Another W for McDonald’s

I caved. 

I saw the post, sent a text to the number, had a conversation with a chatbot, added the person who runs the McDonald’s account to my contact list, downloaded the app, and bought a 20 piece McNugget and 3 Szechuan Sauces (The maximum amount I could add to my order). Why? To try the sauce! 

Okay, there was more to it than just wanting to try the sauce. 

I did want to try the sauce, but I was more interested in the feedback loop they created using the buzz of a re-released dipping sauce- Szechuan Sauce

Mcdonald’s has always been a brand whose marketing fascinates me. No matter what plan they have, it’s always perfectly executed. When I found out they were re-releasing Szechuan Sauce, I knew that each part of this campaign would have a specific purpose. 

They began by hinting that we should be paying attention because something new was about to happen. With a brand as large as Mcdonald’s and a tool like the internet, it was certain that this would generate some attention. 

Then came the post. I saw it on Facebook first. Mcdonald’s shared a post that asked the public to text the number of “The person who runs the Mcdonald’s account” and ask about the sauce drop.

By this point, people are excited, they want the inside scoop. But not only are they excited, but they are also impatient- it’s human nature. So we text the number and hope we receive answers. 

Immediately upon texting the number, you are enrolled in their SMS marketing. 

Next, they keep you in this conversation with a chatbot for a couple of days before they finally give you the answer. Why? I believe they did this to get the consumer used to receiving texts from the brand. Had they provided you with the answer immediately, you could’ve easily opted out directly afterward. People are generally lazy, in a bout of excitement we texted the number, a couple of days later, 

“Meh, it’s fine the texts are whatever at this point.”  

This allows them to constantly keep their brand top of mind, to a consumer who is interested in their product, in a place, unlike their email, that they check every single day- their messages app. 

Fast forward a few days, they finally let you know what the sauce is and you can purchase it. But there’s a caveat. The sauce can only be purchased through the Mcdonald’s App. 

One of the most difficult things for a company to do is convince people to download their app. An app has to provide significant value for one to even consider using cellphone storage to download them. But McDonald’s tapped into the human brain once again. They made a valuable item available for a limited time only, thus creating a sense of urgency.

 “If I don’t download the app, I might never get to try this sauce again.”  

And now, the app has been downloaded.  

The McDonald’s app had 2.2 million downloads in February, according to an article by Adweek

Each step of this campaign allows  the McDonald’s team to:  

  1. Continuously stay top-of-mind through their text messages,  
  2. Generate Sales in a simple and convenient way through their app and
  3. Create feedback loops that help them improve their product and services through their social media channels, tracking an increase in app downloads, and tracking the opt-ins, or outs, of their SMS messages.

Overall, I would say this campaign was a win and definitely a campaign that I learned from.

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