Visits to McDonald’s restaurants in Spain decreased by 6.3 percent from 2014 to 2016. To drive its relevance up again, McDonald’s redesigned its app, My McDonald’s in 2016, aiming to design extremely personalized customer experiences. The challenge was distilling the data into insights to improve the experience of customers, controlling all the touchpoints in their journey and turning those strangers into well-known individuals.
Ultimately, the aim was to gain a deeper knowledge of the consumer, but to obtain a growth in sales, particularly within the app.
After a first year with amazing results (8 percent of the company’s sales in 2016 were exclusively attributed to the loyalty program via My McDonald’s app), in 2017, the company built an audience base to incorporate to McDonald’s first party data, ready to be engaged with personalized messages.
Objective and Context:
Since McDonald’s has such a universal target, a behavior-based audience segmentation was needed. The segments included fast food lovers (who enjoy the variety of fast food menus present, and use fast food as a comfort and treat for themselves), trend setters (who often seek convenience, and are on-the-go, consuming in a variety of locations), budget basics (who are simple, functional consumers, primarily seeking value and convenience when going out to eat), and kid pleasers (who seek kid-friendly options from brands that symbolize tradition and community bound).
As the app rewards users with different promotions depending on their loyalty level (bronze, silver and gold), the collection of data provided the company with three audience clusters, already segmented and ready to be impacted one by one.
The company wanted to:
From Mass McDonald’s to My McDonald’s, the brand leveraged its strongest asset, its traditional positioning “feel good moments.” The brand would use all the potential data from the app to understand what does those “good moments” mean for each person and then design extremely personalized customer experiences.
Further, the company wanted to turn My McDonald’s into a business growth tool to create demand in off-peak periods. In a second level of depth, the company’s intention was to build a real source of user profiles that, in a mid-term basis, will be increasing McDonald’s owned media, which will allow the company to invest less resources in paid media, thus optimizing the brand’s investments.
The company designed a media strategy in owned media (app, restaurant, Wi-Fi, and web) and paid media combining TV and digital, each one playing a carefully chosen role: Mass media would get as much new users downloading the app as possible, and digital would take advantage of its segmentation capabilities to reach consumers according to their interests and purchase behavior.
As this was the second year of the strategy, McDonald’s first priority was to reach an exponential growth of the app’s user database; the second year’s focus was creating data-driven decisions that would make personalization possible. The company had more users who were finally better understood by the brand; this allowed McDonald’s to could be more strategic and more accurate when developing marketing campaigns.
Overall Campaign Execution:
McDonald’s goal of driving traffic to McDonald’s restaurants and increase the sales coming from the app was successful. The company’s digital calendar surprised the consumer with a different promotion each day during a whole month; previously collected data was used to select the products in promotion.
The campaign was launched in December 2017, and the only condition for consumers to access the amazing prices in their favorite McDonald’s products each day during a month was to download My McDonald’s app. To capitalize on all the potential data while reaching the broadest possible target, the company planed a combination of digital and TV, measuring the combined and isolated impact week by week to readjust its media strategy in real time.
Seventy percent of digital spend was assigned to mobile.
Every month, users discovered new offers on the app loyalty program, and received push notifications. Emails were segmented based on their preferences and loyalty levels. In paid media, the company used the qualified first party data from My McDonald’s App to fine tune its recruiting techniques:
McDonald’s consequently established clusters of audiences and differentiated communication strategies for them. Personalization resulted in 8.2 percent of sales came exclusively from the digital loyalty program. The brand saw a 41 percent unique users compared to the same month of the previous year, and a 35 percent increase in new users (total of new downloads + previously inactive users) compared to the same month of the previous year. In addition, the brand saw a 21 percent increase in downloads compared to the same month of the previous year.
In 2016, the My McDonald’s was created, and in 2017, the company received a score of 71.5 over Burger King (66.5) and Foster’s Hollywood (49.2), its main competitors in this channel, according to Mobile Performance Index.
The app reached the #1 position in the Apple app Store and #4 position in Google Play Store, beside platforms like WhatsApp or Instagram, featuring 49 percent of engagement within Spanish-speaking audiences ages 18-54.