March 19, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Personalization for Restaurants

It used to be that all restaurants needed to attract customers was a catchy jingle, a memorable mascot, and a signature menu item. While a strong brand identity is still important, it’s not enough in 2021. Today’s customers want to do business with companies that understand them as individuals.

According to Accenture, 91% of customers are more likely to frequent businesses that personalize their experience. That can be by recognizing them as a returning customer or providing offers and recommendations based on previous purchases.

Personalization is the key to cross-selling and providing excellent customer experiences, and with 87% of restaurant customers planning to continue with mobile and online ordering even after the pandemic, the need for personalization isn’t going away. To offer the personalized service today’s customers expect, restaurants must adopt technology that illuminates individual customer preferences.

Are you looking to enhance retention, engagement and conversion through personalization?

Join us and our friends at Amplitude on April 22 to hear how other leading restaurants are using personalization in their businesses.

January 21, 2020

Personalizing Experiences with Location Data

It’s no secret that consumers demand contextual, personalized mobile and web experiences. And in a crowded app marketplace, it is more important than ever to stand out. Adobe research uncovered that 60% of marketers struggle to personalize content in real time, yet 77% believe real-time personalization is crucial (source). To add a little more wood to this fire, Epsilon concluded that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer contextual experiences (source).

Traditionally, the holy grail of personalized mobile or web engagement is delivering the right content, to the right user, at the right time. In order to fully deliver on this, real-time context is everything. Understanding who your users are, how they behave and what their preferences are is critical.

The rise of location data infrastructure and geofencing technology has added another layer to the holy grail: delivering the right content, to the right user, at the right time, at the right location. Further, location data can provide increased capabilities in the other three categories.


Location data infrastructure should enable unlimited geofencing, allow you to tap into a place database, and generate machine-learned insights, and brands that are investing in enhancing their mobile app with infrastructure like this are gaining an advantage over brands that don’t. These platforms give product, marketing and engineering teams increased understanding of their users and added context that can be used to personalize engagement messages, in-app content, and product recommendations.

At Bottle Rocket, we use location data infrastructure to enhance the mobile experiences we build for organizations. This tool opens up many new opportunities for brands to increase customer engagement. Further, it enhances a brand’s ability to be more creative with their marketing campaigns. Burger King used location data to carry out their Whopper Detour campaign which sent a digital coupon to any app user who was within 50 feet of a McDonald’s location, for example.

It’s important to note that, in the same way that brands need to gain the trust of users to win their business, brands also need to gain the trust of their users by providing clear value to a user that shares their location. They can do this by only using infrastructure that is privacy-focused, ensuring that the software limits battery drain, and providing clear explanations as to how the user’s location will be used.

When brands have gained the trust of their users, users will opt into location tracking in exchange for an experience that contains dynamic, personalized content based upon this increased understanding.

A privacy-focused location data infrastructure like Radar allows brands to understand when a user has entered a place of interest, is at their home or office, and whether or not they are traveling between different regions. This understanding gives brands the ability to drive massive increases in their user engagement, leading to increased metrics that align to business goals.

Location data infrastructure allows brands to build the following:

  • Contextual app experiences
  • Personalized, relevant messaging
  • Location-driven user segmentation


Brands across travel, hospitality, retail, and media (just to name a few) are leveraging location data to create personalized journeys for their users.


In the travel industry, the OTA market is filled with companies offering the same prices on the same products, so the most advanced brands are leveraging location data to keep customers loyal to their platforms. As you can imagine, there are hundreds of ways that OTAs leverage their app users’ real-time location; it’s easy to envision Kayak using location to engage users by welcoming them when the customer checks in at their hotel and popping up their reservation details. They might also send timely reminds for flight check-ins and rental-car drop-offs when the user isn’t near the gate or lot, and offer recommendations for things to do in London, once the user hops in a cab from Heathrow airport to their hotel.

On the flip side, sending a spammy welcome message when someone’s flight is delayed or offering outdated recommendations based on last-known location are two surefire ways to make customers churn; location data can keep engagement and content personalized and relevant. Why would you need the “book a hotel” screen when you’re already at your hotel in a new city?


When it comes to hospitality, most hotel brands have their own loyalty apps. And a brand like Caesar’s has an extra incentive to know when you’re traveling near one of their locations, even if you’re not staying in their hotel. Obviously, some features and products available in the Caesar’s mobile app are not available in every corner of the country; location data can allow them to ‘gate’ certain features, and only send relevant notifications when a customer is in a certain region.


Using location data infrastructure in their mobile app, Target, with the 3rd-most-popular shopping app on the App Store, can deliver customized content and better app experiences to their customers. Knowing when a customer is inside a Target can also help Target promote features that only apply within the confines of the building, like a barcode scanner or an in-store promotion. When a customer shops at a competitor, walking into a Walmart will trigger a promotion or discount at the nearest Target via a push notification, or even an email.

As one of the most common uses for location data, nearby notifications are able to drive incremental foot traffic and revenue, but personalization can also be leveraged when it comes to in-app content; a recommendation engine powered by the zip code that someone lives in, as well as knowledge of what other products a customer might be searching for (based on where else they shop), can both help consumers find what they’re looking for more quickly.


In the media space, brands are focused on competing with a proliferation of media options for consumers. Personalization, relevance, and market share are three main focuses for every media brand. TuneIn Radio wants to know when a user begins their commute, and then prompt them to open the app to play music or listen to a podcast as soon as they walk out their front door. And if they know how long the commute lasts? Only recommend a podcast that can be finished within that time frame.

Personalized recommendations are how most media brands are helping their users sift through the hours of content on their platforms. If a user heads to a stadium, or always watches games at a local sports bar, they’re more apt to tune in to the game broadcast than someone who’s been to a symphony in the past two weeks. If a customer opens Spotify in the gym, they probably want a workout playlist to be one tap away.

