McDonald’s $300M Acquisition of Local Data Startup Bodes Well for Personalized CX Solutions

If trend-setting in M&A for marketing technology is accurate, then McDonald’s just made a huge prediction – a $300 million one. Yesterday, they announced their first acquisition in over 20 years of, “Dynamic Yield”, a company that will help them provide a more real-time personalized experience for their customers.

Just the other day I experienced something different from McDonald’s that I didn’t expect. I had downloaded their app a few weeks ago to get a coupon for a few Happy Meals for my kids and linked the account up to my Facebook profile. McDonald’s now has a record of what I had ordered and will possibly order again in the future. They know that I have kids and they know that we are a chocolate milk kind of family. Kind of cool, right?

What’s even cooler is that at 3 pm yesterday on a really warm day as I was about 2 miles away from McDonald’s I got a notification for a “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” ice cream cone. I normally would have passed right by the restaurant chain, but guess who got ice cream yesterday? Our entire family. All because of personalized and location-based messaging.

There are 37,855 McDonald’s fast food locations in the world today. It’s massive. Your clients might have one business location. But it doesn’t really matter, because the principle is the same –  McDonald’s knows that in order to compete they need to connect with customers on a local level. If I had received a notification for a Big Mac yesterday I would have gotten annoyed. Who needs a spammed coupon for a Big Mac at 3 pm in the afternoon? But instead, McDonald’s appealed to me because they had my data and they used it to let me know they cared about me and what I would want as a customer.

McDonald’s is proving something by acquiring a data technology company to better connect and interact with customers on a local level – that this type of data and interaction is valuable for any size business – it just have to have local customers. And as a small, local business it’s never been easier to acquire access to the same technology that is helping large enterprise connect with their customers.

The mass-personalization that is happening in every business today is driven by the customer’s demand for real-time communication on the devices they use the most. It’s all about convenience and meaningful interaction. This approach to marketing has helped businesses grow and thrive in massive ways and with more value than traditional top of the funnel advertising.

Moving offline ads to online and virtual engagement moves the needle more, hence the $300 million price tag. But whether you are working with a McDonald’s or a local plumber one thing is true – it’s important to use personalization and digitize your interaction efforts to change and evolve the customer relationship.

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