For digital advertisers in MENA, multi-screen fragmentation poses a key challenge. It makes it difficult to follow the user journey across devices to the eventual purchase, as well as to attribute the correct impact of each device. In the UAE, the average consumer in 2015 owned three connected devices – one of the highest rates of device ownership in the world.

McDonald’s could see that 56% of its traffic was coming from mobile, while desktop remained the brand’s most profitable last-click channel. Cross-device measurement emerged as a critical issue, so McDonald’s set out to develop a better understanding of users’ multi-screen behavior, build an accurate picture of the cross-device path to conversion and weigh the true impact of each device on the bottom line.

Leveraging the power of programmatic

Together with its agency’s trading desk Cadreon, McDonald’s partnered with DoubleClick to achieve these aims. The team designed a campaign using a combination of first-party audience data, Google behavioral audiences and contextual signals to programmatically serve ads to the most relevant target audience. The campaign creatives were built using high-impact formats in DoubleClick Studio, ensuring better engagement and performance of across devices. DoubleClick’s native cross-device measurement tools meanwhile made it possible to see how interactions on different devices were contributing to actual sales.

A sharper focus on performance across screens

Taking cross-device conversions into full account – instead of relying on basic last-click measurement – resulted in a 26% uplift in conversions and 21% decrease in overall cost per acquisition (CPA). The updated rules saw smartphone CPA drop by 33% and tablet CPA drop by 38%. Mobile was found to be a key driver in the conversion path, with the top cross-device path to conversion occurring from mobile to desktop.

New insights, new data-driven initiatives

The analysis is already having an impact on the McDonald’s digital strategy, especially with regards to mobile. For example, McDonald’s has now tagged the brand’s mobile app in order to include it in cross-device reporting too.

“The cross-device measurement report allows us to get a better understanding of how McDonald’s consumers’ are interacting with the campaigns across different devices,” affirms Mohamed Itani, General Manager at Platform5. “The value of mobile in the path to conversion is now abundantly clear and will definitely change how McDonald’s online strategy is implemented. Cross-device measurement will also become an integral part of our post-campaign reporting for all our clients going forward.”

The value of mobile in the path to conversion is now abundantly clear and will definitely change how McDonald’s online strategy is implemented.

Mohamed Itani, General Manager, Platform5

Being able to develop data-driven insights is one of the key advantages of a programmatic approach, and this has contributed to McDonald’s decision to transition media budget from print to digital. In fact, the company increased programmatic budgets by 500% from 2015 to 2016.

“The results of this cross-device measurement exercise have demonstrated the true value of our mobile activities,” says Mohamed ElGhousin, Marketing Manager for McDonald’s UAE. “The insights gleaned from this analysis will help us define our marketing strategy going forward, both in terms of how we execute paid media campaigns and how we manage our online assets. We will be sure to make mobile a central tenet of our strategy.”

The results of this cross-device measurement exercise have demonstrated the true value of our mobile activities.

Mohamed ElGhousin, Marketing Manager, McDonald’s UAE