Beyond retail, travel, and media, brands in food and beverage, delivery and on-demand, sports and entertainment, and social media are all looking to gain an edge when it comes to personalization and stickiness for their mobile audiences. The brands that we have seen win are the ones who truly understand who their users are, how they act, and the real-world context around how they’re using the app; brands without real-time location data are flying blind.


Below is a short guide showing you how to get started with Radar and how to leverage it within your mobile experience. Further, we’ll show you how you can gain buy-in from your leadership team without making a substantial monetary investment.

Note: If you are trying to gain buy-in from your leadership team, make sure you document these steps as you go along in a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation so that you have a record of what you did when it comes time to prepare your final presentation.

  1. Sign up for a free trial at
  2. Download the free Radar Toolkit app from the app store and paste in your publishable key within the settings.
  3. In the online dashboard, make a geofence around your work, or home, or favorite bar/restaurant/other social destination.
  4. Track yourself and spend some time learning the different parts of the platform.
  5. Define a use case that would add value to both your users and business. Two examples could be: A) More relevant messaging & B) More personalized in-app experiences.
  6. Understand the differentiators between Radar and other location data infrastructure: A) Developer friendly, lightweight SDKs, B) No data sharing or monetization, C) Unlimited geo-fencing and D) Enterprise ready with the ability to process large amounts of location data points.
  7. Prepare a short presentation to gain buy in from your immediate team members to run a POC on your live mobile app.
  8. Choose a segment of users to run the POC on and a length of time (5,000–10,000 would be a good number for 1 month).
  9. Implement the Radar SDK into your mobile app.
  10. Launch your campaign and start measuring.

If you need help with your POC or want to flesh out your use cases with an expert, feel free to send either of us an email and we would be happy to answer any questions you have. It’s the least we could do after you’ve read this far.

Tim Duncan — Bottle Rocket — [email protected]
Aidan Cleary — Radar — [email protected]

This piece was originally published at

September 19, 2017

5 Big Ideas from our Product Owner’s Guide to the Universe at MWCA

We had a stellar program for “Mobile Product Owner’s Guide to the Universe” at Mobile World Congress Americas. There were a ton of ideas that came from our speakers during the all-day event, and these are five of the most interesting:

1. Exponential Acceleration — and Convergence — of Lots of Tech (AI, AR, VR, MR, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Mobile and More)

“We used to say disruption is the new normal,” said Tom Edwards, Chief Digital Officer at Epsilon in his keynote address. “But now, I see this more as exponential acceleration. It’s more about consolidation and bundling of existing technologies.” With the rise of interconnected systems, marketers will need to keep up with customer expectations for seamless, intuitive, lightning fast, “magical” experiences with technologies. See Tom’s video that dives into the themes in his keynote here:

2. Leaving Room for Innovation (and Making Sure Your Definition of Innovation is Helping Not Hurting You)

Organizations can’t stop everything to innovate — but they can’t afford to fall behind either. It’s important, said panelists Todd Stricker with MarriottScott Cuppari with Coca-Cola Freestyle and Dorothy Jensen from Southwest Airlines to leave bandwidth on your teams to experiment, ideate and stay ahead of the game — even if many of the ideas never make it into production. They also advocated for carefully considering how your team defines innovation.

 Todd Stricker with Marriott, Scott Cuppari with Coca-Cola Freestyle and Dorothy Jensen from Southwest Airlines at MWCA17

“We frequently define innovation as unlocking value we weren’t unlocking before,” said Stricker. “Re-defining innovation in those terms helps people think in the problem spaces we’re really attacking to unlock customer value. That helps break the paradigm that innovation has to be a massive new crazy thing. It can be at a micro-level, and super meaningful when you’re dogging customer problems and making things better for them.”

3. It’s Time to Revisit A Few Technologies You Might Have Written Off

Technologies you might have tried a few years ago have matured: write them off at your own risk. For example, AI and natural language processing have helped create vast improvements in chatbots and voice assistants, as Vera Tzoneva, Global Product Partnerships, Google Assistant demonstrated.

VR technology is also better and more immersive than it’s ever been, said Andy Mathis, Mobile Partnerships and Business Development Lead at Oculus. For brands that want to connect with customers through indelible, immersive experiences, VR is an avenue that’s waiting to be explored. Red Bull’s VR hub lets you go cliff diving, fly a plane in the Red Bull air race and more, connecting with their adreneline-fueled branding. Tom’s in-store VR experience (see below) makes you an eyewitness and participant, making their brand promise of “buy a pair give a pair” come to life for customers.

4. Creating a Continuous Stream of Crowd-Sourced Customer Feedback to Help Drive Your Product Roadmap

Getting more (and more balanced) customer feedback helps product and marketing teams act on better, more balanced data about what customers want and need more quickly said Rob Pace, CEO of HundredX — and helps bake a listening culture into your organization. That’s critical for ensuring your products and features align to what real customers really want — not just what your team thinks they want.

Rob Pace, CEO of HundredX at MWCA

5. Data-Fueled Context is Increasingly Critical for Personalized Marketing

“The internet of things is too focused on the things,” said Dimitri Maex, President of Sentiance. “It’s on its way to becoming the internet of you — and I believe that will happen through AI and data.”

Maex shared how — using movement, location and time data from mobile phones — it’s possible to learn an enormous amount about a user’s context (Are they walking, driving, boating? Are they near home, work or school? Where are they likely to be going next?) and customize their experience for 1:1 interactions fast and at scale.

The exclamation point at the end gives me cavities, but a period is too bored... Thank you to our speakers, everyone in attendance, and our super smart, super helpful sponsors who helped make it all happen!

Also a big thank you to Urban Airship for this amazing recap! (original article)