The magic behind Mcdonald's marketing strategy

McDonald's needs no introduction. As one of the world's most recognizable fast food chains, it has left an indelible mark on global cuisine and pop culture. From its iconic golden arches to its ever-expanding menu, McDonald's has become a symbol of fast, convenient, and delicious meals enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. But what lies at the heart of McDonald's extraordinary success? The answer lies in its relentless pursuit of effective marketing and branding strategies .

marketing research report on mcdonald

In today's highly competitive business landscape, effective marketing and branding are paramount to a company's success, and McDonald's is a shining example of this. Behind the scenes, McDonald's has masterfully crafted and executed marketing campaigns that have propelled the brand to unparalleled heights. From positioning itself uniquely in the fast food market to winning the hearts and appetites of customers, McDonald's has harnessed the power of strategic marketing to maintain its dominant presence.

Throughout this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of McDonald's marketing and branding efforts . We will explore how McDonald's stands out in a crowded industry, discuss the strategies employed to attract and retain customers, and analyze the impact of its iconic brand symbols. Additionally, we will examine McDonald's digital marketing and social media strategies, its utilization of celebrity endorsements, and the importance of localized marketing efforts . Moreover, we will delve into how McDonald's promotional activities drive sales, the role of personalization and data-driven marketing in its success, and the brand's innovative approaches to stay ahead of changing consumer preferences. By uncovering the strategies that have propelled McDonald's to global success, we can gain valuable insights into the power of effective marketing and branding in the fast food industry.

marketing research report on mcdonald

Join us on this captivating journey as we unravel the marketing magic of McDonald's and discover the key strategies that have secured its place as a fast food giant. Through a closer look at its marketing tactics , we will appreciate the significance of effective marketing and branding in shaping a brand's identity , attracting customers, and ultimately driving business success.

Positioning the Brand: How McDonald's Stands Out

In the fiercely competitive fast food market, McDonald's has managed to carve out a unique and unmistakable position for itself. Through a combination of strategic decisions and carefully crafted brand messaging , McDonald's has successfully differentiated itself from its competitors and captured the hearts and taste buds of consumers worldwide.

At the core of McDonald's positioning strategy is its commitment to delivering consistent, high-quality food and a memorable dining experience. McDonald's has long been associated with fast, convenient service and its iconic menu items like the Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, and the Quarter Pounder with Cheese. These signature offerings have become synonymous with the McDonald's brand , setting it apart from other fast food chains.

One of the key elements that contribute to McDonald's brand differentiation is its focus on affordability and value. From its early days, McDonald's has positioned itself as a place where families and individuals can enjoy a satisfying meal without breaking the bank. By offering a wide range of menu options at competitive prices, McDonald's has become a go-to destination for budget-conscious consumers seeking a quick and tasty meal.

Consistency is another cornerstone of McDonald's brand positioning . No matter where you are in the world, stepping into a McDonald's restaurant guarantees a familiar experience. Whether it's the taste of the French fries or the unmistakable packaging, McDonald's has cultivated a sense of reliability and familiarity that transcends borders. This consistency has not only helped build trust with consumers but has also played a significant role in establishing McDonald's as a global leader in the fast food industry.

Moreover, McDonald's has continuously adapted its brand positioning to cater to evolving consumer preferences. In recent years, the company has made notable efforts to expand its menu options to include healthier choices, such as salads, grilled chicken, and fruit smoothies. By doing so, McDonald's has aimed to appeal to health-conscious consumers who seek more nutritious options while staying true to its core offerings.

The importance of consistent brand messaging cannot be overstated when it comes to McDonald's success. The brand has effectively communicated its core values and promises to consumers through memorable advertising campaigns , slogans, and brand visuals. From the "I'm lovin' it" jingle to the instantly recognizable Golden Arches, McDonald's has employed consistent messaging across its marketing channels to reinforce its brand identity and create a lasting impression in the minds of consumers.

By expertly positioning itself as a reliable, affordable, and globally recognized fast food brand, McDonald's has achieved unparalleled success in the industry. Its strategic focus on consistency and value, coupled with a commitment to adapting to consumer demands, has cemented its position as a leader and trendsetter in the fast food market.

Winning Strategies: Attracting and Retaining Customers

McDonald's has implemented a range of marketing strategies that have been instrumental in attracting and retaining a diverse customer base. Let's explore some of these winning strategies and their impact on McDonald's continued success.

marketing research report on mcdonald

To attract a wide customer base, McDonald's has leveraged various tactics, including targeted advertising , product innovation, and strategic partnerships. Their marketing campaigns consistently highlight the brand's core offerings and value proposition, focusing on convenience, affordability, and quality. According to market research firm Statista, McDonald's spent approximately $493.65 million on advertising in the United States alone in 2020, demonstrating the brand's commitment to reaching and engaging with potential customers.

One of McDonald's successful marketing initiatives has been the introduction of limited-time offers (LTOs). These temporary menu items create a sense of urgency and excitement among customers, encouraging them to try new flavors and experiences. For instance, the launch of the McRib sandwich as a limited-time offering has garnered significant attention and generated a surge in customer interest. Such LTOs not only attract new customers but also drive repeat visits from existing ones, contributing to McDonald's overall sales growth.

McDonald's also recognizes the importance of fostering customer loyalty. To achieve this, the company has implemented loyalty programs, such as the McCafé Rewards and the McDonald's app, which offer exclusive deals, personalized offers, and convenient mobile ordering. These initiatives incentivize customers to choose McDonald's over competitors and provide a seamless and rewarding experience. As of 2021, the McDonald's app had over 68 million downloads, reflecting the success of their customer retention strategies.

In addition to loyalty programs, McDonald's has capitalized on partnerships with popular brands and influencers to expand its reach and appeal to new audiences. For example, collaborations with movie franchises like Marvel and promotional tie-ins with events like the Olympics have enabled McDonald's to tap into wider consumer segments. These strategic partnerships not only generate buzz and drive foot traffic to McDonald's restaurants but also enhance brand perception and align the brand with popular culture.

A notable example of McDonald's successful marketing campaign is the "All-Day Breakfast" initiative. Responding to customer demand for breakfast items beyond the traditional morning hours, McDonald's introduced all-day breakfast offerings in 2015. This move not only satisfied customer preferences but also served as a differentiating factor in the fast food industry. The campaign generated significant media attention and helped McDonald's regain market share and boost sales.

Building Brand Loyalty: The McDonald's Approach

McDonald's has implemented a range of strategies to build strong brand loyalty among its customers. Let's delve into how McDonald's achieves this and the key factors that contribute to its success.

Quality, consistency, and customer experience play a crucial role in fostering brand loyalty at McDonald's. According to a survey conducted by market research firm YouGov, as of 2021, approximately 69% of consumers in the United States considered McDonald's to be a reliable brand , showcasing the trust customers have in the company's consistent service and food quality.

One of the notable initiatives contributing to brand loyalty is McDonald's implementation of loyalty programs and personalized offers. For instance, the McCafé Rewards program offers customers a free McCafé beverage after they purchase five eligible drinks. Such programs incentivize repeat visits and encourage customers to choose McDonald's over competitors. As of 2021, McDonald's reported that the McCafé Rewards program had over 4 million members in the United States.

McDonald's also emphasizes personalization in its marketing efforts . Through data-driven insights, the brand tailors its marketing messages and offers to individual customer preferences. Personalization helps create a more engaging and relevant experience for customers, increasing their loyalty to the brand. For example, McDonald's leverages data collected through its app to offer personalized promotions, discounts, and customized menu recommendations to app users, enhancing their overall experience.

Moreover, customer experience plays a vital role in building brand loyalty at McDonald's. The company continuously invests in training its employees to ensure friendly and efficient service. According to a survey by The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), McDonald's achieved a customer satisfaction score of 70 out of 100 in 2021, indicating a positive customer experience.

marketing research report on mcdonald

Additionally, McDonald's actively engages with its customers through various channels, including social media platforms. By leveraging these platforms, McDonald's can interact with customers, address their concerns, and provide timely responses, strengthening the bond between the brand and its loyal customer base. As of 2021, McDonald's had over 4 million followers on Twitter and 80 million followers on Facebook, reflecting its strong digital presence and engagement with customers.

marketing research report on mcdonald

Through loyalty programs, personalized offers, and a relentless focus on quality and customer experience, McDonald's successfully builds strong brand loyalty among its customers. By consistently delivering on their promises and engaging with customers, McDonald's has established a loyal customer base that continues to choose and advocate for the brand . In the next section, we will explore the impact of McDonald's iconic brand symbols and the role they play in reinforcing customer loyalty and recognition.

Digital Marketing and Social Media: Engaging the Connected Consumer

In today's digital age, McDonald's has embraced innovative digital marketing strategies to engage with its target audience and stay ahead in the fast-paced competitive landscape. Let's analyze how McDonald's leverages digital platforms, particularly social media, and the impact it has on the brand.

McDonald's recognizes the power of social media in reaching and connecting with its target audience. The brand strategically utilizes platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to engage, entertain, and inform its followers. As of 2021, McDonald's had over 4 million followers on Twitter and 80 million followers on Facebook, showcasing the brand's extensive social media presence and the scale of its digital reach.

One of the successful social media campaigns by McDonald's was the "Our Food, Your Questions" initiative. Launched in 2014, this campaign aimed to address customers' concerns and dispel myths by providing transparent and honest answers about the brand's food quality and sourcing. The campaign's interactive nature encouraged customers to ask questions directly to McDonald's, fostering a sense of transparency and trust. The campaign garnered significant attention and engagement, with over 72,000 questions answered and more than 12 million visits to the campaign's website.

McDonald's has also capitalized on the popularity of visual content through platforms like Instagram and YouTube. By sharing visually appealing food images and creative videos, McDonald's captures the attention of its target audience and enhances brand visibility. For instance, the brand's "FryFutbol" campaign during the FIFA World Cup engaged fans by transforming French fries into miniature soccer players, showcasing McDonald's ability to combine its brand elements with cultural events in an entertaining and memorable way.

Moreover, McDonald's has embraced interactive initiatives on social media to encourage customer engagement. One example is the "Create Your Taste" campaign, where customers could customize their burgers using an interactive touch-screen kiosk. This initiative empowered customers to personalize their meals and provided an interactive dining experience. By integrating technology with customer preferences, McDonald's demonstrated its commitment to adapting to changing consumer expectations.

