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McDonald's focuses on digital needs

News, 03 May 2016

LAS VEGAS: McDonald's, the quick-service restaurant chain, has enjoyed digital success by building out tools and services which focus on the "day-to-day" needs of consumers first.

Deborah Wahl, SVP/Chief Marketing Officer of McDonald's USA, discussed this subject during a session at the Adobe Summit 2016.

More specifically, she reported that introducing digital in-store kiosks, rolling out an app – which has been downloaded over ten million times in the last four months or so – and offering free in-store WiFi have made a major impact for the brand.

"I think there is so much incremental power in those little things, versus the really big, exciting new things further down [the line]," Wahl said. (For more, including further strategic tips for brands, read Warc's exclusive report: Understanding McDonald's consumer-driven transformation.)

"The bigger things should be from that very practical, day-to-day optimisation. And that builds a business."

One example of a "big thing" being explored by McDonald's involves potentially partnering with automotive companies to understand how its app might help customers save time.

"It's actually peeling back: not doing so much of the sexy stuff, but looking at the day to day, of the big changes we could implement," Wahl explained.

Approximately 18 million people use the free WiFi offered in McDonald's stores every day – and one of the strengths of this offering is that it matches the brand's fundamental purpose.

"The core tenets of the brand have always been about quality, service and convenience," Wahl said. "We really have to deliver on that and get much better with those same expectations."

Similarly, the company's app has focused on the priorities of consumers, which include accessing offers and being able to find information simply.

"They want the ease and convenience," Wahl told the Adobe Summit delegates. "So that's what we focused on."

Data sourced from Warc