Marketing mix of McDonald’s (7Ps of McDonald’s)
This is a detailed analysis of the marketing mix of McDonald’s. It explores the 7Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Process, People, and Physical Environment) of McDonald’s and explains its business & marketing strategies.
McDonald’s is one of the largest quick service restaurants in the world. It has over 13,000 stores in the USA and 1,270 across the UK and Northern Ireland. It is renowned for being the pioneer of the Drive Thru restaurant concept 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 around £43 million on employee training and development every year in the UK (McDonald’s, 2023).
Components of the marketing mix of McDonald’s (7Ps of McDonald’s)
Products of McDonald’s
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.
McDonald’s has recently added several healthier options to appeal to customers who are looking for those options. However, it is a difficult job as many customers consider its food unhealthy.
McDonald’s should therefore focus more on the quality of its products and make sure that its ingredients are of high quality. This should help it attract more customers and ensure that existing customers enjoy a better experience.
Prices and pricing strategies of McDonald’s
Price is a very important element in the marketing mix of McDonald’s. 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. The restaurant set prices with a demand-based methodology and does not prescribe pricing to franchisees who can set their own price structure as they see fit in their local market (McDonald’s, 2023). However, franchisees need to offer a competitive value driven price for their customers.
Place/Distribution channels of McDonald’s
Place refers to distribution. Distribution strategies are the ways in which a company gets its products to its customers. McDonald’s has different distributions strategies in different countries. It offers home delivery in some countries; however, this service is not available in many countries.
For instance, McDelivery is now available in many cities in the UK. This has been made possible as the restaurant signed a home delivery contract with UberEats. A similar contract with UberEats has made home delivery possible in thousands of locations in the USA as well.
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. This helps the restaurant increase its sales and eventually the total revenues.
Promotion strategies of McDonald’s
Price is also a very important element in the marketing mix of McDonald’s. McDonald’s advertisements are the most notable among its promotion tactics. It uses television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and other media outlets to communicate with its customers.
According to Statista (2022) McDonald’s spent around 459.9 million U.S. dollars on advertising worldwide in 2021; however, it is down from 654.7 million which was spent in the previous year. Its online presence is good; however, it should focus more on its digital marketing strategy.
McDonald’s also uses sales promotion – techniques of sales promotion as well. For example, if customers buy six cups of tea/coffee and collect six stickers, they become eligible to have a cup of tea/coffee free. The restaurant also offers discount coupons and freebies for certain products.
Processes in McDonald’s
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 of McDonald’s
McDonalds is one of the biggest employers both in the USA and the UK. Approximately 120,000 people work in its UK and Northern Ireland stores. 70% of its restaurants in the UK are owned and operated by local businessmen and women. It invests £43 million 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.
Gannett (2022) reports that some McDonald’s employees recently walked out to demand wage increases around the US. It is therefore very important for it to devise appropriate strategies to address the needs and wants of both employees and customers.
Physical evidence of McDonald’s
The last element of the marketing mix of McDonald’s (7Ps of McDonald’s) is the physical evidence which refers to the elements of the physical environment visitors and customers experience. It 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 it maintains clean and hygienic interiors of its outlets. Other physical evidence includes but not limited to menu boards, packaging, logo, and website.
Summary of the marketing mix of McDonald’s (7Ps of McDonald’s)
To sum-up, McDonald’s must maximise its marketing mix in order to stay ahead of competition. By focusing on each of the seven Ps, it can ensure that its products and services are of high quality, prices are competitive, locations are convenient, promotions are effective, people are well-trained, processes are streamlined, and physical evidence is inviting.
Through this, McDonald’s can continue to be a successful and recognisable brand around the world. However, it also needs to address the limitations within its marketing mix effectively.
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Last update: 05 January 2023
Gannett (2022) McDonald’s employees, activists walk out to demand wage increases around the US, available at: https://eu.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/news/nation/2021/05/19/mcdonalds-employees-activists-around-us-strike-demand-higher-wages/5171370001/ (accessed 04 January 2022)
McDonald’s (2023) About McDonald’s, available at http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/ukhome/Aboutus/Newsroom/facts_and_stats0.html (accessed 05 January 2023)
Statista (2022) McDonald’s Corporation’s advertising costs, available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/286541/mcdonald-s-advertising-spending-worldwide/ (accessed 03 January 2023)
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.