McDonald’s Is Changing Its Agency Partnerships; Mobile Customer Data Platforms Are Going Strong

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Hold The Bun

McDonald’s is slashing the number of creative agencies servicing its franchises from 60 to 10 or less. The Golden Arches, like many of its peers, is grappling with an increasingly digital and health-conscious market. That means cutting marketing for the 200 local business co-ops it owns across the US in favor of localizing national campaigns, which allows more consistent and controlled branding. Omnicom is at the forefront of the shift, with OMD handling media buying nationally and newly launched We Are Unlimited heading up creative. “Building the modern, progressive company that we aspire to be involves changing the way we conduct business,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Terri Hickey said in a statement to Ad Age. More.

Bumper Crop

About five years ago, venture firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital, GV (Alphabet’s VC arm), Accel Partners and Sequoia made a string of bets on nascent mobile customer data platforms. That batch of startups includes Swrve, Mixpanel, Appboy and Segment, which raised another $64 million on Thursday, and newer rivals like mParticle and the Israel-based Alooma. Like early demand-side platforms that came up through venture rounds together, these customer data platforms emphasize the ability to integrate everywhere and with everyone, fostering an ecosystem of off-and-on partners or competitors. Some are oriented more toward operations, while others are dedicated to marketing, but it’s a converging space of growth-stage rivals that haven’t yet been hoovered up by telcos, tech giants or cloud suites. “There’s an obvious strategic interest for those larger suites or walled platforms to tie their own data sources together,” Segment CEO Peter Reinhardt told AdExchanger. “But it does run against their interest to tie arbitrary tools into their suites.”

Power Of Incumbency

The US tech startup scene used to churn up new champions every decade, but “is starting to look like a conventional oligopoly – dominated by a handful of big companies whose perch atop the industry looks increasingly secure,” writes Timothy Lee at Vox. Microsoft and Apple, AOL, Google and Yahoo, Amazon and Facebook. But after that? This tier of smaller, younger companies (like Snapchat, Uber, Airbnb, Yelp, Pinterest and Blue Apron) doesn’t even seem to be nipping at heels, let alone denting incumbents. Phin Barnes, a partner at First Round Capital, tells Lee that tech giants nowadays are “much better at understanding existential risk.” More.

Staying Local

Mobile and social channels are commanding more local ad spend, according to BIA/Kelsey’s Local Advertising Forecast update. Direct mail still leads local marketing investments with $37 billion, about 25% of the market, followed by local TV at $21 billion. But social and mobile are catching up, commanding $16 billion and 11% market share apiece. The digital channels are now tied with newspapers and have passed local radio. “We are on the precipice of different advertising channels taking lead positions in the local advertising marketplace,” Mark Fratrik, chief economist for BIA/Kelsey, tells Adweek. Not coincidentally, Google has rolled out click-to-book products for local businesses like spas, barber shops and yoga studios. More.

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