Yum! Brands announced that the company, whose digital sales hit a record of $17 billion (a 45% increase over the prior year), has acquired Tictuk Technologies, an omnichannel ordering and marketing platform company. The addition of Tictuk to Yum! Brands’ technology portfolio will provide the added ability to offer more ways for consumers globally to access and order its KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill brands through many of the leasing social media and conversational platforms.
The acquisition comes only a few weeks after Yum! Brands, which consists of over 50,000 restaurant locations in more than 150 countries, announced its acquisition of Kvantum, an AI-based consumer insights and marketing performance measurement business. Kvantum’s technology, combining machine learning and econometric modeling into its Marketing Performance Analytics Platform, can measure the effects of marketing tactics in a designated geography across owned, paid and earned channels. The technology should help Yum! Brands deploy powerful consumer insights and data analytics to optimize calendar and marketing spend.
Yum! Brands, which has focused its efforts on pivoting its business model to win in an off-premise environment and meeting new consumer needs in the midst of the global pandemic, had been working with Kvantum in several international markets and plans to leverage its services globally to enhance its ability to apply powerful consumer insights and data analytics to enable data-driven marketing decisions to increase sales and better leverage media budgets.
Founded in 2016, Tictuk is a privately held company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, that specializes in conversational commerce, a technology solution that allows users to complete orders and interact with brands through a variety of social media and chat channels, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, SMS, QR codes, and email. Tictuk’s online ordering and marketing platform also leverages a hybrid of chat, web, advertisements, and intelligent marketing technology to engage with consumers. The technology seamlessly integrates with POS and existing payment systems and works for all types of customer engagement including delivery, curbside pick-up and in-restaurant dining.
“As we navigate a consumer landscape reshaped by the events of 2020, we continue to intensify our focus on leveraging our scale and reinforcing our growth model with investments in digital and technologies to enhance the customer and employee experience, strengthen restaurant unit economics and enable our brands and franchisees to compete and win in a rapidly changing world,” said David Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer, Yum! Brands.
Yum! Brands’ global technology strategy, in partnership with the KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill divisions, is focused on providing a best-in-class digital journey across mobile, online, delivery and restaurant operations. The company aims to accelerate its digital commerce strategy through data and advanced analytics and innovative emerging technologies to unlock new sources of global growth.
“The right technologies will allow us to better serve customers with the best offer and delicious food in a way that’s most convenient for them,” said Chris Turner, Chief Financial Officer, Yum! Brands. “We’re excited about the opportunity Tictuk presents, as their solution delivers high impact by enabling our brands to achieve a truly omnichannel presence and provide frictionless ordering for customers in just a few clicks.”
Yum! Brands has successfully deployed Tictuk’s platform in approximately 900 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in 35 countries outside of the U.S. It plans to scale and offer Tictuk’s omnichannel ordering and marketing capabilities to more markets and franchisees globally to deliver more ways for consumers to access its brands through social media and other conversational commerce channels.
“Tictuk has a proven track record of driving increased conversion, loyalty and sales by making it even easier for customers to order our brands through their preferred social media or conversational channel,” said Clay Johnson, Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Yum! Brands. “With Tictuk, we’re able to offer our franchisees around the world an incredibly effective omnichannel ordering system that can be customized to every market’s needs and implemented within just a few days. We’re thrilled to have Tictuk join the growing Yum! technology portfolio, allowing us to offer more frictionless ordering experiences for our customers.”
“Technology strategies that elevate the customer and employee experience and lead to smart, data-driven marketing decisions are critical to keeping our brands R.E.D. (relevant, easy to access and distinctive) and delivering growth for our franchisees and shareholders,” said Gibbs. “The potential to scale Kvantum’s proven technologies across our system to strengthen our data and advanced analytics capabilities and elevate our world-class marketing competencies globally.”
“Kvantum is an innovator in data analytics and marketing optimization and has a proven track record of delivering significant value to several of our international markets by enabling data-driven marketing decisions to increase sales and better leverage media budgets,” said Clay Johnson, Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Yum! Brands. “Kvantum’s technology and the U.S. based leadership capability it brings will be a fantastic addition to the Yum! family, allowing us to apply a disciplined marketing sciences program at scale and fast-track our data and analytics strategy.”
Yum! Brands plans to combine Kvantum’s artificial intelligence and machine learning approach to understanding human behavior with the unique skillsets of the anthropologists and sociologists at Collider Lab, a culture-based consumer insights and marketing strategy consultancy Yum! acquired in 2015. Yum! Brands believes that Kvantum’s and Collider Lab’s combined methodologies will yield even deeper consumer and brand insights and help advance the Company’s R.E.D. Marketing strategies around the world.
According to a press statement, the Tictuk business unit, as part of Yum! Brands, will continue to offer its technology platform to existing clients. Yum! Brands estimates that both of these all-cash acquisitions will have an immaterial impact to its 2021 financial results, and should accelerate its ability to grow digital sales as they are deployed over time in markets around the world.
While the new technology solutions would seem a logical fit for a global brand focused on leveraging advanced econometrics, big data and machine learning techniques to the advantage of its 50,000 restaurant locations, only time will tell if the acquisitions achieve the expected results in terms of increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and revenue growth.