Marketing and Market Research

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The marketing process
McDonald’s is one of the best-known brands worldwide. This case study shows how McDonald’s continually aims to build its brand by listening to its customers. It also identifies the various stages in the marketing process. Branding develops a personality for an organisation, product or service. The brand image represents how consumers view the organisation. Branding only works when an organisation behaves and presents itself in a consistent way. Marketing communication methods, such as advertising and promotion, are used to create the colours, designs and images, which give the brand its recognisable face. At McDonald’s this is represented by its familiar logo - the Golden Arches. Marketing involves identifying customer needs and requirements, and meeting these needs in a better way than competitors. In this way a company creates loyal customers. The starting point is to find out who potential customers are not everyone will want what McDonald’s has to offer. The Using detailed information about its customers, McDonald’s marketing department can determine: 1. What products are well received? 2. What prices consumers are willing to pay? 3. What TV programmes, newspapers and advertising consumers read or view? 4. What restaurants are visited? Market research is the format which enables McDonald’s to identify this key information. Accurate research is essential in creating the right mix to win customer loyalty.

The marketing mix





Market research gives accurate information about the requirements of the target group making it possible to create a well thought out marketing mix that satisfies customers

people McDonald’s identifies as likely customers are known as key audiences.

02_The marketing mix and market research
Having identified its key audiences a company has to ensure a marketing mix is created that appeals specifically to those people.

main marketing tools (4Ps):

other businesses. Additionally, economic, legal and technological changes, social factors, the retail environment and many other elements affect McDonald’s success in the market.

• • • •

product price promotion and the place through which products are sold to customers.


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The marketing mix is a term used to describe the four

In all its markets McDonald’s faces competition from




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Market research seeks information about the market place

Competition (what is the competition offering?) Legal changes (e.g. changes in laws about packaging)

Economic changes (e.g. rising living standards)

These examples represent just a few of McDonald’s possible customer profiles. Each has different reasons for coming to McDonald’s. Using this type of information McDonald’s can tailor communication to the needs of specific groups. It is their needs that determine the type of products and services offered, prices charged, promotions created and where restaurants are located. To meet the needs of the key market it is important to analyse the internal marketing strengths of the organisation. Strengths and weaknesses must be identified, so that a marketing strategy which is right for the business can be decided upon. The analysis will include the:

Technological changes (e.g. new food production techniques) Social changes (e.g. changes in patterns of eating out)

Market research identifies these factors and anticipates how they will affect people’s willingness to buy. As the economy and social attitudes change, so do buying patterns. McDonald’s needs to identify whether the number of target customers is growing or shrinking and whether their buying habits will change in the future. Market research considers everything that affects buying decisions. These...
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