Localized Marketing: Catering to Diverse Tastes

McDonald's understands the significance of catering to regional preferences and cultural differences to effectively connect with diverse consumer segments. By employing localized marketing efforts, McDonald's ensures that its brand resonates with local communities and captures their unique tastes and preferences.

marketing research report on mcdonald

Customizing marketing messages and strategies to align with regional preferences is a crucial aspect of McDonald's localized approach. The brand recognizes that a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy may not be effective in diverse markets. As a result, McDonald's tailors its advertising campaigns, menu offerings, and promotional activities to suit the specific needs and preferences of each region.

Understanding cultural differences is key to successful localized marketing. McDonald's invests time and resources into researching and analyzing local markets to gain insights into consumer behavior, food preferences, and cultural nuances. This enables McDonald's to adapt its marketing messages and offerings accordingly, ensuring they align with the values, traditions, and tastes of the local population.

One successful example of McDonald's localized marketing is the McSpicy Paneer burger in India. India is known for its love of spicy food, and McDonald's capitalized on this preference by introducing a burger with a spicy paneer patty. This localized menu adaptation catered to the Indian consumers' taste preferences, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and sales. Such initiatives demonstrate McDonald's ability to tap into regional flavors and preferences to meet customer expectations.

McDonald's also engages in localized campaigns that connect with local communities and promote social causes. For instance, in France, McDonald's launched the "McDo Kids Sport" initiative, which aimed to encourage children to participate in sports and lead an active lifestyle. By aligning with a local cause, McDonald's demonstrated its commitment to the community and connected with French consumers on a deeper level.

Personalization and Data-Driven Marketing: Insights for Success

McDonald's recognizes the power of customer data and analytics in driving personalized marketing strategies. By leveraging data-driven insights, McDonald's can tailor marketing messages , promotions, and offers to individual customers, resulting in more targeted and engaging experiences. Let's delve into how McDonald's employs data-driven marketing and the benefits it brings to customer targeting and engagement.

McDonald's gathers and analyzes vast amounts of customer data to understand consumer preferences, behavior, and purchasing patterns. By utilizing data analytics tools and technologies, McDonald's can identify trends, segment its customer base, and create personalized marketing campaigns . According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, organizations that effectively leverage customer data for personalization see a 6-10% increase in customer satisfaction, a 15-20% increase in marketing ROI, and a potential 10-30% revenue uplift.

One successful example of McDonald's personalized marketing efforts is its use of the McDonald's app. Through the app, customers can access personalized offers, promotions, and recommendations based on their preferences and purchase history. The app collects data on customer orders, location, and interaction with the brand, allowing McDonald's to deliver targeted and relevant content directly to app users. As of 2021, the McDonald's app had over 68 million downloads, reflecting the success of its personalized marketing approach .

marketing research report on mcdonald

Additionally, McDonald's leverages data-driven marketing to create hyper-localized campaigns. By analyzing customer data at a granular level, McDonald's can identify regional preferences and tailor its marketing messages accordingly. This allows McDonald's to connect with local communities, promote specific menu items or promotions, and drive foot traffic to individual locations. Such targeted campaigns help McDonald's maintain relevance in diverse markets and boost customer engagement.

Furthermore, data-driven marketing enables McDonald's to improve customer targeting through precision advertising. By leveraging customer data and advanced targeting capabilities, McDonald's can deliver relevant ads to specific audience segments, optimizing advertising spend and maximizing the impact of its marketing efforts . This data-driven approach helps McDonald's reach the right customers at the right time, resulting in increased brand visibility and customer engagement.

Innovation in Marketing: Staying Ahead of the Curve

In an era of rapidly changing consumer preferences, McDonald's has demonstrated its ability to adapt and innovate in its marketing strategies. By embracing emerging trends and leveraging technology, McDonald's stays at the forefront of the industry and connects with its target audience in new and exciting ways. Let's explore some of the innovative marketing tactics employed by McDonald's and the impact they have on the brand.

marketing research report on mcdonald

McDonald's recognizes the importance of staying relevant in a digital-driven world. The brand has embraced various digital marketing tactics to reach its customers effectively. As of 2021, McDonald's reported that over 20% of its global sales were generated through digital channels. By embracing emerging trends and technology, McDonald's has successfully enhanced its marketing efforts and customer engagement.

One example of McDonald's innovative marketing is its focus on mobile ordering and delivery services. With the rise of convenience and on-demand services, McDonald's has adapted to changing consumer preferences by offering mobile ordering and delivery options. Through the McDonald's app and partnerships with popular delivery platforms, customers can easily place their orders and have their favorite McDonald's meals delivered to their doorstep. This innovative approach caters to the increasing demand for convenience and enhances customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, McDonald's has embraced technology such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create immersive and interactive experiences for its customers. In 2020, McDonald's launched an AR-enabled campaign called "Drop the Beat," where customers could scan the packaging of select meals to unlock a virtual dance party experience. By integrating AR technology into its marketing efforts, McDonald's engages customers in a unique and memorable way.

Another notable marketing innovation by McDonald's is its use of social media influencers and user-generated content. McDonald's collaborates with popular influencers who have a significant following on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. By partnering with influencers, McDonald's taps into their reach and influence to create engaging content that resonates with their target audience. This approach not only boosts brand visibility but also enhances authenticity and credibility.

marketing research report on mcdonald

Throughout its history, McDonald's has achieved remarkable success in the fast food industry, thanks to its key marketing and branding strategies . Effective marketing has played a pivotal role in establishing McDonald's as a globally renowned brand, and the company continues to evolve its marketing approaches to stay ahead in the highly competitive market.

McDonald's success can be attributed to its strong brand positioning and differentiation. The brand's commitment to consistency and quality has resonated with customers worldwide, creating a strong brand identity. By consistently delivering a familiar and satisfying experience, McDonald's has built a loyal customer base that spans generations.

Furthermore, McDonald's understands the importance of adapting to changing consumer preferences and regional differences. Through localized marketing efforts, the brand tailors its strategies to align with regional tastes and cultural nuances. By understanding and respecting diverse consumer segments, McDonald's enhances its brand relevance and strengthens its connection with local communities.

The use of customer data and analytics has been instrumental in McDonald's marketing success. By leveraging data-driven insights, McDonald's personalized marketing messages , delivers targeted offers, and enhances customer experiences. This data-driven approach enables McDonald's to effectively target its audience, optimize advertising spend, and drive customer engagement.

McDonald's has also embraced digital marketing and emerging technologies to engage with its target audience. By leveraging social media platforms, mobile ordering, and immersive experiences like augmented reality, McDonald's stays at the forefront of marketing innovation . By embracing these new channels and technologies, McDonald's remains relevant and appealing to a digitally savvy consumer base.

Effective marketing remains crucial in the fast food industry, where competition is fierce and consumer preferences are constantly evolving. McDonald's understands this ongoing importance and continues to invest in marketing strategies that engage and captivate its customers. The brand's commitment to evolving its marketing approaches ensures it stays ahead of the curve, adapts to emerging trends, and maintains its status as a leader in the industry.

In conclusion, McDonald's success in the fast food industry can be attributed to its effective marketing and branding strategies . By establishing a strong brand identity , embracing localized marketing, leveraging customer data, and embracing innovation, McDonald's has built a global empire. The brand's commitment to evolving its marketing approaches demonstrates its dedication to staying ahead and meeting the ever-changing needs of its customers.

Overall, McDonald's serves as a prime example of how effective marketing plays a vital role in the success of a fast food brand . By continuously adapting and innovating, McDonald's remains a dominant force in the industry, capturing the hearts and taste buds of consumers worldwide.

Updated November 2nd, 2023

McDonald's has successfully established a multifaceted marketing strategy for its kids' meals that blends novelty, entertainment, and consumer participation. McDonald's knows its audience inside and out, so they can develop an engaging and kid-friendly brand image with the help of rotating Happy Meal toys and classic characters like Ronald McDonald. The Happy Meal is more than just a meal; it's an experience, and it's usually themed around a kids' favourite movie, TV show, or toy line. McDonald's keeps kids interested in its food with cunning advertising, collaborations with entertainment firms, and engaging digital marketing. In addition, they place an emphasis on nutritional transparency and provide healthier options in Happy Meals, reflecting shifts in consumer tastes. By looking at the Happy Meal as a whole, McDonald's has ensured that it will continue to be a hit with both kids and their parents for years to come.

marketing research report on mcdonald

McDonald's has created some of the most sought-after collectibles among children by collaborating with popular brands on its Happy Meal toys. One of the most notable partnerships was with Disney, which resulted in Happy Meal toys based on characters from blockbuster movies including "Frozen," "Toy Story," and "The Lion King." These tie-ins are a hit with both kids and their parents, who may have seen the originals as kids themselves. McDonald's has also teamed up with popular businesses like Pokémon to release special-edition trading cards and toys based on the Pokémon canon. Thanks to these partnerships, the Happy Meal can appeal to kids and adults alike, making it a go-to for families.

Moreover, McDonald's has been proactive in adjusting to shifting nutritional tastes by giving healthier options to its kids' meals. Apple slices, milk, and reduced-size fries are just a few examples. This dedication to nutrition is in line with changing customer needs and is reflective of the company's obligation to encourage healthy eating patterns among young people. The Happy Meal has been a staple of McDonald's business and a beloved part of many children's childhoods thanks to the company's strategic partnerships and menu innovation, which have helped it remain appealing to both children and their parents.

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marketing research report on mcdonald

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Analysis on Marketing Segmentation of McDonald's

DOI: ICEBI 2020: 2020 The 4th International Conference on E-Business and Internet , Singapore, Singapore, October 2020

McDonald's is one of the most popular fast-food restaurants companies in the world. The way McDonald's built its marketing segmentation remains mysterious. Though there are multiple articles online discussing its marketing strategy, none of them clearly indicate the different approaches McDonald's utilized to build its marketing segmentation. In order to analyze McDonald's approaches to build marketing segmentation, seven different countries’ McDonald's websites are visited and the product types information from the official menu list on the websites are extracted. These seven countries represent seven continents while Antarctica is not considered. India and China are chosen since they are the most populated countries on the Earth. Then, every approach that McDonald's using in building marketing segmentation is listed out and how these approaches contribute to the overall structure is analyzed. The approaches all have advantages and drawbacks at the same time. Meanwhile, the five-year total return rates indicate that McDonald's has won its customers’ hearts in these several years.

ACM Reference Format: Jing An. 2020. Analysis on Marketing Segmentation of McDonald's. In 2020 The 4th International Conference on E-Business and Internet (ICEBI 2020), October 09-11, 2020, Singapore, Singapore . ACM, New York, NY, USA, 4 pages.

