Yesterday evening, news broke that McDonald’s is acquiring personalization vendor Dynamic Yield for $300 million. Not to mix fast food expressions, but that’s a whopper of a deal, with supersize importance for the industry.
At first glance, this seems like an unlikely pairing. Do McDonald’s and enterprise software really go together like a burger and fries? Regardless, the deal underscores the critical importance of personalization for companies across industries: as a strategic competitive differentiator, integral customer experience driver and, increasingly, a necessity for doing business well.
One size doesn’t fit all – customers, companies and the market at large understand this, and large deals like this one underscore how committed companies are to delivering a 1-to-1 future.
According to TechCrunch, McDonald’s plans to use the acquired technology “to create a drive-thru menu that can be tailored to things like the weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items.” When visitors start placing their orders, future drive-thru displays will also recommend additional upsell items to complement their menu selections. It also seems that McDonald’s is looking to integrate personalization across multiple channels to transform the entire digital experience for customers – including on its self-service kiosks, mobile app and website.
It’s an exciting and important vision, and one that our customers articulate and execute on, as appropriate to their business, every day.
What Does this Mean for Dynamic Yield’s Customers?
Although the Dynamic Yield purchase is, no doubt, very good news for the company, its investors and the market, Dynamic Yield’s customers are probably getting the raw end of the deal.
While Dynamic Yield, purportedly, will continue operating independently post-acquisition, it’s unlikely the company will be very focused on its current client roster – who may be in for the customer experience equivalent of soggy fries and a flat soda. Rather, product development, trials and deployments for McDonald’s, exclusively, will likely dominate Dynamic Yield’s activities. And with this being McDonald’s first-ever acquisition of a software company, it’s fair to wonder how committed McDonald’s is to serving Dynamic Yield’s current customers and growing that business. (More likely, those customers’ contracts are a near-term way to help McDonald’s “pay” for the acquisition.)
McDonald’s even concedes: “It’s probably less about the [Dynamic Yield] product and more about the data scientists that come with it, the people that come with it, and their ability to move quickly with us” – not a ringing endorsement when it comes to executing Dynamic Yield’s product roadmap for current and prospective customers.
What Does This Mean for You?
All that said, a $300 million software buy is a huge statement to make about the importance of personalization and its central role in every organization.
In a sense, this is a wake-up call for companies across the board. It’s time to ask: To what lengths is your organization going to understand your customers and respond to them with individual relevance – no matter the channel of engagement?
Use McDonald’s as your inspiration. McDonald’s is planning to improve customer interactions by personalizing its drive-thrus, kiosks, mobile app and overall digital experience. In other words, the McDonald’s team is thinking big about personalization and incorporating it into its overarching business strategy. Even without a big budget like theirs, you don’t have to think small. If you’re still struggling with personalization on your website or in your emails, get inspired to do better. Think about how you can extend personalization to your in-store, call center and mobile experiences. Greet these challenges as opportunities, because deploying personalization is easier than you might think. You don’t need to acquire a technology provider for $300 million! Evergage is happy to help you with it.
Serving up Personalized Experiences
With our personalization and customer data platform (CDP), Evergage delivers in-the-moment, individualized experiences to billions of people worldwide – across websites, web and mobile apps, email, onsite search, call centers, in-store and in-branch interactions, and more. We’re proud to be a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines and are especially proud of the results our customers achieve – increasing conversions, loyalty, engagement, average order value and more. Fusing together personalization and CDP technologies, we help companies understand and activate their data to deliver maximally relevant customer experiences.
In sum, McDonald’s acquisition of Dynamic Yield is a testament to the power of personalization now and in the future – including why it’s here to stay and how it will continue to develop in a real-time, cross-channel, machine-learning-powered way. To that, I say, “I’m lovin’ it.”