Outside Insights | September 2014 | By Guest Author

Marketing as a Science: The End of Speculation

Leveraging mobile platforms allows operators to make marketing quantifiable.

Within the quick-service restaurant industry, there is an urgent need for more effective and quantifiable marketing. The current use of conventional advertising and promotions does not work—it certainly does not work easily or affordably—and there must be a way to better engage consumers.

The goal for quick-serve owners should be to streamline marketing into a measurable discipline, which leverages the power of mobile communications. We are at a moment where marketing is more interactive, fun and rewarding—for everyone. We are at the convergence of science and marketing, thanks to technology and innovation, which fits in the palm of one's hand. By using the ultimate incentive to motivate patrons to enter and explore a restaurant, marketers can use the single greatest catalyst to attract the greatest number of people: money.

Mobile technology enables marketers to use caches of digital cash to increase revenues, reproduce experiments, and gather real-time intelligence from consumers. There is a hunger among quick-serve executives for data, never mind if that information, disguised by color-coded graphics and the register of emotive reactions to certain stimuli, which appear like the ticker tape from an ancient financier's desk or the printout of the first electrocardiogram—forget whether any of this material is true and recognize that marketers want the truth.

The goal for quick-serve owners should be to streamline marketing into a measurable discipline, which leverages the power of mobile communications.

Marketers no longer have to speculate about these matters because, by exercising control over where and when and for what duration patrons spend in a specific spot in their quest to get money, marketers can learn why some venues fail to generate consistent returns or why there is such a disparity among outcomes for a promotion.

The science of this endeavor involves the positioning of caches in different areas, to gauge different responses, and to then reproduce the experiment to reference any similarities among different test groups. But, and this is where science leaves the confines of the classroom and its fake corollary among the remote boardrooms of closed marketing forums; this is where quick-serve businesses can make marketing into an adventure, observable and measurable in real time.

Imagine a franchise reconfigured into a 50-kilometer zone of fun; a treasure map, where each cache is a digital chess piece of strategy and calculation, which directs people on a linear path or a meandering route of intention, designed to introduce patrons to new benefits, expanded menu items, and groundbreaking ceremonies for the latest outpost for a regional, national, or global brand.

This data is far more valuable—and far less costly—than the speculative theories of even the most gifted marketer. Money tells us where the money is; the emphasis on marketing-as-an-adventure gives consumers the excitement they want, with the preeminent prize they desire, for the reward of every quick-serve business that follows this practice.

Welcome to the age of science and marketing, delivered with speed and accuracy.

Dale Scott Marion is an entrepreneur and founder of SpareCash, which aims to introduce new forms of marketing and advertising for a diverse array of businesses, from startups to Fortune 500 corporations worldwide.


Hear, hear. This effort to make marketing more effective, measurable and affordable is ideal for various quick-service restaurants, from regional brands to global franchises. The emphasis on adventure is smart: Fun marketing campaigns are often successful, in spirit and deeds.

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