1 Introduction

McDonald's is one of the most popular restaurant chains in the world. Nowadays, there are more than 40000 McDonald's restaurants globally which serve tens of millions of customers every day [ 2 ]. The question becomes what did McDonald's do in order to make sure its customers stuck on McDonald's products. The difficult part is that each of the customers has a different profile. The profile could include elements as broad as nationality and elements that are much more specific such as preference of meat. To satisfy all these needs, it's crucial to know about customers and build a marketing segmentation so that the other departments could start advertising and branding accordingly. Indeed, McDonald's marketing team does a lot of work behind and one of its jobs is to build customer segmentation in order to know their customers better and target new potential customers. In the following text, the goal is to explore what approaches do McDonald's use to build marketing segmentation.

2 Methodology

2.1 data collection.

McDonald's is a giant international fast-food company. Aside from its operation in the U.S, McDonald's also operates in another 117 countries across the world [ 1 ]. In addition, these 118 countries in total cover all seven continents. Since the goal is to explore all approaches used by McDonald's to build its marketing segmentation and geographic approach is one of its components. It's necessary to pick countries that represent its continents. The menu information would be extracted from each country's McDonald's website. It's logically sound to select countries that have the most population in its continents. Thus, the following countries were selected which are the U.S, China, India, Brazil, Egypt, Australia and Germany. The reason that Egypt is chosen instead of the two other countries with more population is that those two countries do not have McDonald's operation as for now. Meanwhile, China and India are selected together because they are two of the most populated countries in the world and they have almost identical populations as now. Last but not least, Russia does not have an official McDonald's site which makes the data collection impossible. In this case, Russia was replaced with Germany which are on the second place with most population in Europe.

2.2 Geographic Approach

McDonald's is an international fast-food chain. In this case, it not only has restaurants in the U.S, but also in other countries. People living in different countries have very different eating habits and cultural backgrounds. Therefore, McDonald's must segment different regions correctly in order to keep its dominance in the globe. In Table 1 , region and density are the two major criteria McDonald's take into account. Under the region criteria, it indicates whether the region is domestic or international is the first parameter McDonald's takes into account. McDonald's developed further strategies to perfect its marketing segmentation plan. In fact, McDonald's menus differ all over the world. As a result of different preferences on the meat kind, McDonald's adjusts its menu accordingly in different countries.

Type of segmentation Segmentation criteria McDonald's target segment
Region Domestic/international
Density Urban/rural
Country Chicken “burger” types percentage Beef “burger” types Percentage other(fish/veggie)
U.S 2 16.66% 9 75% 1
China 3 23.07% 8 61.53% 2
Brazil 3 17.64% 14 82.35% 0
Egypt 12 42.86% 14 50.00% 2/1
India 4 50.00% 0 0% 1/3
Germany 3 23.07% 7 53.8% 2/2
Australia 5 25.00% 13 65.00% 2/1

Table 2 displays the distribution of McDonald's flagship product(burgers) on the menu in different regions around the world. It's clear that McDonald's does not keep the same menu for different countries. All of them showed some differences compared to other countries. One of the countries that stand out is India. Due to factors like religious beliefs and local customs, a lot of Indians view cattle as a holy symbol. Thus, beef is not welcome in Indian culture. McDonald's took beef products entirely from the menu not only to ensure its profit but also to respect the local culture in a sense. Another country that stands out in this table is Egypt. McDonald's Egypt provides most burger products among these seven countries. The locals seem to have a split preference on different meat kinds. Thus, McDonald's simply offered Egyptians tons of choices to select from their desire. In addition, the fact that China and India are neighboring countries but having two drastically different menus indicates that geographic approach is highly crucial. Another example in this case is that McDonald's Japan sell TeriTama Burger in springtime and Tsukimi Burger in Autumn. Both of these burgers are for sale in limited time and designed to celebrate cherry blossom season and harvest moon festivals respectively [ 6 ]. This illustrates how McDonald's segment different regions based on cultural backgrounds.

Another aspect that fits in the geographic approach is the density of a certain area. Those McDonald's in the urban area have a greater chance of testing new products whereas those in rural areas may have a more conservative menu. This was driven by the fact that there are more people visiting the ones in urban areas. Thus, it's more logical for McDonald's to spend on advertisements and coupons in these urban locations about their products.

2.3 Demographic Approach

Table 3 illustrates McDonald's demographic approach including age, gender, life-cycle stage occupation, religious belief, and so on. In terms of age, McDonald's segments them into a variety of different groups. As for the young kid, McDonald's designed a special meal for them which is called “Happy Meal”. There are three different setups in the U.S market. Meanwhile, they all consist of little fries and milk which are products that are designed for young kids. Oftentimes, there will be toys included in these meals. Though people in other age groups may don't value them enough, its effect on young kids is huge. As for the teenager group who are mostly students, McDonald has not only priced their products aggressively to retain these group of people who are sensitive about the price, but also provide amenities such as Wi-Fi to attract students [ 5 ]. As for the grown-up, McDonald's offers them coffee products which cannot be compared to a conventional coffee shop. These designs clearly target customers who belong to different age groups. As for other segment criteria, McDonald's would create a framework that address all these characteristics.

Type of segmentation Segmentation criteria McDonald's target segment
Demographic Age All age
Gender Male/Female
Income Low and Middle
Occupations Students, Employees

2.4 Behavioral Approach

In terms of Behavioral Approach, it plays a significant role within McDonald's segmentation system. In Table 4 , it's clear that McDonald's segmentation builder includes the degree of loyalty to the restaurant and Benefits sought. The research from McDonald's UK indicates that 36% of consumers eat McDonald's food because of its value. This 36% of respondents buy McDonald's food because they believe McDonald's products bring them great cost benefits [ 1 ]. In addition, these consumers feel like McDonald's not only provides cheaper prices for its hamburgers, fries, and drinks compared to other fast-food chains, the food portion is also very ideal compared to their competitors. For instance, 20 pieces of chicken nuggets are only a little bit over six dollars which are a dollar more compared to 10 pieces of chicken nuggets. However, McDonald's realize there are other customers who value time efficiency more than the cost benefits. These groups of people may care less about how much they saved from each McDonald's meal, but care more about having a meal which can provide enough energy calories in a certain amount of time. McDonald's, therefore, comes up with different services to satisfy those customers’ needs. While Drive-thru has been implemented by McDonald's since the 1960s, McDonald's developed this McDonald app order feature in 2013. Customers just need to order products they want from their mobile apps in advance. Then, they simply need to drive up to the curb of a McDonald's restaurant and scan a code. McDonald's staff would automatically bring their food outside to their cars. This would save the customer from waiting in the line inside the restaurant and lower the burden on the kitchen during rush hour quite a bit.

Type of segmentation Segmentation criteria McDonald's target segment
Behavioral Degree of loyalty “Hard core loyals” / “Switchers”
Benefits sought Cost benefits, time efficiency

Meanwhile, another aspect in the behavioral approach is the degree of loyalty. The distinction is quite obvious. There are those “hardcore loyals” and those “switchers” eat McDonald's occasionally according to Table 4 . In this case, figuring out how to retain its customers became the key. In early 2017, McDonald's launched a reward program in its mobile app [ 3 ]. The program would record previous transactions and apply the credit to a future transaction. Apparently, McDonald's competitor Taco Bell had launched a program similar to McDonald's program and received a considerable amount of growth because of its program. Though McDonald's is late in the game, McDonald's reward program would still potentially lock down those “switchers”, especially those who are sensitive to a price change.

2.5 Psychographic Approach

The psychographic approach can be hard to describe. In Table 5 , it indicates that McDonald's mainly values customers' patterns of work and leisure and their lifestyle through the psychographic approach. For instance, customers who come into an urban location between 12 pm to 6 pm indicates that they are the working class who may simply try to grab lunch or dinner. For those who come in between 6om to 12 am are mostly evening and night shift staff, working in various shops nearby McDonald's stores. Therefore during their breaks and when they finish their job, normally visit McDonald's. The last group between 12 am to 12 pm, they are mostly the working class again who has to start their work early. Interestingly, this group has proved to be a constant customer. Another reason that explains why the Psychographic approach could be so hard to describe is how it links to the other approach. For instance, similarities between the behavioral approach and psychographic approach can be drawn when it comes to lifestyle. Customers who have a busy lifestyle would value time efficiency as well. Furthermore, the table under the geographical approach indicates there are countries that have vegetable burgers on their menus. This would indicates there is a certain customer base who potentially live in a vegetarian lifestyle. Thus, certain approaches could not be discussed individually.

Type of segmentation Segmentation criteria McDonald's target segment
Psychographic Social class Lower, working
Lifestyle NA

3 Discussion

The reason that McDonald's has to utilize so many different approaches to build marketing segmentation is due to its enormous scale. To accommodate so many consumers, it may have to come down to each individual region management team to conduct marketing segmentation. In this case, a different approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. As for the geographical approach and demographic approach, their advantage is similar to that of researchers who can get a large amount of data to build up the frame. On the contrary, while geographic regions do not guarantee a homogenous preference which could mislead the research, the demographic approach can be too broad for executives to make decisions. Meanwhile, the other two approaches would offer decision-makers vivid images to implement policies based on Customers’ complex lifestyles and sought. However, they could be sometimes very vague and hard to implement in a lot of cases. Nevertheless, these four approaches seemed to work for McDonald's favor according to Figure 1 . From 2014 to 2019, while the total return for both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials failed to reach the 200 $ mark, the total return for McDonald's was within a hair of the 250 $ mark. It is clear that McDonald's five-year total return outruns the market, which exemplifies the marketing segmentation implemented by McDonald's is a success.

Figure 1

Figure 1. McDonald's Five-Year total return comparison [2]

4 Conclusion

The four different approaches used by McDonald's to build its marketing segmentation has been proved. Though each of them is only able to contribute a limited amount of impact, utilizing them efficiently could lead to great marketing strategies. Meanwhile, these four marketing segmentation approaches could be used in a variety of other consumer products industry. At the end of the day, getting to know customers better would help any enterprise to develop a better business plan and these approaches here are the key elements that support the research.


I would like to say thank you to Professor Stephen Coggeshall who helped me develop my business analytic skills as well as offering me guidance on constructing this paper. It has been an honor to work with Professor Coggeshall.

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  • McDonald's Menu: Our Full McDonald's Food Menu: McDonald's. menu.html. 2020
  • The concept of segmentation and its process. 11 2018. UKEssays.
  • Keenan, Michael. Geographic Segmentation: What It Is and Why You Need It. ManyChat Blog, 3 Aug. 2020, 

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McDonald’s Marketing Plan and Strategy Report

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Executive Summary of McDonald’s Marketing Strategy

Business mission, external situational analysis, internal marketing audit, swot analysis, marketing objectives, core strategy, mcdonald’s marketing plan, mcdonald’s action plan, reference list.

