Is your QSR a brand of … influence? –

Want to really pull in that up-and-coming Gen Z-er? Better get to know their online “friends” and fast.

A marketing victim. That’s how a friend describes the way she feels being on the receiving end of many of today’s fast-food ads, regardless of the delivery channel. Simply put, she feels like she is being “acted upon” and “sold to,” rather than actively choosing the brand and its food of her own volition. It is, in many ways, a crystalization of the QSR marketer’s perpetual problem: How do you sell something without the audience fully realizing you’re selling them something?

It is also — in a nutshell — why so-called “influencer marketing” has taken on such importance with today’s younger and increasingly advertising-jaded QSR customer. After all, everybody’s selling something online. But if someone you follow and “love” on YouTube or any other channel also loves the burgers at a particular fast-food brand, well then, how can you not do the same, right?

The proof of influencer marketing’s effectiveness is not just hype either; it’s in the data. Take, for example, one content creation and publication channel — the aforementioned YouTube. According to recent data, four in 10

Joe Piaskowy.(Photo provided)

millennials swear that their favorite YouTube content creator understands them better than their in-the-flesh friends.

Former McDonald’s Senior Brand Engagement Manager Joe Piaskowy is well aware of those sentiments. In fact, he believes so strongly in this kind of restaurant brand marketing