Pandora Strives to Personalize Audios Ads; McDonald’s Debuts Mobile Order and Pay

SHENZHEN, CHINA - CIRCA DECEMBER, 2016: McDonald's restaurant in Shenzhen. McDonald's is an American hamburger and fast food restaurant chain.

In this post we’ll take a look at Pandora’s move to release tools that enable brands to personalize audio ads in real-time, and McDonald’s plans to follow in Starbuck’s footsteps with its own mobile-order-and-pay.

Personalization Comes to Pandora Audio Ads

The power of a more a personal approach is expanding beyond words and images to audio. Pandora will soon release tools that enable marketers to reach the music streaming service’s 81 million listeners with dynamic, customized ads. Working with these tools, agencies will be able to design ads based on Pandora’s massive listener data set. That data set includes gender, age, and ZIP code, as well as real-time data such as location and time of day.

These ads offer a high potential for engagement because of the emotional connections between listeners and their music, says Marketing Dive. As Pandora put it in a blog post, this new service will allow brands to serve “hyper-personalized, real-time audio ads to an audience who is already engaged and immersed in a personalized music listening experience.” While these may not be as hyper-personalized as other mediums like email and web where you can personalize on richer attributes such as individual interests, it’s a step in the right direction towards making ads more relevant for the customer, no matter the medium.

McDonald’s Follows in Starbucks’ Footsteps with New Mobile Ordering

In a bid to win back lost customers, McDonald’s plans to offer mobile ordering and curbside pick up at its 14,000 locations by the end of 2017. Since 2012, the fast-food pioneer has lost more than 500 million transactions to competitors, reports Fortune, and it hopes that modernizing the customer experience will lure them back.

Given the success of Starbucks’ mobile-order-and-pay initiative, it’s no surprise that McDonald’s has targeted mobile ordering to reverse its declining sales. The coffee giant’s mobile order and pay, used by more than a third of its customers, is hugely popular and successful. Investors have bought into the idea that McDonald’s can replicate Starbucks’ success: Shares went up 1.1 percent after the announcement.