McDonald’s Corporation is the world’s largest fast food company by sales volume and retail outlets. McDonald’s operates in over 116 countries with its outlets and franchises. The company is successful and still growing fast. The company uses its marketing plan carefully when implementing its marketing strategies across its global outlets and franchises.

McDonald’s uses the strategy of Plan to Win to drive its worldwide expansion. This strategy has 5Ps that consist of price, promotion, product, place, and people. The company relies on strong strategic thrust and competitive advantage that mainly focus on its resources for implementing its marketing objectives.

McDonald’s is also one of the largest spenders on advertising. Industry analysts estimated that McDonald’s spends over $ 1.2 billion in advertising beating all other fast food companies. The kids’ advertisement and promotional strategies take the largest portion of this budget.

Despite this success, McDonald’s faces a number of challenges from unlikely sources like its customers, who complain that the company uses its advertisement messages to target kids.

Still, McDonald’s has to contend with expensive lawsuits related to obesity claims as a result of consuming its unhealthy food. In addition, there are also challenges of staff turnover, risks of food infection, and threats from competition. The company now strives to focus on provisions of healthy organic food as a response to its customers’ demands for future growth.

McDonald’s Mission Statement

“McDonald’s vision is to be the world’s best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile”.

In McDonald’s annual report of the year 2010, the Vice Chairman and CEO, Jim Skinner, states that the company started to create its brand and strength throughout the globe. The CEO also accepts that the business situation during the year 2010 was tough.

The company managed to deliver its business through consumer-oriented management in order to focus its strategies and enhance its main business concentration, specifically the menu, restaurants, core values, and convenience to the customers. At the same time, McDonald’s management continued to focus on the quality of human resources and restaurants in order to enhance customer satisfaction (McDonald’s Corporation, 2010).

McDonald’s has survived all the external global conditions that may affect its operation. Consequently, the company continuously monitors the external environment, such as political risks. In over 100 countries, political situations have not stopped McDonald’s from operating its outlets or franchises.

McDonald’s is also a stable company economically for the past decades. The company has survived the global recession of 2007 and continues to make profits and introduce new ranges of products. McDonald’s also provides services and uses technology that appeals to its consumers and always strives to create positive consumer experiences in its outlets and franchises.

Thus, observing ethics with regard to claims that McDonald’s advertisement target kids and sell unhealthy foods and junk have been a source of concern for the company. McDonald’s is an industry leader; thus, competitors mainly borrow or watch McDonald’s strategies in terms of new products, technology, promotion, and investments, among others.

Marketing Mix Effectiveness

McDonald’s marketing mix is effective and strategic due to its approach. Studies have shown that McDonald’s concentrates carefully on the implementation processes of the 4Ps of the marketing mix. At the same time, the company focuses on fulfilling consumers’ needs through its innovative products and services in different outlets and franchises and enhances the relationship with stakeholders such as consumers, investors, franchisees, employees, suppliers, and the community in which it operates.

McDonald’s also strives to provide healthy food among its products, especially to children, due to claims of obesity. In this regard, the company provides the nutritional contents of its food to consumers on the packages. These concerns have enhanced the company’s competitive strategy and advantages in terms of serving low costs healthy foods (Koshuta, 2007).

However, lately, McDonald’s has suffered several lawsuits related to what consumers call unhealthy food it serves children. The claims relate to an increase in obesity among such consumers. This means that McDonald’s must improve its nutrient contents in such foods and reduce the level of calories. This is where the marketing mix of products should focus in order to create competitive advantages.

McDonald’s can use modern technology to reduce the fat contents and reduce risks of contamination by removing E. coli and salmonella. This way, McDonald’s food will result in a strong brand for the company. McDonald’s can promote reduced fat contents, risk and contamination free, and work with food safety authorities to promote its healthy food.

McDonald’s should capitalize on the strengths of products using the marketing mix strategies in order to promote healthy foods and healthy eating habits among kids.

Promotions and advertisement activities of healthy diets must reflect the above objectives of promoting a healthy diet and helping in the fight against obesity among its customers. These promotions are ethical and legal since they promote and advertise healthy diets. The company’s strategy to focus on healthy products will determine its future growth, marketing strategy, and target market, and in turn, provide the needs and wants of its customers (Story and French, 2004).

Marketing Structures and Systems

A company’s marketing structures and systems come after marketing strategies for implementation of the strategies (Gilligan and Wilson, 2007). In addition, marketing structures and systems provide the needed support during the implementation of organizational marketing activities.

Still, managers must use such systems in the processes of decision-making. These include application tools, data collection, and interpretation of data for providing factual information for both internal and external situations of the business so as to support marketing activities (Gilligan and Wilson, 2007).

McDonald’s global marketing structures and systems have enabled it to thrive and drive its global business agenda. McDonald’s calls it franchises as systems. Franchises are responsible for the international presence of McDonald’s in over 100 countries. The company is successful because of its marketing structures and systems that offer what consumers want.

McDonald’s SWOT analysis shows that the company has a higher ranking in the global fast food industry. It gets its competitive advantage from locations such as airports, theme parks, busy roads, and in Wal-Mart stores. McDonald’s also has quality food products, such as quality chicken products, beef, and pork for its products.

McDonald’s only uses brand names and supplies nutritional information on the food packages (Adcock and Halborg 2004). McDonald’s also offers its products at low cost in order to appeal to a wide target market. The company has relied on its strategy of Plan to Win and franchise systems in order to maintain its first position and global presence in the fast food industry.

McDonald’s weaknesses include high staff turnover. This has increased its staff acquisition and training costs. McDonald’s also did not pass the pizza test. This failure resulted in limited competition among pizza providers. The issue of obesity is fast affecting the fast food industry, and McDonald is the first casualty.

However, McDonald’s does not focus much on organic food. Occasionally, customers have expressed their concerns regarding the quality of food in McDonald’s outlets and franchises around the globe. In addition, McDonald’s only provides certain fast foods and soft drinks. This act of specialization means that the company cannot serve outside its menu; thus, it cannot offer other varieties of foods.

McDonald’s has many opportunities for provisions of fast food. McDonald’s can still franchise with several retailers. It also has opportunities of providing healthy and organic food as consumers demand in fights against obesity concerns among its customers so as to reduce possible lawsuits.

McDonald’s can also support social responsibilities through support for its farmers and encourage the conservation of the environment. The company can enhance its use of promotional channels in its restaurants, provide playgrounds for kids, increase partnerships with beverage companies, and create locations with Wi-Fi for customers.

Strengths Weaknesses
Opportunities Threats

McDonald’s encounters many threats. The advertisement experts criticize the company for targeting small children and adults alike with its multi-billion advertisement campaigns. Likewise, the company is also under constant threats of lawsuits because of serving addictive and unhealthy foods, mainly to children. It is impossible for McDonald’s to serve healthy foods to fit various customers’ nutritional needs. In a number of cases, there are risks and issues of food contamination, specifically with e-coli.

This has ruined the company’s reputation in some franchises and outlets. McDonald’s also faces competition from other fast food restaurants, and consumption also depends on economic stability. The main competitors of McDonald’s include Burger King, Wendy’s/Arby’s, Subway, Pizza Hut, and Yum! Brands (Gupta, 2010).

Strategic Thrust

The main strategies are also a company’s strategic thrusts. Strategic thrust offers organizations basic steps in order to undertake strategic actions and functional strategies. Strategic thrusts may work independently or may work together so as to reinforce others (Ferrel and Hartline, 2005).

McDonald’s applies a strategic thrust of concentrated growth. Concentrated growth focuses on enhancing sales of the existing products and services of McDonald’s using its outlets and franchises. At the same time, the strategy addresses issues of price, value, and quality as consumers express their concerns.

This strategy reduces risks and costs to McDonald’s and creates stable business operations. However, this strategic thrust of concentrated growth may not serve the company in unstable business conditions and where there are rapid changes (Baker, 2008).

McDonald’s also focuses on market development. The approach emphasizes the growth of the company through using its existing fast foods and soft drinks and marketing them in related areas, opening new outlets, franchises, and increasing advertisement and promotional strategies.

The company also focuses on product development for both existing and target markets. For instance, McDonald’s has been able to introduce a range of products and services so as to serve its wide target markets. In addition, the company relies on innovation and technology in order to reduce fat content and calories in some of its menus as customers demand.

Strategic Objectives

Andy McKenna, the company Chairman, puts it that McDonald’s has a Plan to Win strategy. The company has used this strategy to carry out its strategic objectives for the past eight years. McDonald’s strategically implements its marketing plan using the Plan to Win strategy, which has the core objectives and strategies of its marketing agenda.

These are the 5 Ps of price, promotion, product, place, and people. McDonald’s executives have noticed the potential and importance of every P, and the company plans to apply all the Ps in its marketing plan. McDonald’s is using this strategy in order to focus on its right priorities, such as keeping its brand relevant and meeting the needs of ever-changing customers, more so with regard to healthy food.

The Plan to Win strategy enables McDonald’s to be decisive, flexible, and show strong business orientation so as to meet the needs of its customers, especially with regard to obesity and health issues. McDonald’s believes that the strategic objective of the Plan to Win strategy has worked well and will continue to do both in the domestic and global markets in the coming years (McDonald’s Corporation, 2010).

Target Market(s)

McDonald’s target market is wide and broad, covering every segment of the consumer demography. Thus, McDonald’s target consumers of all ages, generations, nationalities, income, race, gender, and family with its global presence and franchises approach. The company offers low-cost and high-cost products that meet its wide markets.

Competitor Targets

McDonald’s competitors include Wendy’s/Arby’s, Burger King, Subway, and Yum! Brands, among others. Some of these competitors do not focus on the entire market segment as McDonald’s does. For instance, Burger King has been targeting adults of 18 years to 35 years old, as Wendy’s/Arby’s target consumers of 24 to 49 years, instead of its previous strategy of targeting 18 to 24 years consumers (WSJ, 2008). In addition, most of these competitors’ target markets have limits in terms of geographical coverage.

Wendy’s/Arby’s is in 33 countries. The company focuses on providing varieties of fast-food products and services. McDonald’s focuses on all segments of the market. Consequently, it has reduced its prices to cater to such consumers and gain a competitive advantage. However, Wendy’s/Arby’s focuses on the quality of its products instead of prices. The company has products like Garden Sensation that appeal to diet-conscious consumers (Gupta, 2010).

McDonald’s has been able to challenge its competitors using expansion strategies across the globe through franchises. However, a competitor like Wendy’s/Arby’s focuses its expansion strategy in Latin American countries. The company also seeks joint ventures and uses acquisition strategies.

