Old school Big Mac marketers would sell a Big Mac…

  • By hiring an agency to come up with a clever, “emotional” ad.  Like this one.
  • This ad would be shown to the McDonald’s rewards customers in email and on social.
  • It would be aimed at anyone on mobile doing a search for “fast food near me.”
  • And they’d build a look-alike model using past Big Mac purchasers to aim this in digital at people who look like those prior Big Mac buyers.

At some point this creative would need a re-fresh and some enterprising ad agency rep would suggest an A/B test to run the emotional ad against the “facts and details” ad.

They’d run this test knowing in their heart that the details/facts ad would lose.  They’d be right insofar as their analysis and entire frame of reference would assume all Big Mac buyers are the same.

And in that world, which only exists in the metaverse where one size literally fits all, the ad on the left wins.

The new school Big Mac marketers have a more refined, curious and evidence-based approach.  They believe Big Mac buyers are different and want those differences reflected in the marketing.

The new school folks setup a test that allows for seeing if different people want different ads.  They use a dash of behavioral science to dream up their test.


New School Big Mac Marketers,

  • Ran both ads to current Big Mac Customers and Prospects
  • The current Big Mac customers were tagged with Personality Tags (available from DonorVoice at $0.15/name) to identify their Open and Agreeable customer segments.
  • The Prospecting used Facebook and programmatic display affinities that match to each trait (using DonorVoice custom targeting criteria)
  • This means the analysis could break out clicks and purchases by Personality and ad type.

Their analysis confirmed what the Old-school marketers found, if you lump everyone together – Agreeable and Open – the emotion ad wins.

But digging deeper they find old-school marketing leaves a lot of money on the table by not understanding how people are different.  People high in Openness prefer more information, not random but useful and interesting.

These people exist in the real world and on your donor file and in your prospect universe.  They are findable and marketable you’ll raise more money by matching message to who people are on the inside.

Are you old-school or new-school?  Which Big Mac ad do you prefer?