The fast food chain has appointed Capgemini and Publicis.Sapient to lead its digital transformation, which could bolster a healthy sense of competition between the two agencies and drive the brand forward.

McDonald's mobile ordering

McDonald’s is in the midst of overhauling its business, and that overhaul has technology at its heart. Every one of its analyst calls is packed with updates on what digital changes the fast food chain has been implementing, from mobile ordering apps and in-store touchscreen kiosks to home delivery.

The company unveiled the next round of changes earlier this week by appointing global consultancies Capgemini and Publicis.Sapient to look after its digital overhaul. The aim, it says, is to accelerate the rate of “digital technology innovation” and transform the restaurant experience for customers.

“[We want to] enhance our ability to bring speed, scalability and disruptive innovation across our restaurant and digital technologies as McDonald’s continues to transform the customer experience through greater convenience and personalisation,” Jim Sappington, executive vice-president of operations, digital and technology systems at McDonald’s says.

The reportedly year-long pitch saw Publicis.Sapient and Capgemini go up against Accenture and Indian consultancy HCL to win the work. It is the latest example of consultancies and agencies finding themselves in direct competition as the role of technology in marketing increases and both look to win lucrative contracts.

Yet this deal would suggest that neither agencies nor consultancies have quite got the right expertise to fulfill the gamut of clients’ needs.

Two heads are better than one

The decision to go with two partners instead of one means McDonald’s can make best use of both companies’ areas of expertise. Capgemini has built its reputation on its ability to manage internal operations and IT. Publicis.Sapient, meanwhile, is known more as an advertising and technology company, and could therefore focus on the consumer-facing aspects – CRM, the customer journey and mobile app.

Nick Manning, chief strategy officer at Ebiquity, says: “Bringing in a customer-focused agency group like Publicis.Sapient plus a word class back-end provider like…