KFC focuses on profits and sales growth. In addition, just like McDonald’s, the company also focuses on customer service. KFC also tries to change its menus to match those of the countries it serves and caters to different ethnic communities. This is to enhance its market share. KFC targets emerging markets and highly populated areas like shopping malls.

Subway also has a strategy of targeting international markets. Subway also focuses on healthy food in reaction to customers’ demands. The company has established healthy brands of sandwiches as a form of fight against obesity among children. The company believes that health-conscious consumers are here to stay (Gupta, 2010).

Competitive Advantage

Like any other company, McDonald’s also seeks competitive advantage. Competitive advantage has enabled McDonald’s to hold the leading position in the fast food industry since its inception. The focus of the company has been brand recognition and a global presence through franchises and outlets. The company is consistent with its advertisement and has an innovative capacity to create a low-cost menu of $ 1.

It is also focusing on introducing healthy options consisting of salads in its menus so as to reflect the changing taste of consumers. Recently, the company introduced a low-cost coffee product that aims at competing with Starbucks in the coffee market. These approaches keep McDonald’s competitive advantage stronger than competitors (Ferrel and Hartline, 2005).

McDonald’s attention is on managerial and organizational activities that aim at creating an integration of the company. The team focuses on a common goal that aims at creating value for the organization. Therefore, change and learning are necessary in order to cater to customers’ trends, developments in technology, and innovation in the company (Hooley et al, 2007). McDonald’s concentrates on hiring and creating management experts and enhances organizational behavior.

The company also looks into areas of technology, structure, and assets that enhance competitive advantage. McDonald’s uses its resources, technology, and financial resources to create a competitive advantage in the fast food industry.

McDonald’s focuses on a wide target market with global outreach and creates low-cost products, which has improved its competitive advantage in the market. The company’s vision of serving fast food to busy consumers has seen it spread throughout the world. The provision of quality products and services has remained defining factor in McDonald’s competitive advantage. These are advantages that are unique to McDonald’s only; thus, it is difficult for competitors to imitate them (Bateman and Snell, 2004).

McDonald’s deals in fast food that consists of hamburgers, chicken, French fries, soft drinks, coffee, milkshakes, salads, desserts, and breakfast. These products provide varieties for McDonald’s wide target consumers. McDonald’s serves these products in various quantities and quality, and prices.

The company has unique designs for its packaging that reflects its brand and identity. Product packaging is a strategy that McDonald’s uses in its products to implement its marketing mix (Jobber, 2010). The company knows the effect of packaging messages to all its customers.

Consequently, the packaging of fast food products must thrust McDonald’s brand. The fast food industry is competitive; thus, McDonald’s has to convince customers with its products within a short period. Products packaging offers convenience to consumers who buy fast food for home consumption or traveling. Most products experience repeat purchases due to packaging. McDonald’s has strived to enhance its fast food products and coffee for the convenience of its consumers.

McDonald’s French fries curve.

Consumers know McDonald’s for its French fries. However, the product had been on the decline stage and was no longer generating significant revenue (Perner, 2008). Consequently, McDonald’s reacted by revitalizing and repositioning it through a new product known as Shake Shake Fries. In addition, the company added new varieties to it, such as spices mix. This approach ensured that French fries remained relevant in its menu for revenue growth.

Although McDonald’s has several outlets and franchises, it strives to maintain the same quality and tastes of its products across the globe. McDonald’s can claim that all its products will be of the same quality and service always across the globe. The leading fast food company has demonstrated this over a number of years.

Consequently, customers can trust McDonald’s brands. This allows consumers to know what to expect from McDonald’s products and services whenever they make purchases. This flexibility allows consumers to trust McDonald’s to provide the same quality fast food in every outlet and franchise.

McDonald’s pricing tends to consider all elements of the marketing mix. The company provides value pricing whereby its offers products as low as $ 1. This combination provides quality products at fair prices to all customers. Therefore, a non-pricing approach is impossible for McDonald’s, even if it is the company leading in the fast food industry (Perner, 2008). Pricing strategy and implementation are necessary due to the competitive nature of the fast food industry.

In addition, McDonald’s must set a pricing strategy to cater to reduced costs that affect the price, promotion, and distribution of its products. These will strongly affect its pricing strategy. In all these marketing mixes oriented toward pricing, McDonald should know that consumers’ decision to buy goes beyond pricing alone as there are other factors that influence consumers’ decisions. Consumers seek the best values and satisfaction from their purchases.

McDonald’s sells to high-end consumers as well as low segments of its target markets. Consequently, McDonald’s pricing mix and implementation are necessary for determining the company’s success. McDonald’s value pricing strategy sends a message to all consumers of different segments and income statuses.

The advantage is that McDonald’s serves all segments of the market. Consumers need value for their spending, and McDonald’s has created this. McDonald’s pricing strategy must also account for competition. McDonald’s also experiences competition from other fast food companies. Therefore, a pricing strategy to outdo the competition and maintain the leading position, as well as market share, is crucial in McDonald’s marketing mix (Adcock and Halborg, 2004).

McDonald’s has noted customers’ sensitivity to prices. Consequently, the company has reacted by introducing low-cost, fast food of a dollar. However, some customers do not have to pay much attention to product pricing if they can get quality products and value. McDonald’s must use its pricing strategy and implementation as a tool for controlling other elements of the marketing mix.

McDonald’s has some of the most strategic places among fast food companies. The company seeks populated areas, places of high-end consumers, and easily accessible such as airports, busy streets, and retail stores. McDonald’s also likes locations near its main competitors, such as Subway and Burger King. This strategy is crucial to ensure that McDonald’s captures and supplies its products to all market segments.

McDonald’s is also available online as clients can place their orders. McDonald’s has a worldwide focus through its new outlets and franchise approach. Availability has enabled McDonald’s to remain competitive and conduct profitable business. Presence in such locations creates demands for such products. Place strategy has worked for McDonald’s as customers can easily access their favorite fast foods.

The choice of place also promotes McDonald’s brand image to its target markets. In addition, the choice of such places also influences the pricing of McDonald’s fast food products and the type of consumers who visit such places. Thus, McDonald’s serves both low-end consumers as well as high-end consumers who may not have time to prepare their meals (Gupta, 2010).

When implementing a place strategy, McDonald’s must consider the price, products, place, and people. McDonald’s must also watch its competitors, such as Subway and Burger King, as they choose their places. McDonald’s has been opening new outlets and franchises. McDonald’s place strategy must appeal to its employees, stakeholders, and customers.

Implementation of a promotional strategy is crucial for the success of any business venture. Companies rely on communication to promote their brand images and create awareness about their products. The company must consider the message and tools of communication in order to reach its target market.

McDonald’s has used several strategies, such as providing toys for kids, Big Mac Hockey Contest, and card games. Such strategies aim at promoting both its existing and new products. There are also advertisement campaigns that promote McDonald’s experience and active lifestyle.

McDonald’s uses channels such as television, newspapers, and radio. It also uses billboards and signage. The company also sponsors sporting events like Olympic Games and Little League. The company provides its branded drinks at such events. Lately, McDonald’s has used its Web site to promote its products. However, it is the television that has created the most memorable advertisement for the company.

McDonald’s has many slogans for different countries. Some of these slogans and advertisement campaigns have resulted in lawsuits.

McDonald’s also has a fifth element in the marketing mix that focuses on people. This is mainly to enhance customers’ experiences of McDonald’s products and services.

However, some reports indicate that McDonald’s tends to concentrate on children more than any other segment of the target markets in terms of advertisement budget and products alike (Story and French, 2004). According to John Koshuta, “the world’s largest fast food chain uses cartoons, toys, schools, charities, and even parents to reach its youngest customers” (Koshuta, 2007).

According to Advertising Age, McDonald’s spent $ 1.2 billion in the US alone in the year 2008. It is among the top 30 largest advertisers in the US. In the US, McDonald’s has a national and local advertisement strategy. The company has a national budget for national advertisements, and local co-operatives organize local advertisements. The industry total is $ 5.6 billion. Koshuta notes “about 40% of McDonald’s total advertising budget focuses on children” (Koshuta, 2007).

Top Restaurant Category Ad Spenders.

A marketing plan will provide McDonald’s with the road it requires in order to pursue its marketing objectives. However, a marketing plan is just a plan; thus, it is not a guarantee that the company will achieve such desired goals.

Therefore, turning a marketing plan into a strategy needs practical implementation. This will turn the plan into action and, in turn, helps achieve strategic marketing objectives (McDonald, 2007). Implementing any strategy requires resources. McDonald’s needs a strategy management approach that will ensure that the marketing plan becomes the center of focus (Lehmann, 2007).

The best marketing plan with the best strategic plan will ensure that McDonald’s achieves its business goals and objectives of Plan to Win . Some authors have argued that the implementation of the plan is more crucial than the strategy. However, implementation and strategy depend on each other for success.

Kotler and associates note that implementation results in a competitive advantage for the company (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, and Armstrong, 2005). In this context, scholars have identified three stages that are crucial for the implementation of business strategy. These include owning the plan, supporting the plan, and adapting the plan.

Most business plans fail due to a lack of ownership. McDonald’s management teams must demonstrate a willingness to support the plan. They can claim a stake in it and take responsibility during its formulation. Management must promote ownership of the plan by establishing action points, plan, involvement of senior level management, compensation, champions, and ownership team.

Senior-level management of McDonald’s must also actively participate in the process. They must remain committed and take part in the review of the progress of the plan. Senior-level management that shows less interest in the plan may communicate a lack of interest in the plan. Consequently, champions and ownership groups may feel a lack of interest too. This may result in a complete failure of the plan due to its lack of implementation (Aaker, 2009).

McDonald’s must also support the plan. Supporting the plan depends on five company elements. These include human resources with the necessary competencies and skills and leadership needed to implement the plan successfully. Allocation of resources such as time, personnel, and money will also affect the implementation of the plan. The organization must also provide the required structures in terms of policies and practices that guide a marketing plan.

The support for the plan also requires the organization to provide systems of information flow, operation, communications, rewards, planning, and measurement of outcomes. Lastly, organizational culture also influences the outcome of plan implementation. McDonald’s must have a strong culture that supports marketing initiatives and promote coordination during implementation processes. These five elements must be in line with each other and aligned with the business strategy of the organization (Baker, 2008).

Businesses have control systems that guide their strategic plans in order to adapt to dynamic market situations. A strategic marketing plan sets the direction and offers the company a direction for implementation and continuous improvement as it adapts to the market (Gilligan and Wilson, 2007).

