Marketing mix of McDonald’s – McDonald’s marketing mix

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You may already know that marketing mix is a very important topic in marketing. The purpose of this article is therefore not to provide you with detailed information on what marketing mix is; rather to focus on the marketing mix of McDonald’s. However, if you have not read about marketing mix before, you should find our article  4Ps of marketing useful.

Introduction to McDonald’s

McDonald’s, a fast food restaurant, was founded in USA in 1940. It opened its first restaurant in the UK in 1974. There are over 1,200 McDonald’s restaurants across the UK and Northern Ireland which employ approximately 97,000 people. McDonald’s is renowned for being the pioneer of the Drive Thru restaurant concept and is the UK and world leader in this sector. As a franchising organisation, around 70% of McDonald’s restaurants in the UK are owned and operated by local businessmen and women.  The company invests £40million on employee training and development every year in the UK (McDonald’s, 2017).

Marketing mix of McDonald’s

Marketing mix consists of seven 7Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Process, People, and Physical Evidence). This article focuses on 7Ps of marketing mix of McDonald’s and explains the company’s business & marketing strategies.

Product

McDonald’s is one of the world’s leading fast food restaurants. It primarily sells breakfast, burgers, fries, chicken & sandwiches, snacks & sides, desserts & shakes, salads, and drinks. It provides customers with a variety of options. For example, Egg McMuffin, Egg White Delight McMuffin, Hotcakes, Hash Browns, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Double Cheeseburger, Vanilla Shake, Vanilla Cone, Hot Fudge Sundae, Kiddie Cone, Hot Caramel Sundae, Strawberry Sundae, Baked Apple Pie, McCafé Chocolate Shake, McCafé, and McCafé Frappé Mocha are some of the products offered by McDonald’s.

Price

Companies use a wide range of pricing techniques to sell their products. Value pricing, going rate, cost plus pricing, price discrimination, and loss leader are some of the popular pricing techniques. The overall aim for each individual McDonald’s restaurant is to provide food at a competitive value driven price for the customers. Prices vary slightly between different McDonald’s restaurants according to a number of factors. While the restaurant sets prices with a demand based methodology, it does not prescribe pricing to franchisees who can set their own price structure as they see fit in their local market (McDonald’s, 2017). However, franchisees need to offer a competitive value driven price for their customers.

Place

Place refers to distribution. Distribution strategies are the ways in which a company gets its products to its customers. McDonald’s have different distributions strategies in different countries. The restaurant offers home delivery in some countries; however, this service is not available in many countries.  Many of the McDonald’s restaurants are open 24 hour a day. This is an example of intensive distribution which means making products available for sale through all possible channels of distribution.

Promotion

McDonald’s advertisements are the most notable among its promotion tactics. In fact, the restaurant uses television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet and other media outlets to communicate with its customers. The company uses different techniques of sales promotion as well. For example, if you buy six cups of tea/coffee and collect six stickers, you become eligible to have a cup of tea/coffee free. The restaurant also offers discount coupons and freebies for certain products.

Process

Process refers to a set of activities performed in order to achieve something. McDonald’s undertakes a number of activities to deliver its products to customers. For example, food preparation is an important activity in the overall process. The food preparation at McDonald’s is completely transparent i.e. the whole process is visible to the customers. Other aspects of the process include but not limited to how customers place their orders, how long they wait for their food, and how they are treated by the customer care assistants.

People

Approximately 97,000 people work in McDonald’s in UK and Northern Ireland. 70% of McDonald’s restaurants in the UK are owned and operated by local businessmen and women.  The restaurant invests £40million on employee training and development every year in the UK. The main objective in the discussion of People aspect of the marketing mix is to address issues concerning both customers and employees. If employees are not happy, they are more likely to deliver poor customer service. This may frustrate customers who may never come back again. It is therefore very important for any company to devise appropriate strategies to address the needs and wants of both employees and customers.

Physical evidence

The last element of the marketing mix of McDonald’s is physical evidence which refers to the elements of the physical environment visitors and customers experience. The physical evidence impacts not only on the impressions of the customers of the restaurant, but also the way McDonald’s functions.  McDonald’s interiors are attractive and the restaurant maintains clean and hygienic interiors of its outlets.

The article publication date: 29 July 2017

Further reading/references

Lancaster, G. & Reynolds, P. (2004) Marketing, 1st Edition, Palgrave Macmillan

McDonald’s (2017) About McDonald’s, available at http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/ukhome/Aboutus/Newsroom/facts_and_stats0.html (Accessed 20 July 2017)

Photo credit: Pixabay

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He is a graduate of both Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.