Business Analysis

McDonald's Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

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McDonald's is the world's top international food and beverage seller, including over 35,000 spots supplying more than 70 million customers in more than 150 regions. There seem to be 7 or 8 million members worldwide, and almost all of them have probably heard of McDonald's. The method by which McDonald's assembled its demographic segmentation remains an open question.

McDonald's is famous for its tasty burgers, but it also serves a variety of chicken and beef snacks, French fries, bakery items, and other products. McDonald's altered its meals and services depending on the zone it works to adapt to the regional buyers' needs and preferences.

How can the firm choose what items to include on its menu page and which to focus on providing as restricted advertisements? Carol Sagers, McDonald's Director of US Marketing, offers some perspective:

“There are two core strategies that all marketers should use. The first is target marketing: i.e. who are you talking to? The second is product positioning: i.e. what do you want them to think?”

This article will examine how McDonald's market segmentation, targeting, and positioning are essential for the promotional approach.

Market Segmentation of McDonald's

The division of a community into categories based on some features is known as segmentation. The goal of segmentation is to gain an in-depth understanding of the buyer, achieve a competitive edge, and ultimately benefit the consumer's wishes and preferences. According to Dudovskiy, McDonald's employs the following segmentations and segmentation criteria:

  • Geographical
  • Demographical
  • Behavioral 
  • Psychological


Geographic segmentation focuses on the grouping of the markets based on geography. McDonald's has risen to be the top fast-food company. It now has over 34000 businesses in 120 regions. Each day, the company is anticipated to satisfy a huge number of customers worldwide. McDonald's maximizes its recipe and food options due to geographical segmentation to meet geographic interests and requirements.


In this case, the demographic marketing plan concentrates on the buyers' age, family size, and gender. McDonald's divides the customers into the following demographics:

AgeThe majority of the firm's foodstuffs are aimed at children. The Happy Meal is designed especially for kids. It's been on the list at McDonald's since 1979. A toy is also included as an essential role in the food parcel and is typically enclosed in crates or shopping bags with the shining arches emblem of McDonald's. Toys should hopefully be an element of the strategic marketing plan looking to attract kids to McDonald's. Ronald McDonald's was also established to make the food more accessible to the young.

Family Size: The firm's happy meals are designed for the entire family. This strategy to market segmentation is motivated by the realization that most parents will take their children to fast food places and also buy stuff for themselves.

Gender: Various foods are accessible at McDonald's for different genders based on their interests and tastes. Although this market segment has a lower disposable income than the average, its consumption patterns are far more than those of the other market segments.


It encompasses levels of loyalty, desired benefits, character, and user status. The primary motivation for segmenting the market is to make it possible to meet the concerns of a relatively small set of consumers and strive to produce various items based on their devoured behaviors. It is created purely for people with similar attributes. It can be accomplished based on age, gender, lifestyle, region, etc.


As a psychological segment, it includes social class and lifestyle. McDonald's has modified the user base's ease and way of life, so McDonald's has developed a new and distinct product offering. They also created McDonald's as a spot to unwind and even amuse.

Targeting of McDonald's

Following segmentation, the business must determine a targeting strategy. Targeting means selling products to specific groups recognized via segmentation. According to Carol Sagers, the business wants out a particular part of its target group and then customizes or stances its items to each segment.

McDonald's should initiate new and updated products with lower cholesterol content to obtain a viable edge over its competitors. The three factors listed here are crucial for assessing a possible future market segment.

  • Company goals and resources
  • Size and growth of segments
  • structural attractiveness of segments

The above are a few potential market segments that McDonald's may choose to target to drive their business strategy, sales, and marketing activities.

Positioning of McDonald's

Positioning refers to generating an impression in the minds of buyers that helps to clarify the distinctiveness of the product compared to a competitor's product. The final stage in the S-T-P strategic planning is positioning; Segmentation, Targeting, and positioning; an essential structure for implementing marketing decisions and setting goals.

McDonald's uses additional insight or details about consumer habits established via market analysis to position its items in market segments correctly. The market intelligence centers on each sector's values, needs, and lifestyle.

Using these perspectives, McDonald's develops a placement profile for each item, which the creative department can then use to place ads focused on the target segment and the general public.


McDonald's Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning is illustrated in the table below.

Type of Segmentation

Segmentation Criteria

McDonald's Target Segment



Domestic / International



Urban / Ruler



All ages


Family Size

Whole family



Males and females


Degree of loyalty

Switchers / Hardcore loyals


Benefits sought

Costs, benefits, time efficiency


User status

Potential or regular eater


Social class

Lower, working, and upper class



Resigned, mainstreamer, struggler

Mind Map

Key Takeaways

McDonald's segments its buyers based on life phase and then positions itself as a minimal local restaurant. Because of its massive scale, McDonald's must employ various attitudes to marketing segmentation. To cater to so many consumers, each country's management team will have to manage McDonald's marketing segmentation.

McDonald's five-year net value outperformed the market, demonstrating that the marketing segmentation, target-specific, and position put in place by McDonald's is an outstanding achievement. If you want to install the PDF format report, you can use our PDF Agile software, a complete and affordable solution for all of your PDF needs naturally.


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