Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
No longer heavily reliant on traditional TV advertising, McDonalds has tuned into a more holistic digital strategy to capture the attention of the next generation of customers.
Speaking at Salesforce’s Future of Marketing forum, Salesforce senior marketing consultant to McDonald’s, Stuart Coleman, spruiked how the brand is using its digital marketing technologies to move well beyond a reliance on TV adverts, mass media and above-the-line advertising.
In order to target its audience better, the fast food chain is now looking towards platforms that enable engagement at every step, from advertising to mobile and social, Coleman said. At the same time, these platforms are tightly integrated within the rest of the organisation, bringing it all together as part of a seamless ecosystem.
The way McDonald's is marketing its products is changing too. Coleman pointed to the new MyMaccas ‘create your taste’ app as an example.
“McDonalds has changed the way it’s taking new products and services to market,” he said. “They’re now focusing on a more personalised, below-the-line advertising. The customers have changed, too.”
In a recent Internet trends report released in May, the time spent in print by consumers is only 4 per cent, yet the advertising spend on print media is 18 per cent. Meanwhile, the time spent by consumers on mobile technology is 24 per cent, yet only 8 per cent of advertising dollars are spent on mobile campaigns.
“McDonald's knows that 1 in 5 minutes of time spent on mobile phone usage is on Facebook, and that creates a huge opportunity,” Coleman continued.
According to Coleman, McDonald's is harnessing new cross-channel marketing by using Salesforce’s social management tool, social.com. This allows the brand to reach real people across multiple devices and multiple platforms on a mass scale.
“What McDonald's also has is the ability to capture data about its customers,” Coleman explained. “So it knows that I love my Mexican Fiesta burger, and knows a fair bit about me. It then wants to leverage that data to reach new customers.”
In order to do this, McDonald’s uses a tool call Active Audiences, which allows the company to synchronise data residing in its CRM systems with the Marketing Cloud.
“What’s also really cool about Active Audiences is that it has the functionality to integrate with journey builder,” Coleman said. “What that allows you to do is create journeys across email, mobile, so SMS and push, and now also social advertising - so you can create those journeys across all those channels.”
Active Audiences also allows users to integrate into display ad networks. “That’s really exciting for us,” he said. “If you think about how you as a marketer are building those customer journeys, you can now build those connective journeys across email, mobile, social and now the broader Web ecosystem of apps and sites.”
The tool captures data across a number of different audiences, from McFlurry lovers, to the create your tase fans. It can also hold over 650,000 consumer records from the marketing cloud. One of the powerful functions of Active Audiences is using its lookalike audience functionality to analyse data recorded.
“What it allows you to do is actually take that list of data, say about create your tasters, and find similar people, using the millions of data points that Facebook has about its consumers,” Coleman said.
According to Coleman, Salesforce did a recent study with Facebook looking at a number of campaigns for clients.
“It found that sending an email and a social ad about the same campaign to the same group resulted in 22 per cent uplift in conversion and 77 per cent uplift in reach,” he said. “Now that’s really powerful.”
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