Marketing mix must focus on the product, pricing, promotion, and placement of item in order to make it successful. Marketing strategies must feature customer orientation, input, and accessibility in the fight to the top of the market. McDonald's is no different. An example of this is illustrated with a comparison of McDonalds and Wendy's. At first glance, they may appear to have roughly the same marketing mix and target markets. Both are fast food and provide similar products. However, looking closer, one can recognize that McDonald's primary target market is children ages 3-11 and their parents. McDonald's understood that the parent was making the purchasing decision, most likely based on price.
What McDonald's marketing executives did was ingenious. They put a $.50 toy in with the hamburger, french fries, and drink and gave it a special name, the "Happy Meal". Then McDonald's marketed the Happy Meal to the kids. If you have you ever asked your child where to buy a Happy Meal, they will tell you that there is only one place you can buy one, and that is at Fun McFactsWhen Was Your McDonald's Favorite Introduced?
1955 - Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries, shakes, soft drinks, coffee and milk
1968 -Big Mac and Hot Apple Pie
1973 -Quarter Pounder and Egg McMuffin
1974 -McDonaldland Cookies
1977 -Breakfast Menu
1979 -Happy Meals
1983 -Chicken McNuggets
1986 -Biscuit Sandwiches
1998 -McFlurry Desserts
1999 -Breakfast Bagels
2000 -Chicken McGrill and Crispy Chicken
2001 -Big N' Tasty
2003 -Premium Salads, Newman's Own® salad dressings and McGriddles
2004 -2004 Chicken Selects® Premium Breast Strips
McDonald's has Ronald McDonald, playgrounds or PlayPlaces, "Happy Meals," and fun advertisements with brightly colored "Fry Guys" or the "Cheese Burgerler". Contrastingly, Wendy's targets a more adult market and the restaurants represent a more mature atmosphere with carpet floors and Dave Thomas advertisements. Wendy's does have children's meals that offer a toy, but overall the atmosphere attracts a different demographic group. McDonald's restaurants have a variety of strategies that apply to product, placement, promotion, and price that makes them one of the most successful, well-recognized organizations in the world.
McDonald's marketing strategies should be looked at historically in order to see the larger picture of the firm's success. There have been so many strategies since the inception of the firm that it is difficult to account for them all, the two most memorable are the development of the "Golden Arches" and "Ronald McDonald". These two icons have given customers a mental image of what to look for when they want quality food for a low price fast.
The firm revolutionized the fast food industry and positioned itself as the market leader with low-priced, quality food and provided an entertaining atmosphere for the children. These things were what that the market wanted at the time and the firm answered in spades.
The perceived secret of McDonald's success is the willingness to innovate, even while striving to achieve consistency in the operation of its many outlets. For example, its breakfast menu, salads, Chicken McNuggets, and the McLean Deluxe sandwich were all examples of how the company tried to appeal to a wider range of consumers. The long history of innovation and experimentation resulted in new profit centers like Chicken McNuggets and the breakfast menu. Innovation and experimentation also produced some disappointments like the McLean Deluxe, but inevitably experimentation in limited outlets provides McDonald's a way to retain its key strengths-quality and consistency-while continuing to evolve. The use of franchising, again, provides various perspectives that, in turn, lead to innovation for products and solutions.
Franchisees agree to operate...
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