Controls ensure that McDonald’s takes corrective measures after evaluating its marketing plan. This will ensure that the company achieves its strategic plan. McDonald’s must find ways to narrow boundaries due to its international presence by creating a cross-functional management system that communicates organizational plans across various units or countries (Aaker, 2009).

Aaker, D 2009, Strategic Market Management, 9th edn, Wiley, New York.

Adcock, D and Halborg, A 2004, Marketing Principles and Practice, 4th edn, Prentice Hall, London.

Baker, M 2008, Marketing Strategy and Management, Palgrave, London.

Bateman, S and Snell, A 2004, Management: The new competitive landscape, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.

Ferrel, C and Hartline, M 2005, Marketing Strategy, Thompson South-Western, Mason, Ohio.

Gilligan, C and Wilson, R 2007, Strategic Marketing Management: planning, implementation and control, 3rd edn, Butterworth-Heinemann, London.

Gupta, A 2010, Marketing: Competitor Analysis of McDonald’s . Web.

Hooley, G, Saunders, J, Piercy, N and Nicoulaud, B. 2007. Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning, 4th edn, South-Western College Pub, London.

Jobber, D 2010, Principles and Practice of Marketing, 6th edn, McGraw-hill, London.

Koshuta, J 2007, ‘McDonald’s Marketing Focused On Children’, Organic Consumer Association, vol. 12 no. 7, pp. 1-2.

Kotler, P, Wong, V, Saunders, J and Armstrong, G. 2005. Principles of Marketing, 4th edn, Pearson Education Limited, Essex.

Lehmann, D 2007, Analysis for Marketing Planning, McGraw-Hill/Irwin, London.

McDonald, M 2007, Marketing plans: how to prepare them, how to use them, Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford.

McDonald’s Corporation 2010, McDonald’s Corporation: 2010 Annual Report. McDonald’s Corporation, Oak Brook, IL.

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Story, M and French, S 2004, ‘Food Advertising and Marketing Directed at Children and Adolescents in the US,’ International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 1-3.

WSJ 2008, ‘New Wendy’s to target older customers,’ Wall Street Journal, vol. 30, pp. 1-1.

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  • Basic Statistic Most popular Facebook fan pages globally 2023
  • Premium Statistic Number of McDonald’s loyalty program members worldwide 2023-2027
  • Premium Statistic McDonald’s loyalty sales worldwide 2023-2027
  • Premium Statistic McDonald’s brand profile in the United States 2023
  • Premium Statistic Most effective ad campaigns in the U.S. 2023

McDonald's: global brand value 2006-2023

McDonald's global brand value from 2006 to 2023 (in billion U.S. dollars)

McDonald's ad spend globally 2014-2023

McDonald's advertising costs worldwide from 2014 to 2023 (in million U.S. dollars)

Most popular Facebook fan pages globally 2023

Most popular Facebook fan pages worldwide as of September 2023, based on number of fans (in millions)

Number of McDonald’s loyalty program members worldwide 2023-2027

Number of active users of McDonald's loyalty schemes worldwide in 2023 and 2027 (in millions)

McDonald's sales to loyalty members worldwide in 2023 and 2027 (in billion U.S. dollars)

McDonald’s brand profile in the United States 2023

McDonald’s brand awareness, usage, popularity, loyalty, and buzz among restaurant chain customers in the United States in 2023

Most effective ad campaigns in the U.S. 2023

Most effective advertising campaigns in the United States in 2023 (index score)

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Who is McDonald’s Target Market? McDonald’s Brand Analysis – Audience, Marketing Strategy & Competitors

marketing research report on mcdonald

When a brand becomes part of a political theory, you know it’s reached ultra-icon status.

That much can be said of McDonald’s. In 1996, author and journalist Thomas Friedman famously wrote: “No two countries that both have a McDonald’s have ever fought a war with each other” . The theory hasn’t stood the test of time, but the McDonald’s brand definitely has.

In the fast food industry, McDonald’s had the highest brand value in the world, estimated at nearly $155 billion, way ahead of the next closest competitor, Starbucks.

marketing research report on mcdonald

Source – Statista

By the end of 2021, McDonald’s had around 40,000 restaurants worldwide. That same year, the company generated global revenue of $23.22 billion from rent, fees and royalties paid by franchise owners as well as sales from company-owned restaurants. 

In 2022, McDonald’s is one of the top 100 companies in the world for market capitalization , only slightly below Intel and L’oreal, and much higher than AT&T and American Express. In fact, it is the only fast food company to even make it on the list.

Even so, McDonald’s has had its fair share of bad publicity. The 2004 documentary Super Size Me famously exposed the health risks of fast food. It led to a significant drop in McDonald’s profits in the UK and spurred the company’s pivot towards a more health-conscious menu. And what about the Ronald McDonald clown scare craze that led to McDonald’s retiring its long-lived mascot in 2016 ? 

Despite it all, McDonald’s is one of the world’s most recognizable brands, probably in history. What is special about McDonald’s positioning? How does McDonald’s advertise their products and appeal to the target market? Let’s go beyond the golden arches to explore McDonald’s market segmentation and branding. 

Want to learn more?

Who is mcdonald’s target market.

The target market of McDonald’s is located globally and covers a broad age group, from kids to senior citizens. According to 2020 data, the average customer is a married woman, aged 41 to 56, who particularly enjoys the McDonald’s breakfast.

Most of McDonald’s audience is lower to middle income families in both urban and rural areas. They are loyal customers, visiting a McDonald’s restaurant an average of 44 times a year.

In 2015, McDonald’s ran a study that showed consumers becoming more health conscious in their fast food choices. In response, the company lowered the oil and salt content of their dishes and expanded the menus to include more healthy options. This trend towards healthy dining continues to be a focus of the McDonald’s brand.

McDonald’s Target Market Segmentation

McDonald’s is a multinational veteran brand with a large and complex global audience. The best way to understand what is McDonald’s target age group and how McDonald’s advertising works is via a McDonald’s segmentation analysis that covers demographic, geographic, behavioral and psychographic data. Let’s dive right in.

McDonald’s Demographic Segmentation

McDonald’s target age group is consumers from 6 to 70 years old , both male and female .

McDonald’s demographics particularly focuses on multi-generational families, who enjoy a range of products and experiences, such as Happy Meals and playgrounds for kids, McCafe coffee and breakfast for moms, and combo meals for family outings.

The target market of McDonald’s includes employees, professionals, as well as students, who are drawn by the value conscious meal options and free Wifi provided in McDonald’s restaurants.

McDonald’s Geographic Segmentation

McDonald’s serves an international audience with restaurants in 120 countries, in both urban and rural areas. More than 37% of McDonald’s stores are located in the US .

In 2021, France and Germany had the most McDonald’s restaurants of all European countries. In 2021, McDonald’s in the US generated over $8 billion in revenue, while the rest of the world combined accounted for more than $12 billion .

McDonald’s is continually expanding in Asia Pacific – in 2020, China had the largest number of restaurants (4,400 stores), compared to 2,900 in Japan and 1,023 in Australia.

McDonald’s Behavioral Segmentation

The McDonald’s target audience is mainly lower to middle class consumers, who are interested in fast, cheap and convenient food.

During the pandemic, the famous McDonald’s drive-thru became even more popular. In 2020, the average drive-thru purchase took 349 seconds. The McDonald’s target market has grown increasingly health conscious in recent years, and the company has taken major steps to become a healthier brand.  For example, in 2016, McDonald’s removed artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets, and in 2015, liquid margarine was replaced with butter in breakfast items such as English muffins, biscuits and bagels.

McDonald’s Psychographic Segmentation

The typical McDonald’s customers are characterized as ‘easygoing’ and ‘careless’ , yet at the same time, they are loyal to the brand and eat fast food regularly.

Mostly working class people, the McDonald’s target audience has annual household income of $48,000 to $65,000 , and these customers are likely to use coupons and take advantage of McDonald’s $1 $2 $3 Dollar menu items.

For the savvy millennial customer base that includes many foodies, McDonald’s is looking to innovate with gourmet ingredients and healthier options. The brand also localizes its menu according to region; in India, for example, 50% of the menu is vegetarian.            

Who are McDonald’s competitors?

McDonald’s competitors include several of the biggest global brands in fast food. Burger King is the closest competitor, with the two companies engaged in a long-standing battle between their signature burgers – McDonald’s Big Mac vs Burger King’s Whopper.

Although McDonald’s is way ahead in brand value, Burger King is giving McDonald’s a run for their money. In 2020, Burger King even edged slightly higher in terms of revenue: $19.2 billion for McDonald’s compared to over $20 billion for Burger King .

Other competitors for McDonald’s market share include: Yum Brands – the operating company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut – as well as Wendy’s, Subway and Chipotle. Outside of the US, popular local brands such as Hungry Jacks (Australia), Sbarro (Russia), and Pret A Manger (UK) are all competitors too.

McDonald’s competitors include other brands in specific product niches outside of the traditional burger and fries category. For example, McDonald’s competes for the Starbucks audience with its McCafe beverages, and with Dunkin’ Donuts on dessert items and coffees. Chik-fil-A is an interesting and newer competitor to McDonald’s. While still well behind in revenue ( $5.8 billion in 2021 compared to McDonald’s $23 billion), McDonald’s may be falling behind in customer experience and satisfaction.

In the 2022 American Customer Satisfaction Index scoring for quick service restaurant chains, McDonald’s came in last after all other fast food chain brands in the US, with a score of just 68! In contrast, Chik-fil-A came in first with a score of 83. 

What is McDonald’s Marketing Strategy? 

Franchising is at the core of McDonald’s Corporation’s successful business strategy. The revenue share of the franchise part of the business continues to grow over time. In 2021, McDonald’s franchises generated $13.1 billion in revenue worldwide, compared to nearly $9.8 billion from company-owned restaurants. 

marketing research report on mcdonald

The franchising strategy enables the McDonald’s brand to stay strong and consistent on a global level. At the same time, restaurant operations are localized, with a communal, friendly feel that is popular among the McDonald’s target market.

Another important aspect of McDonald’s marketing strategy is product. The McDonald’s brand is strongly associated with its wide product range for all ages and consumer preferences, such as combo meals, small and big breakfasts, and Happy Meals, often marketed in collaboration with popular children’s TV characters. The McDonald’s offering even includes ground coffees and pods, competing with brands like Starbucks and Nespresso for the home brewed coffee experience.

The drive-thru has been an iconic part of the McDonald’s brand since the first one opened in the US in 1975. The company is now focused on elevating both the drive-thru and in-store dining experience, by leveraging data analytics and digital customer engagement tactics. The launch of the MyMcDonald’s rewards program in the US enables the company to access more customer data and offer personalized incentives and benefits to increase engagement and sales.

