Insights on Marketing & Technology

Be relevant

This fall 68.000 people went online and created their own McDonald’s burger, and more than 250.000 fans like, share and comment on the posts on McDonald’s Denmark’s facebook page. MARKET spoke with Brand Manager Lise Hørdam to learn how they are doing such a great job engaging their guests. She narrows it down to one thing: It’s all about being relevant.

  • By: Maria Præst
  • Published: 20-12-2013

“One McBrohave, please.” If you visited a McDonald’s in November, you could order a classic burger with beef, tomato, bacon, red onion, emmental cheese and salsa. Nothing new actually, except that the burger wasn’t created by McDonald’s but by one of their guests, Rasmus Brohave from Svendborg.

McDonald’s ran the MyBurger campaign for the second time this fall, and this year 68.000 guests participated and created their own burger online, which is twice as many as last year.

“With MyBurger we want to involve our guests in developing new products and find out what they want. Is bacon really their all-time favourite? We offered a lot of new exciting ingredients like beetroot chutney, béarnaise, guacamole, coleslaw, nachos and different sorts of salad, but we were very surprised to see, how traditional our guests are. They all chose basics like ketchup, mayo, salad, cheddar and bacon, definitely bacon. But we’re glad to see, that so many of our guests are willing to engage, and MyBurger will definitely return next year,” Brand Manager Lise Hørdam explains.


The MyBurger campaign is just one example on how McDonald’s works with brand engagement. According to Lise Hørdam creating engagement is crucial today, because the media consumption has changed. The consumers are setting the agenda today. They don’t only watch TV, listen to radio or other traditional push medias any longer. They also use digital media, which are much more based on dialogue and involvement.

“We want to be, where our guests are. And right now they are on the digital medias, so that is primarily where we work with brand engagement. Our overall brand strategy is to be the preferred place of our guests, when they want something to eat or drink. By engaging them in our brand we create loyalty and get valuable insights on who they are and what motivates them. When we get closer to our guests and learn what they expect from us, we can become even more relevant. And being relevant is, what it’s all about.”


McDonald’s Denmark entered Facebook in 2010, and today their official page has more than 250.000 fans. The recently got a profile on Instagram too, @mcdonaldsdanmark, because the visual social platforms are gaining grounds at the moment, and so far the facebook page has been of great value to them. 
“With facebook we can communicate with our guests at eye level and get to know them better. They can ask us questions, express their feelings and be critical of what we say. Facebook is very transparent and thereby very trustworthy too. So it has both great value to us – and to our fans,” says Lise Hørdam.

But how do you engage your fans on facebook? For McDonald’s it is a combination of exclusive offers, competitions, reviews and gimmicks.

“We strive to give our facebook fans exclusive offers. When we hit 200.000 fans, we offered free coffee and soft drinks, and another time we had a special on Sundae ice to 10 DKK. The key is small exclusive offers, which are only communicated on facebook. We also run competitions like ‘How many Big Macs does it take to build the Eiffel Tower’ and polls related to our products like ‘Which McFlurry flavour would you like to see on the menu? We ask them, what they want, and then we give it to them. We also offer reviews. For example we asked if anyone wanted to review our new wraps, sent them a gift card and asked them to taste it and write their review on facebook. Finally we do small relevant gimmicks, which our fans love. On J-day we wrote ‘Happy J-dag – we’ll see you tomorrow’ and as a April Fool’s joke we posted ‘ No more pickles’.”


Lise Hørdam points out the mobile gamification ‘Coin Hunting’ as another brand engagement initiative, which their guest has been very fond of.

“With the Coin Hunting platform our guests can collect virtual coins with their mobile phones and convert them to coinoffers like hamburgers, cheeseburgers and soft drinks in our restaurants, and it has been a great hit. The game is true to our brand and allows our guest to play along at the same time.”

In order to create engagement, Lise Hørdam has learned that playing with their guests is the right way to go. You have to ask your self, what’s in for them. 
“With brand engagement we have had to feel our way to find out what is effective. It has been learning by doing, and we have learned, that if you want your customers to engage in your brand, you have to give them something of value – whether it is amusement, gift cards or influence.”

According to Lise Hørdam the content also has to be original and relevant – and by all means not commercial.

“If we post something that is too commercial on our facebook page for example, we can see it right away. Then our fans aren’t sharing it with their friends, nor are they liking or commenting. That’s the good thing by being in close contact with our guests – we know exactly when we are doing something right and when we are doing something wrong.”

Lise Hørdam 
Lise Hørdam is Brand Manager at McDonald’s Denmark. The first McDonald’s opened in Denmark in 1981 and today there are 87 McDonald’s restaurants all over Denmark.

Lise Hørdam’s 3 best advices on brand engagement 
1. Ask yourself, what’s in it for them? 
If you want your customers to engage in your brand, you have to give them something of value – whether it is amusement, gift cards or influence. 
2. Have the guts to learn by doing 
You must be willing to take chances in order to find out what’s most effective. 
3. Create original and relevant content 
Once you get too commercial you loose. Your customers only want to get involved if you create original and relevant content.

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