What McDonalds and TradeMe are doing to lift their advertising game

Digital marketers from Australia and New Zealand share how they're investing in DMPs and Maketing Cloud to improve customer interactions

Knowing who the customer is, improving engagement at the point of interaction and increasingly personalising and integrating along the way have been the cornerstones of next-generation advertising for McDonald’s Australia.

Speaking at the Salesforce World Tour in Sydney, the QSR’s local digital marketing manager, Sarah Harrington-Birch, told attendees McDonald’s is increasingly using data insight at every point of interaction in order to talk to the customer across their lifecycle. The work has involved a three-horizon approach, she said.

“First, you need to know who customer is,” she said. “We have a huge amount of transactions in our restaurants but we didn’t know who those people were. So we implemented Salesforce Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud, integrating that with all of our marketing journeys and building out that profile.”

The next step was to improve engagement, and Harrington-Birch said McDonald’s tried simple journeys at first. An example was around McDelivery, which launched in Australia last year.

“We took the one data set of postcode and as each individual restaurant rolled out, we could target customers in those geographic areas with email,” she explained. “We then pushed that into Facebook with custom audiences using these insights to ensure everyone knows about McDelivery.”

The third step in McDonalds’ media and marketing journey has been personalisation. “That’s about starting to integrate, going through all the touchpoints and being customer obsessed,” Harrington-Birch said.

“We are constantly looking to innovate around customer experience. Without these technologies and being fully connected, we aren’t able to do that. Now we’re integrating online personalisation and bringing that [personalised interaction] into every experience with our brand.”

The next priority for McDonalds is extending these improvements into the physical realm. Harrington-Birch pointed out the biggest touchpoints available to McDonalds with customers is its restaurants.

“The next horizon is how to use customer data and integrate experience into our restaurants,” she said. 

For example, McDonalds launched mobile order and pay last year with a feature called ‘table service’. No longer does a customer have to walk in, stand in line to order, then scramble to find a table.

“You can place an order at your seat and the crew brings to your table, and calls you by name as well,” Harrington-Birch said. “There are lots of great things coming in this space to enable restaurants with data, not just the marketing team.”  

McDonalds was one of two A/NZ organisations presenting on its utilisation of marketing and ad technologies to improve its media and marketing efforts. Joining Harrington-Birch on stage was TradeMe, a New Zealand-based classifieds giant, which shared its own efforts to improve advertising through data and iteration both to clients as well as consumers via its online site.

Head of advertising, Paul Mant, said the group was facing an already high bar of excellence expectation before bringing on the Krux (now Salesforce) data management platform (DMP).

“Most of our clients believed we were a data goldmine before we’d even entered strategy around DMP,” he said. “So there were big expectations to bring all our interactions to life.”

Adopting a DMP allowed TradeMe to take millions of historic and real-time interactions, bring them together then be able to “get in the [media] curation game in a meaningful way,” Mant said.

An example is by creating personas, such as the first-home buyer, pet friendly or young family, based on different demographic and geographic data sets, plus a user’s interactions within the property part of TradeMe’s site.

“Pull those three data sets together and take that to a banking client, and they can put the right message at the right time to the right audience with the right creative,” Mant said.

Related: How New Zealand’s classifieds giant is tapping automation for member marketing

Across TradeMe’s insurance company division, meanwhile, utilising a DMP is helping the company to innovate and use its own data to inform media creative for targeting new audience segments, Mant said. One example was deciding to adapt the look of its mascot, Simon the Sloth, who used to ride around on a skateboard and did a lot of snorkelling. The creative now sees Simon packing boxes in order to better reflect the young family moving into its first home.

TradeMe also adapted creative further after discovering that it wasn’t resonating with consumers outside of urban areas, changing the colouring scheme and basing it on a consumer’s local rugby team.

“Curation was our first priority. Secondly, it was about making audiences available for programmatic buying so advertisers have an unfair advantage in buying with us,” Mant said.  

Stage three for TradeMe is to increasingly use insights to inform business decision making. “So it’s not just marketing having discussion around what the data means before we start to curate,” Mant said.

“Having a DMP allowed us to do all of that. We thought we’d be flogging products for at least 10 years but we’re achieved that panacea where we start to lead with insights.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu



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