Location Intelligence Is Helping QSRs Tune Into What Fast Food Diners are Watching

It wasn’t too long ago that marketers only associated location data with geo-fencing for retail. The truth is, location intelligence informs brands with deeper insights than just serving an ad to a potential customer nearby. Today, location intelligence has become the nexus point for consumer data, the conduit between digital and physical worlds, and in this case, the linkage between quick-service restaurant (QSR) diners and their TV viewing preferences.

In our latest research study, we combined NinthDecimal location intelligence and TV ratings, uncovering that, on average, diners at the top 5 QSRs watch 12 percent more TV than the general population. Across the board, the most-watched broadcast network among these viewers is ABC, and the most popular cable network is MSNBC. When it comes to programming genre, drama has the most eyeballs, followed by reality TV. As for the ocean of cable networks, data shows that QSR diners turn to cable TV for news first, then for personal interests and lifestyle content.

However, just like some people prefer burgers and some like fried chicken, different QSR diners have different preferences for TV programming, from channels to shows to dayparts. For example:

  • While most of the QSR brands share top-rated programs such as Designated Survivor, Grey’s Anatomy, Dancing with the Stars, the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament, Survivor, The Voice, and The Blacklist, McDonald’s customers ae more likely to watch Scandal, while on the other hand, Wendy’s customers are more likely to watch NCIS and the Country Music Awards.
  • As for cable channels and dayparts, MSNBC, HGTV and Fox News are the most-watched networks. While weekday primetime still attracts a large audience, Taco Bell diners like to watch cable networks on weekend primetime, and Wendy’s diners are likely to watch cable during the day.

What Now? What Else? What Next?

For QSR brands, knowing what their customers are watching and what their competitors’ customers are watching can help with their media plan, whether to engage brand loyalists or to reach competitors’ customers for conquesting. For these brands and franchisees, having location-informed TV data to show what’s popular among the REAL customers beyond the standard TRPs (Target Rating Points) is valuable, as they can have a more informed view of their customers for effective TV planning and marketing. After all, ads work better if they are seen by the right audience, and that’s beyond the typical age and gender.

And the insights do not stop there. Since QSR diners watch more TV than the general population, networks and content providers can leverage these findings to promote their programs, increase tune-ins, support ad sales and even come up with some creative cross-promotions for upfront.

As demonstrated in NinthDecimal’s research, location intelligence is one of the key pieces needed to complete the “consumer puzzle,” whether it is to connect QSR diners to their TV viewing behaviors, to solve the mystery of which bar in Chicago is more effective at promoting your scotch, to figure out how to allocate your OOH (out-of-home) budget at a ZIP code level based on a specific audience, or to understand what your customers search for online and where else they shop in addition to your stores… Did I mention that research likes puzzles? It’s fun when the pieces come together.

Click here to access the full TV Network QSR Infographic.

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