McDonald’s is one of the largest fast food chain restaurants operating in the US and around the globe. It was first founded in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernardino, California, later, in 1955, the chain was bought by Ray Kroc and its franchises spread globally throughout the years. The main objective of the company is to serve its customers with good and highly standardized food in a fun and friendly environment, along with swift services, and to be a socially responsible company by providing the best returns to its shareholders. According to recently collected data, McDonald’s is operating worldwide in 100 plus countries with 30,000 plus restaurants. They have a strong financial position because of owning the world’s most valued and acknowledged brands internationally. With the exceptionally established international infrastructure, being a boss in performing social responsibility, and having multiple capabilities in franchising, retailing, real estate, and restaurant operations, McDonald’s stands out alone at the number one position in the global market.
While analyzing the marketing mix (4Ps) of McDonald’s, it can be seen that McDonald’s has developed multiple strategies and plans to reach its target audience globally as compared to other fast food restaurant companies, whether it is the area of price, place, product, or it is about promotion. So, McDonald’s marketing mix has a broader area, applying internationally, and maintaining the corporate levels. For instance, McDonald’s strategies for productivity are executed in every franchise regardless of the location. The company also focuses on needed variations that are suitable to different regional or local markets.
Product Strategy of McDonald’s
The main products of McDonald’s are burgers, fries, sandwiches, snacks, breakfast options, desserts, and salads. Unlike other fast-food chain restaurants, McDonald’s offers a variety of desserts and breakfast options in all their franchises worldwide according to the taste and demands of the target consumers of the area. They also have a section of multiple beverages, including a wide range of fresh juices, coffee, and other refreshers. They have named the section “McCafe” to attract consumers. For the range of products at McDonald’s, they have five primary components of food, which include milk, potatoes, bread, chicken, and beef. At first, the product strategy of McDonald’s was to provide their consumers with a uniform taste and similar selection of food, but eventually, they figured out that it was not only cost-effective but also causing loss because of the different choices of the people of different regions. So, to swap the strategy, McDonald’s has adapted flexibility in terms of giving importance to the regional preferences of the particular consumers and took up the phenomenon of thinking globally while acting locally. For example, McDonald’s main selling product was hamburgers with beef, and in some countries, like India, people don’t like to eat beef, so the company has added vegetables and chicken options to its menu to meet the needs of their consumers in that region of the world. Similarly, McDonald’s manages to alter its menu on a regular basis in order to cater to changes in consumers’ behavior, tastes, and trends. In an effort to bring diversification in the area of their product line, McDonald’s is successfully satisfying the marketing demands and raising its revenues. The diversity in its products helps the company to take the edge of its dependence on a single or couple of food services. So, while concluding the product strategy of McDonald’s, it can be said that the company has innovated several products according to regional and local demands to attract more customers and has managed to enhance its business stability.
Price Strategy of McDonald’s
The pricing strategy of McDonald’s focuses on using different prices for different products to boost the volume of sales and profit margins. There are two noteworthy components of McDonald’s pricing strategies, Psychological pricing and Bundle pricing. For the bundle pricing strategy, McDonald’s offers its consumers to buy different meal combinations at a set price which is a discounted price as compared to the worth of an individual product. It attracts the consumers to buy more when they have a variety of food items in a food box with a discounted price, for example, a meal set of a chicken burger with fries and a drink, and rather than buying these three items individually, consumers look for these types of meal sets. This practice in pricing not only enhances product value but also optimize the cost of the product. Conversely, the strategy of psychological pricing offers an apparently affordable price like $99 for a food item. The company uses this strategy, avoiding rounding off the figure to the nearest dollar just to make it look affordable for consumers, which has a psychological element to attract the consumers.
Place Strategy of McDonald’s
This component of the marketing mix for McDonald’s specifies different locations or venues where the products are being sold, and the customers can easily access them. One of the prominent places where McDonald’s products are distributed are restaurants. However, there are a couple of more places as part of the place strategy of McDonald’s where the company distributes its food items which include mobile apps, post mates websites, or apps, and kiosks. Restaurants are mostly built in the areas where the company has considerable sales revenues; however, among these restaurants, some are managing kiosks to sell limited products, mostly desserts. Sometimes, these kiosks are managed on a temporary base, for example, during a seasonal event or any sports competition. With a vision and mission of serving more number of customer around the globe, McDonald’s offers mobile apps and post mates websites for the convenience of its customers. With mobile phone apps, customers can not only locate the food chain in their area, but they can also have all the information about that particular franchise, prices of the products, order special deals with the help of their mobile phones, and pay for their orders.
Promotion Strategy of McDonald’s
The promotional strategy of McDonald’s includes various tactics and techniques to productively communicate with their customers. These techniques mainly consist of advertising, direct marketing, public relations, and sales promotions. Advertising is one of the most prominent features of promotional strategy for McDonald’s, and the company uses almost all the mediums of communications, including print and electronic media, radio, and online media, especially social networking sites. Public relations activities of the company help in promoting the fast-food business to the targeted consumer by brand strengthening and goodwill gestures. Sometimes, McDonald’s also uses the tactic of direct marketing, which includes serving at community events, parties, or for governments of the locality; however, advertising is considered the main technique for the promotion of its products.
While concluding the marketing analysis, it can be said that globally, in the industry of fast-food restaurants, McDonald’s is not only the one, who is leading, but it is also effectively implementing its 4ps of the marketing mix to accelerate its performance. McDonald’s is successfully leading the food industry with its diversified range of products, including food items and beverages, giving tough competition to its competitors like Starbucks Coffee Company, KFC, Subway, etc. With its effective place strategies, McDonald’s is making it possible to serve globally with a great number of target audiences. The product strategies are the perfect element of the marketing mix for McDonald’s, where the company has managed to offer a huge variety in its products and meal sets; for example, they have introduced the term “Happy Meal” for kids offering a box of a food combination, kids would love to have. In this way, they have captured a huge number of child customers who want to buy a happy meal at a discounted price. Overall, McDonald’s has set a high standard for its services and marketing mix, as compared to all other fast food chains around the globe.