 Around 20% of McDonald’s global revenue now comes from digital sales . Launched 5 years ago, the ‘McDelivery’ home delivery service has grown to include 32,000 restaurants in 100 countries. During the pandemic, McDonald’s leveraged the increase in demand for food delivery with an expanded agreement serving the DoorDash target audience .

In 2022, DoorDash and McDonald’s inked a deal in which DoorDash will increase its fee to the McDonald’s store in accordance with the time taken to fulfill an order. This is part of the mission to improve the quality and efficiency of McDonald’s home deliveries.

Celebrity collaborations are a staple of McDonald’s advertising to youth in particular. For example, the Happy Meals campaign in collaboration with the Minions film franchise has extended over many years, with products, commercials and special offers promoted on TV and McDonald’s social media accounts.

Since 2020, McDonald’s has partnered with several famous figures, such as rappers Saweetie and Travis Scott, to promote “celebrity meals”.

The collaboration with South Korean boy band sensation BTS features the band’s ‘signature order’ of Chicken McNuggets, medium fries and Coke, with two South-Korean-inspired dipping sauces that are new to the US market. The campaign was launched initially in the US, Canada and Brazil, followed by 50 more countries. It was a huge success, contributing to a 25.9% increase in sales in US restaurants .  

Since around 2004, the McDonald’s brand has come under heavy criticism worldwide about the quality of its ingredients and menu. The company approached the topic head on with a clever campaign in Italy to counter the negative brand perception.

A McDonald’s store was refurbished and all traces of branding removed. It posed as a gourmet restaurant, yet served the exact same menu. When customers were delighted with the taste and quality of the food, the prejudices against McDonald’s were revealed. This ‘blind taste’ campaign was powerful and eye-opening, helping to rehabilitate the McDonald’s brand.

As with all corporate brands today, McDonald’s marketing strategy focuses on sustainability and community empowermen t. The Change a little, change a lot campaign promises to reconfigure the company’s entire operations – “from farm to front counter” – for the benefit of people and the planet.

The goals include net-zero emissions in the UK and Ireland by 2040, fully recyclable or compostable packaging by 2024, and 3,000 new apprentices in stores by 2025. 

McDonald’s Customers in California

In the US, California has the highest number of McDonald’s restaurants with 1,187 locations, followed closely by Texas with 1,120 locations. This makes California a great case study for visitors to McDonald’s stores .

According to mobile data, the audience defined as McDonald’s Customers in California numbers approximately 769,000. Over 80% are between the ages of 18 to 34. The audience skews male, approximately 60% male vs 40% female.

Nearly a third of the audience falls into the low-income bracket, with household income under $25,000. There is a heavy preference for Android over iOS (66.4% vs 33.6%), with various Samsung Galaxy models making up the top 5 devices used by McDonald’s customers in California.

Want more insights like these for your target audience of fast food customers? Visit the Consumer Insights and Audiences Hub to dive into the latest mobile user data for 500+ customer segments and locations, and get better results from your campaigns.

McDonald’s FAQs

What is mcdonald’s biggest market.

The US has the biggest McDonald’s market in the world, with 36.92% market share. Japan and China are in second and third place. These three countries together account for 52% of McDonald’s share globally.

What age group consumes the most McDonald’s?

The age group with the highest consumption of McDonald’s varies depending on region. In Germany, for instance, the most customers are in the 20-29 age group. In the US, the numbers are split fairly evenly. Between 63.38% and 64.84% of Americans aged 18 to 64 have visited McDonald’s in the past 3 months. 

Why is McDonald's marketing so successful?

McDonald’s marketing is strongly associated with product and value, ensuring customers enjoy a value-driven, tasty and efficient experience. Franchising has proven to be a winning strategy for McDonald’s, enabling the company to maintain a consistent global brand while providing local, family-friendly dining at the same time.

marketing research report on mcdonald

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Feb 5, 2024

  • Global comparable sales have grown 9% for the year and over 30% since 2019
  • Systemwide sales* to loyalty members were over $20 billion for the full year and over $6 billion for the quarter across 50 loyalty markets, with full year growth of more than 45% over prior year

CHICAGO , Feb. 5, 2024 / PRNewswire / -- McDonald's Corporation today announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2023 .

"Our global comparable sales growth of 9% for the year is a testament to the tremendous dedication of the entire McDonald's System," said McDonald's President and CEO Chris Kempczinski . "Strong execution of our Accelerating the Arches strategy has driven over 30% comparable sales growth since 2019 as our talented crew members, and the industry's best franchisees and suppliers have demonstrated proven agility with a relentless focus on the customer. By evolving the way we work across the System, we remain confident in the resilience of our business amid macro challenges that will persist in 2024."

Fourth quarter financial performance:

  • Global comparable sales increased 3.4%, reflecting positive comparable sales across all segments:
  • U.S. increased 4.3%
  • International Operated Markets segment increased 4.4%
  • International Developmental Licensed Markets segment increased 0.7%, reflecting the impact of the war in the Middle East
  • Consolidated revenues increased 8% (6% in constant currencies).
  • Systemwide sales increased 6% (5% in constant currencies).
  • Consolidated operating income increased 8% (6% in constant currencies). Results included $72 million of pre-tax charges related to the write-off of impaired software no longer in use and $66 million of pre-tax charges related to the Company's Accelerating the Arches growth strategy, including restructuring costs associated with Accelerating the Organization. Excluding these charges, consolidated operating income increased 14% (11% in constant currencies).**
  • Diluted earnings per share was $2.80 , an increase of 8% (5% in constant currencies). Excluding the charges described above of $0.15 per share, diluted earnings per share was $2.95 , an increase of 14% (11% in constant currencies).**

Full year financial performance:

  • Global comparable sales increased 9.0%, reflecting strong comparable sales across all segments:
  • U.S. increased 8.7%
  • International Operated Markets segment increased 9.2%
  • International Developmental Licensed Markets segment increased 9.4%
  • Consolidated revenues increased 10% (10% in constant currencies).
  • Systemwide sales increased 10% (10% in constant currencies).
  • Consolidated operating income increased 24% (24% in constant currencies). Results included $290 million of pre-tax charges related to the Company's Accelerating the Arches growth strategy, including restructuring costs associated with Accelerating the Organization and $72 million of pre-tax charges related to the write-off of impaired software no longer in use. Excluding these current year charges, as well as prior year pre-tax charges and gains of $1.3 billion and $271 million , respectively, consolidated operating income increased 16% (16% in constant currencies).**
  • Diluted earnings per share was $11.56 , an increase of 39% (38% in constant currencies). Excluding the current year charges described above of $0.38 per share, diluted earnings per share was $11.94 , an increase of 18% (18% in constant currencies) when also excluding prior year charges and gains and a tax settlement.**

*Refer to page 5 for a definition of Systemwide sales. **Refer to pages 3 and 4 for additional details on our results for the fourth quarter and full year 2023 and 2022.




4.3 %

10.3 %

International Operated Markets



International Developmental Licensed Markets & Corporate




3.4 %

12.6 %

  • U.S.: Comparable sales results benefited from strong average check growth driven by strategic menu price increases. Successful restaurant level execution, effective menu and marketing campaigns and continued digital and delivery growth contributed to strong comparable sales results.
  • International Operated Markets: Segment performance was driven by strong comparable sales in most markets, led by the U.K., Germany and Canada , partly offset by negative comparable sales in France .
  • International Developmental Licensed Markets: Segment performance reflected positive comparable sales in all geographic regions, with the exception of the Middle East , which was impacted by the war in the region.


Dollars in millions, except per share data



$  6,406.2

$  5,926.5





$ 25,493.7

$ 23,182.6





Operating income









Net income









Earnings per share-diluted

$       2.80

$       2.59





$      11.56

$        8.33





Results for 2023 included the following:

  • Pre-tax charges of $72 million , or $0.08 per share, for the quarter and the year, related to the write-off of impaired software no longer in use
  • Pre-tax charges of $66 million , or $0.07 per share, for the quarter and $290 million , or $0.30 per share, for the year, related to the Company's Accelerating the Arches growth strategy, including restructuring costs associated with its internal effort to modernize ways of working ( Accelerating the Organization)

Results for 2022 included the following:

  • Pre-tax charges of $1,281 million , or $1.44 per share, for the year, related to the sale of the Company's business in Russia
  • Pre-tax gain of $271 million , or $0.40 per share, for the year, related to the Company's sale of its Dynamic Yield business
  • $537 million , or $0.73 per share, for the year, of nonoperating expense related to the settlement of a tax audit in France

Excluding the above items, results for both periods reflected strong operating performance driven primarily by higher sales-driven Franchised margins.


Dollars in millions, except per share data



$ 2,039.0

$ 1,903.4





$     2.80

$     2.59








Tax Settlement


$ 2,144.6

$ 1,903.4





$     2.95

$     2.59






$ 8,468.8

$ 6,177.4





$   11.56

$     8.33










Tax Settlement




$ 8,742.5

$ 7,485.3





$   11.94

$   10.10






Constant currency results exclude the effects of foreign currency translation and are calculated by translating current year results at prior year average exchange rates. Management reviews and analyzes business results excluding the effect of foreign currency translation, impairment and other charges and gains, as well as material regulatory and other income tax impacts, and bases incentive compensation plans on these results because the Company believes this better represents underlying business trends.

Comparable sales and comparable guest counts are compared to the same period in the prior year and represent sales and transactions, respectively, at all restaurants, whether operated by the Company or by franchisees, in operation at least thirteen months including those temporarily closed. Some of the reasons restaurants may be temporarily closed include reimaging or remodeling, rebuilding, road construction, natural disasters, pandemics and acts of war, terrorism or other hostilities. Restaurants in Russia were treated as permanently closed as of April 1, 2022 and therefore excluded from the calculation of comparable sales and comparable guest counts beginning in the second quarter of 2022. Comparable sales exclude the impact of currency translation and the sales of any market considered hyperinflationary (generally identified as those markets whose cumulative inflation rate over a three-year period exceeds 100%), which management believes more accurately reflects the underlying business trends. Beginning in the first quarter of 2023, McDonald's excluded results from Argentina and Lebanon in the calculation of comparable sales due to hyperinflation ( Venezuela continues to be excluded). Comparable sales are driven by changes in guest counts and average check, the latter of which is affected by changes in pricing and product mix.

