The App-powered Year: Driving Incremental Growth

Entrant: TRACK NZ
Nominee: McDonald's
Awards: Nexus Supreme, Nexus Gold - CRM & Data Management, Nexus Gold - Strategic Vision, Nexus Bronze - Innovation


As the largest player in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) category McDonald’s faces constant competitive pressures. They recognised that sustaining growth in an increasingly competitive and changing market would require them to increasingly leverage data and technology to drive efficiencies and incremental performance. Using their data and the local launch of a global McDonald’s mobile app, they drove a shift to 1-to-1 communication and delivered provable incremental growth.

The app was essentially a shell with basic show-and-go couponing functionality, so the local team added the smarts that turned a ‘dumb’ couponing tool into a smart, personalised, growth engine.

McDonald’s built out strong data and technology foundations to enable them to identify, segment, target, engage and measure the behaviour of individual customers. They mapped the app adoption journey to create habitual use of the app and driving incremental behaviour. And they analysed point of sale data to provide insight on what offers worked when and with who.

Finally, they established a comprehensive ongoing go-to-market approach combining always-on offers, triggered 1-to-1 communications and app-exclusive promotions to drive engagement.

McDonald’s invested into creating a single source of truth around the customer with McDonald’s being the owner of their own data. Part of this flexible future-proof tech solution was the development of a single customer view for McDonald’s customer data combining the data captured through various channels, behavioural app data with comms history and interactions, offer redemptions, and so on.

Over the course of 12 months, McDonald’s overachieved against two key success metrics. The number of new users acquired was 39.5% over target; and app attributable store visits were 58% over the targeted number. The results show comprehensively that the programme delivered a high level of incremental store visits and resultant sales - the first McDonald’s market in the world to do so.