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Last month, McDonald's announced it would be acquiring personalization company Dynamic Yield in order to install ‘smart’ drive-thru displays at all of its US restaurants. The upgraded screens will offer suggestions to diners based on what’s currently in their cart, how busy the location is, the weather, and the time of day.

Two quick insights to take back to your team:

Sentient spaces. Regular readers won’t be surprised by this news story, given we’ve featured many similarly dynamic solutions, from Clear Channel’s emotional art gallery in Stockholm to 7-Eleven’s facial recognition rollout in Thailand. And they certainly won’t need reminding of the key insight that underpins the wider trend: customers’ digital expectations – for responsive, personalized environments – are rapidly shifting from the online world into the ‘real’ world, too. Indeed if you want a glimpse of where this trend is headed, then look to Asia where SENTIENT SPACES are becoming increasingly commonplace.

New tech, old needs. Of course, there’s a fine line between convenient and creepy. But this example should also highlight that this trend isn’t simply about aggressive personalization to individual customers. McDonald’s 68 million (!) daily customers demand fast food, and so the dynamic screens will highlight items that are quicker to prepare when its kitchens are busy. Are your personalization efforts as aligned with what your customers want?