McDonald’s creates global unit to put insight at the core

McDonalds 2McDonald’s is pooling its data analytics, digital customer engagement, global marketing, and global restaurant development teams into a new customer experience unit as it seeks to put data insight at the heart of its worldwide operations.

The new unit will be led by McDonald’s “lifer” Manu Steijaert, who becomes the fast-food giant’s first chief customer officer and is designed to bring its “Accelerating the Arches” strategy to life.

Ultimately, the aim is to pioneer a new omnichannel approach to create what the company calls “more memorable, authentic, and compelling restaurant experiences”.

Chief data analytics officer Craig Brabec, chief digital customer engagement officer Piotr Jucha, global chief marketing officer Alistair Macrow and global restaurant development and restaurant solutions group head Lucy Brady will now report into him.

Steijaert first joined the company more than 20 years ago, although his McDonald’s experience dates back to 1987 when he worked as crewmember at his parents’ outlet in Belgium. Steijaert has led operations in France and Belgium and was most recently head of the international operated markets business unit.

In his new role, Steijaert will lead the teams to collaboratively redefine customer interactions in a digital world.
Since the launch of McDonald’s global mobile app, the company has added a raft of new services, including delivery, curbside pick-up, kiosks and table service.

It now has over 40 million active app users in its top six markets and millions more around the world. Over the past four years, it has gone from just over 3,000 restaurants offering delivery to now more than 30,000.

The company is also rolling out the MyMcDonald’s loyalty scheme to its top six markets and plans to have this in place by the end of 2022, with the rest of the world to follow soon after.

McDonald’s Corp president and chief executive Chris Kempczinski said: “MyMcDonald’s and the global app will become even more important to serving, interacting with, and delighting our customers around the world, and the insights generated from these platforms will help us further improve their experience.

“Our marketing power and scale will continue to be critical throughout this journey, turning the various customer touchpoints into a holistic and compelling brand experience.”

Kempczinski said this vision was the inspiration for the digital customer engagement team and the data analytics team, created over the last couple of years.

He added: “As we’ve evolved the experience, we’ve brought customers along on our journey through exciting and impactful marketing, led by the global marketing team.”

The aim now is to create a more frictionless customer experience across all service channels, enabling customers to move seamlessly between the in-store, takeaway and delivery service channels “so that we offer even more convenience and better personalisation”.

He added: “If we put our customers first, then our organisation structure needs to reflect the customer experience we want to provide – not the other way around.”

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