Personalized Advertising Takes Center Stage At Salesforce Connections

By Zachary Reiss-Davis

In today’s Connections Keynote, Advertising took center stage, as Shelley Bransten, the SVP of Salesforce Retail, told the audience how advertising is being transformed, from treating almost everyone in the world the same to a new model of personalization at scale — connecting advertising to your CRM in a brand new way.

As Scott McCorkle, the CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, said, “McDonald’s is an amazing organization with hundreds of millions of customers, but they’re just now getting to know these customers personally. In an amazing transformation, McDonald’s is moving from mass unidentified media that’s blind to who a person is, to personalized media at scale. This is a new model for is advertising to people in a 1:1 way.”

McDonald’s shows that personalization is not just for brands in industries like Automotive or Insurance, with very deep relationships with customers and long purchase cycles. McDonald’s opens a new restaurant every 15 hours, and serves 68,000,000 people each and every day; that’s more than the population of the UK.

Despite its vast scale, McDonald’s knows it has to “think big, but act small” — and has started to personalize all aspects of their customer experience, from their food and ordering to their advertising.

Just like McDonald’s has introduced its “Create Your Taste” campaign, to let consumers personalize their hamburgers and order them their own way, Shelley Bransten showed how companies like McDonald’s show personalized ads to customers through the channels that customers are already using — Mobile and Social, using Salesforce Social.com. Today, according to Altimeter Research, we use mobile phones more than we watch TV, and one out of every five minutes on mobile is spent on Facebook; Social platforms are our identity — Facebook is our personal identity, Twitter is the identity we tell the world, and LinkedIn is our professional identity.

With Salesforce Social.com, advertisers at brands like McDonald’s or its agency partners can coordinate and measure the effectiveness of advertising across all three platforms. Additionally, using the power of Facebook Audience Network, these ads extend across the broader mobile app ecosystem, appearing in apps ranging from the Huffington Post to Kim Kardashian’s mobile game.

McDonald’s also wants to advertise to the millions of customers they already have relationships from channels, such as in-store promotions (e.g. their Monopoly game) and or their email lists. It can do exactly that with Salesforce Active Audiences.

In the example that Shelley showed in the keynote, McDonald’s can take over a million known, individual customers who are part of their “Create Your Taste” campaign and thus part of their CRM data. Using Active Audiences, it can match those customers directly to their Facebook profiles to target with personalized ads, and with match rates between 60 and 90 percent. These excellent great match rates are enabled by the extremely high penetration of Facebook, and that every Facebook account includes one or more email addresses. The customers targeted with Active Audiences can be updated every day, and brands can advertise to their own customers in a whole new way.

In addition to the large number customers of McDonald’s matched for this example campaign on Facebook, it can also use Lookalike Audiences to advertise to the consumers who behave the most similar to their existing customers. Brands can use the offline purchase data targeting available on Social.com to advertise to consumers who like to show at “Quick Serve Restaurants.”

Finally, Shelley described the newest advertising announcement for Salesforce, that Active Audiences is partnering with leading ad tech companies to bring the power of your customer data to the entire display advertising ecosystem. Check out our full blog post for more information.


Salesforce Social.com has published a case study about how McDonald’s uses Social Advertising to promote great video content during the World Cup; learn from their example and check it out today!

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