With more and more people staying at home this summer and during the next winter vacations due to travel complications and regulations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there’s been a staycation boom as people choose to take a break closer to home.
This has resulted in more people returning to the roads and also a window for brands to reach customers by trying to enrich these journeys with helpful information that can make consumers’ lives easier at such a difficult time. Waze, the navigation map and traffic app, is uniquely placed to tap into this climate, with the tech brand’s Waze Ads division working closely with brands to intelligently target drivers with tailored marketing and offers should they be close to a store.
“Waze has been there in the car and in the moment as people are resuming their routines.
In fact, it is one of the first media platforms impacting on consumers, as a critical utility for these new navigation behaviours, and also for businesses as one of the only on-the-go digital platforms available to promote their locations,” says Ruairidh Roberts, Waze UK Country Manager. “Waze has always guided consumers on-the-go, and, in this moment of adaptation, it is a tactical platform helping them to adjust their routes and navigate this new normal.”
He adds: “For businesses, Waze should be seen as a geo-marketing platform, it allows your brand to become the destination in a safe and utilitarian way -- offering people the information they need when and where they need it most. Ads on Waze are 100% based on what is closeby and are entirely information or offer based, meaning they are a channel for advertisers to enhance the user journey and aren’t seen as a distraction”.
Recent innovative Waze campaigns have included a tie-up with Dunkin Donuts so drivers can order donuts in real-time from local stores through the Waze app, and a campaign with Suzuki that enticed Waze drivers into one of the brand’s car dealerships.
Shell and agility marketing
Shell is another major retail brand that has had to adapt its operations during COVID-19. This has involved taking additional safety measures at service stations, encouraging the use of contactless payment options or the pay at pump option to avoid drivers going inside the shop, and partnering with Deliveroo to ensure it can deliver various shop essentials to drivers at their homes.
Since lockdown measures have been eased and more people have taken to the roads, Shell has been using Waze to alert its app users on how the company can help them. “We want to make sure we are there helping our customers on journeys when they are out on the road and need to fill up, get food, drinks or need breaks to help with their journeys,” says Bilgé Stores, Digital Communications & Media Manager at Shell. “We had to change our business objectives and media plans for the year, well, quite a few times! Agility is the new stability, and Waze enables you to be agile.”
Before the pandemic, Shell ran a one month head-to-head test comparing the performance metrics of store arrivals across different location based mobile channels. Ad Square was employed as a third-party measurement solution to verify the effectiveness of these channels and validate Waze navigation metrics. Shell increased their footfall by 70% when live on Waze whilst also taking significant market share of all Fuel visits on Waze.
Waze movement data fueling Burger King’s consumer strategy
Burger King’s French business has also been boosted by partnering with Waze during the pandemic. Alexandre Simon, chief marketing officer of Burger King France, says the fast food giant has been adapting its business recovery thanks to utilising Waze’ consumer data. He says: “Waze data takes the pulse of traffic, letting us know where the French people are going.”
“It shows the cities with the most traffic and when the traffic peaks so we can rule on opening hours. Subsequently we can send offers to consumers based on where they are at in their journey. Waze is not just a media, but a daily tool that translates the activity and movement of people.”
In 2019, a multi-media plan (OOH + Waze) launched by Burger King had extremely positive results: the number of navigations multiplied by 4.7 (compared to customers exposed to a single medium) and they saw an increase of 7% in sales volumes related to the promoted product with Waze Ads v OOH alone.
Driving digital in the last mile to point of sale
Armelle Roulland, head of digital at Nestlé Waters France, says one of her great learnings from this pandemic has been the fact consumers are now “more sensitive to price than ever before”. As consumer behaviour changes through avenues such as the rise of the staycation, Roulland says “digital breakthroughs” like Waze are crucial to appealing to consumers.
“A revolution has been going on for several years and we’re taking a closer look at the effectiveness of the media. Performance media envelopes have been systematized. When it comes to Waze, we wanted to see if it could have an impact on sales,” she explains. “Waze allows us to work with presence in mind as close as possible to the act of purchase and has been integrated into a multi-media plan.”
She adds: “Traditional media plus digital plus Waze seems to be as close as possible to the act of purchase. From summer 2019, Waze was integrated into a multi-media plan, for the launch of Vittel Fruits Infusés. The additional budget dedicated to Waze generated + 13% in sales according to a study carried out by MarketingScan. We’re now convinced of Waze's impact on the effectiveness of our multi-media plans and we are renewing the operation this summer with our Perrier & Juice range”.
As the media landscape gets tougher to crack, with consumer behaviour becoming ever more difficult to track and predict, and with consumers taking to the roads this summer and future vacation moments, utilising Waze might just be one of the best marketing channels to move with them.