The client

Neighbourhood coffee chain with locations across Canada.


To increase in-store visits by 10% at 6 retail locations, specifically during the morning and lunch rushes.


Staying competitive and maintaining market share in an industry where advertising campaigns for food and beverage options are consistently saturating the market. New and innovative solutions are more important than ever.

EQ’s solution

EQ created two distinct audience segments to target against, and initiated a small test to better understand which group would perform better in terms of efficiency and overall actionable results.

To perform the test, 6 stores were selected in different cities, with the goal of comparing overall results to determine the most effective messaging/audience segment. Two audience segments were created based on location behaviour patterns.

  1. The first group targeted individuals regularly in proximity of the chosen store locations. These individuals were served messaging catered to various contextual factors, such as time of day, day of week, weather, etc. For example, morning commuters in the vicinity of a location were targeted with creatives advertising coffee and breakfast treats, and on cold days shoppers were targeted with a ‘warm, homey’ feel.

  2. EQ used competitive conquesting to build the second audience. In this group, individuals targeted had to be both within in the vicinity of a store location, and had to have visited a competing QSR location at least once in the past 30 days. This audience was targeted with purchase incentives taking into account contextual factors, as above. For example, lunchtime shoppers were shown creatives providing a coupon code for 50% off a sandwich between 11 and 3pm.


Over the three-month period, EQ was able to uncover some very interesting insights. While both audience segments provided a lift in terms of driving people to the stores, resulting in an overall 5% increase, there were differences in how the audiences reacted to the different types of messaging.

For the first audience, the group of individuals regularly found within close proximity to the store locations, demonstrated very little difference in their purchasing behaviour. During the test period, this audience showed an increase in-store visits by just under 10%.

However, the second group – the audience that was both within close proximity to the store locations and had visited a competing QSR, showed a significant improvement in visits when targeted with the right message. Although almost no increase in-store visits was determined when generic ads were presented, when the audience was served with ads providing discount offers for new products, an increase of almost 15% in-store visits took place.

Next steps

The Client was very excited to have been able to tap into the insights obtained, and have expanded further testing to an additional 30 of its stores across Canada. The campaign contract was renewed for another two terms. Now two months in, the Client has been able to increase store visits by an average of 12% over previous months, and the number is growing.

The client says

We’ve been able to obtain a lot of information about our customer’s spending patterns, and use that to increase our sales. The strategy provided by EQ gave us an edge over our competition. It feels really good to have tapped into something that’s producing results.