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McDonald's successful data strategy

News, 27 October 2016
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ORLANDO, FL: McDonald's, the restaurant chain, has yielded major lifts in campaign performance by tapping the growing range of first-party data at its disposal.

Deborah Wahl, SVP/CMO at McDonald's USA, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2016 Masters of Marketing Conference.

And she reported that the company is now able to gain a deeper understanding of consumers via a range of owned digital assets, from in-store WiFi, kiosks and menus to its website, marketing emails and mobile app.

"We're taking all of this [information] to every single customer touchpoint," she said. (For more details of the firm's evolving strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: McDonald's: How to turn around a legacy brand.)

"It gives us insight for influence optimisation and behavior-driven evolution that opens the door to product innovation and company direction."

And through harnessing information from these channels, Wahl asserted, McDonald's increasingly is able to create "individualized customer profiles", which are enriched further by sales data.

"We're leveraging transactional data into our marketing decision and it's paying off unbelievably well," she said. "We're seeing five times our campaign performance average from our first-party data segments, as you'd expect.

"One hundred percent of our US system now has digital menu boards. Think of that in terms of customization and mass personalization. In each restaurant, you can [customise] all the messaging by week, by day part, by the weather, by local activities."

Drilling down further into this topic, Wahl revealed that the McDonald's app has been downloaded over 14m times in less than a year.

"The mobile customer will be interacting with McDonald's even further away from today's point of purchase, which is the restaurant," she said.

"Ultimately, our retail experience will be focused on that brand experience overall so that the restaurant is less about trading up and more about the next visit.

"Think about that: You move from 'up sell' to 'next sell'."

Data sourced from Warc

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