of a McDonald’s. The “Whopper Detour” campaign took advantage of geofencing and smart cross-channel lifecycle messaging to convert 14,000 of Burger King’s number-one competitor’s locations into traffic-building promotional venues.

How did they do it? Burger King used Braze as part of their comprehensive technology ecosystem to send customers personalized messages across multiple channels—including email, push notifications, and in-app messages—at just the right time

Using Braze, Burger King invited new users to opt in for notifications and unlock this unique, creative deal. An in-app message was sent to users to prime them for permissions, inviting them to enable both push and location services. Then a push notification was sent to alert users of this deal, and drive them to the app. Braze was a key tool in helping Burger King optimize on the customer journey through multiple channels in order to make this campaign seamless and impactful.

The Burger King team capitalized on:

  • Location Marketing: With Braze and location data platform Radar, the team was able to encourage users through in-app messaging to opt into sharing their location to enable location-based campaigns.
  • A/B Testing and Experimentation: Braze’s message testing capabilities increased opt-in rates as Burger King tested what outreach resonated best with customers.
  • Lifecycle Messaging: Braze helped Burger King to activate first-time users, fuel promotional campaign messaging, and drive cohesive, cross-channel communication.

More Users, More Engagement, More ROI: What Success Looks Like

By dreaming big and showing it was possible to build a best-in-class technology stack to make that dream a reality, Burger King raised the bar for marketing and drove incredible results:

  • 3.2 million new users installed the Burger King app following its launch with Braze
  • Burger King saw a 53.7% increase in monthly active users (MAUs) for its mobile app
  • The number of users sharing their location data with Burger King jumped 143%

The total ROI from the Whopper Detour campaign came in at an incredible 37-1

Final Thoughts

The Whopper Detour challenged our expectations of what marketing can do. Although enabled by state-of-the-art technology, the laser focus on guest satisfaction is at the heart of Burger King’s success. Fundamentally, technology is a tool to facilitate better human experiences—and, as Braze has learned, the more human these experiences are, the more a customer will care about your brand.