Systemwide sales include sales at all restaurants, whether operated by the Company or by franchisees. Systemwide sales to loyalty members is comprised of all sales to customers who self-identify as a loyalty member when transacting with both Company-operated and franchised restaurants. Systemwide sales to loyalty members are measured across approximately 50 markets with loyalty programs globally. Full year Systemwide sales to loyalty members represents an annual aggregation of quarterly sales to loyalty members active in the last 90 days. While franchised sales are not recorded as revenues by the Company, management believes the information is important in understanding the Company's financial performance because these sales are the basis on which the Company calculates and records franchised revenues and are indicative of the financial health of the franchisee base. The Company's revenues consist of sales by Company-operated restaurants and fees from franchised restaurants operated by conventional franchisees, developmental licensees and affiliates. Changes in Systemwide sales are primarily driven by comparable sales and net restaurant unit expansion. 

Free cash flow , defined as cash provided by operations less capital expenditures, and free cash flow conversion rate, defined as free cash flow divided by net income, are measures reviewed by management in order to evaluate the Company's ability to convert net profits into cash resources, after reinvesting in the core business, that can be used to pursue opportunities to enhance shareholder value.


This press release should be read in conjunction with Exhibit 99.2 to the Company's Form 8-K filing for supplemental information related to the Company's results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2023.

McDonald's Corporation will broadcast its investor earnings conference call live over the Internet at 7:30 a.m. (Central Time) on February 5, 2024. A link to the live webcast will be available at . There will also be an archived webcast available for a limited time thereafter.


For important news and information regarding McDonald's, including the timing of future investor conferences and earnings calls, visit the Investor Relations section of the Company's Internet home page at . McDonald's uses this website as a primary channel for disclosing key information to its investors, some of which may contain material and previously non-public information.


McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 40,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 95% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business owners.


This release contains certain forward-looking statements, which reflect management's expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations are detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risk factors discussed in Exhibit 99.2 to the Company's Form 8-K filing on February 5, 2024 . The Company undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements, except as may otherwise be required by law.



Sales by Company-operated restaurants

$     2,474.1

$     2,208.4

$        265.7

12 %

Revenues from franchised restaurants





Other revenues










Operating costs and expenses

Company-operated restaurant expenses





Franchised restaurants-occupancy expenses





Other restaurant expenses





Selling, general & administrative expenses

Depreciation and amortization










Other operating (income) expense, net





Total operating costs and expenses










Interest expense





Nonoperating (income) expense, net





Income before provision for income taxes





Provision for income taxes






$     2,039.0

$     1,903.4

$        135.6

7 %


$          2.80

$          2.59

$          0.21

8 %

Weighted average shares outstanding-diluted




(1) %

n/m Not meaningful



Sales by Company-operated restaurants

$     9,741.6

$     8,748.4

$        993.2

11 %

Revenues from franchised restaurants





Other revenues










Operating costs and expenses

Company-operated restaurant expenses





Franchised restaurants-occupancy expenses





Other restaurant expenses





Selling, general & administrative expenses

Depreciation and amortization










Other operating (income) expense, net





Total operating costs and expenses









Interest expense





Nonoperating (income) expense, net





Income before provision for income taxes





Provision for income taxes






$     8,468.8

$     6,177.4

$     2,291.4

37 %


$        11.56

$          8.33

$          3.23

39 %

Weighted average shares outstanding-diluted




(1) %


December 31,

Current assets

Cash and equivalents

$     4,579.3

$     2,583.8

Accounts and notes receivable



Other current assets
















$   56,146.8

$   50,435.6


$     6,859.0

$     3,802.1

Long-term debt



Long-term lease liability



Other long-term liabilities



Deferred income taxes







$   56,146.8

$   50,435.6


Years ended December 31,

Operating activities

Net income

$  8,468.8

$   6,177.4

Changes in working capital items









Investing activities

Capital expenditures



Sales and purchases of restaurant and other businesses and property sales









Financing activities

Net short-term borrowings and long-term financing issuances and payments



Treasury stock purchases



Common stock dividends



Proceeds from stock option exercises and other












Cash and equivalents at beginning of year




$  4,579.3

$   2,583.8

Supplemental cash flow disclosures

Cash provided by operations

$  9,611.9

$   7,386.7

Less: Capital expenditures




$  7,254.5

$   5,487.5

SOURCE McDonald's Corporation

For further information: Investors: Mike Cieplak, [email protected]; or Media: Lauren Altmin, [email protected]

marketing research report on mcdonald

marketing research report on mcdonald

In-Depth McDonald’s Marketing Case Study – I’m Lovin’ It Already.

marketing research report on mcdonald

By Aditya Shastri

marketing research report on mcdonald

McDonald’s has been one of the leading food chains for many years in terms of the quick-service segment. They are a company with a broad understanding of the needs of its customers. 

Today, McDonald’s is the industry’s leader not only in sales volumes but also in profit rates and market valuation. But how did they manage to gain such a strong position? The answer lies in its well-thought-out strategic marketing moves as well as other internal factors. 

That’s why in this case study, we’ll dig deeper into McDonald’s Marketing Strategy in India and globally from a marketing perspective by going through its marketing strategies, marketing mix, marketing campaigns, and SWOT analysis.

So let us start by first learning more about the business model and brand history of McDonald’s.

About McDonald’s

Marketing Strategy of Mcdonald's - A Case Study - About

McDonald’s Corporation, or simply McDonald’s, is the world’s largest chain of fast-food restaurants, serving around 69 million customers per day.  Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald.

In 1948, they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand but later in 1955, businessman Ray Kroc joined the company as a franchise agent who subsequently purchased the chain from the McDonald brothers and oversaw its worldwide growth.

The mission of the company is, “To create delicious feel-good moments for everyone” .  

McDonald’s offers its customers a wide variety of its menu items, along with drinks and other merchandise. It is known for its employee satisfaction, innovation, and commitment to quality.

The business model of McDonald’s is intensive, but in short, it is a franchise-based model. It shares the rights of the business with its franchise partners who later operate McDonald’s in select regions. 

In India, McDonald’s is run by two companies, Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd (controls South & West India) and Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited (controls North & East India). It first entered India back in 1996.

Now that we know about McDonald’s Corporation and McDonald’s India. Let us now go through the company in greater detail by going through its marketing mix.

What’s new with McDonalds?

Here’s everything that was buzzing around McDonalds recently:

  • McD introduced the new “KARTIK AARYAN Meal” inspired by the actor’s personality. We will discuss this in detail below in the marketing strategies.
  • McDonalds in India dropped tomatoes in August of 2023 because of rising prices.
  • Mcdonald’s giving away free NFTs in Singapore. Details in this news article by Decrypt .
  • In July 2023, McDonald’s announced that they are coming up with a new concept called CosMc – a spinoff restaurant.
  • McDonald’s opened their first fully automated restaurant in Texas.

Sounds like McDonald’s was quite the talk of the town all this year and rightfully so. Let’s now move on and discuss the buyer persona of McDonalds.

Buyer Persona of McDonald’s

A buyer persona generally refers to the detailed information of an ideal customer of a company. When it comes to Mcdonald’s, people from all countries, ages, and genders enjoy their juicy burgers and fries. Hence, we have focused on the attributes of an ideal buyer at Mcdonald’s.

marketing research report on mcdonald

Buyer’s Persona


Graphic Designer

  • Seeks quick, convenient meals
  • Values cost-effectiveness
  • Enjoys variety and occasional indulgences
  • Prefers shareable food options

Interest & Hobbies

  • Digital Art & Design
  • Socializing with friends
  • Watching movies and TV series
  • Exploring new cafes and restaurants

Pain Points

  • Time-strapped due to work
  • Dislikes long wait times
  • Concerned about food consistency
  • Health-conscious
  • Prefers a quieter ambiance

Social Media Presence

Marketing mix of mcdonald’s.

A marketing mix is a model that an organization uses to advance its interest in its image or product. The main components of this model are the 4Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. So let us look at McDonald’s marketing mix strategy in the coming section.

We have written a separate blog taking a deeper dive into the marketing mix of McDonald’s if you wish to learn more.

Product Strategy of McDonald’s

Being a fast-food company, it primarily sells burgers, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes and desserts. 

McDonald’s menus are known around the globe, although there are geographic variations to suit the local preferences & tastes of customers. The company continuously improves its products and services based on the changing needs and tastes of consumers.

The core value of what McDonald’s offers has always been fast service which is a huge value addition. Nowhere else can you get such a range of items at even lower prices with such efficiency, convenience and customer service.

Marketing Strategy of Mcdonald's - A Case Study - Marketing Mix - Product Strategy

Price Strategy of McDonald’s

The pricing strategy of McDonald’s has always been to offer food at low prices. This is what has allowed the restaurant to be successful for many years.

This also has primarily helped McDonald’s build its reputation as one of the top fast-food brands in the world. However, with the costs of living continuing to rise, McDonald’s has begun offering combos and specials in an effort to entice customers and churn out profits through economies of scale.

In India, the brand came up with a punchy line – “Aap Ke Zamane Mein, Baap Ke Zamane Ke Daam” . This was done back in 2008 to attract lower and middle-class customers to experience the offerings of McDonald’s India and it worked out very well.

Marketing Strategy of Mcdonald's - A Case Study - Marketing Mix - Price Strategy

Place and Distribution Strategy of McDonald’s

McDonald’s is one of the world’s leading quick-service restaurants (QSR) with over 38,000 restaurants in 100+ countries. It recently opened nearly 1,000 new restaurants globally &  also modernized another 900 restaurants in the US.

Marketing Strategy of Mcdonald's - A Case Study - Marketing Mix - Place and Distribution Strategy

It has opened different restaurant formats as well as drive-ins, online ordering, and tying with food delivery partners . These new formats allow the customers to get the desired food at a particular time and place which also helps them to have a better experience overall.

The stores themselves are clean unlike others as they always keep their outdoor seating space sanitized while having indoor seating areas for an elegant ambience.

Marketing Strategy of Mcdonald's - A Case Study - Marketing Mix - Place and Distribution Strategy

Promotion Strategy of McDonald’s

McDonald’s uses a lot of promotional techniques as promotional activities help build brand loyalty and interest. It gives people who may not normally go to McDonald’s a reason to go there.

Marketing Strategy of Mcdonald's - A Case Study - Marketing Mix - Promotion Strategy

Just like any other company, McDonald’s also sponsors various promotion campaigns to push their brand. Promotions help in creating a sense of community and association between the company and its customers.

Now that we know about McDonald’s offerings and its promotional tactics, let us now go through the core marketing elements of its marketing strategy in the coming section.

McDonald’s Marketing Strategy in India and Globally

With an innovative approach to marketing and consumption patterns through value-added menu improvements, McDonald’s aims to significantly improve market share in key markets through continually improving customer satisfaction and attracting new customers through cost savings, operational efficiencies and improving brand awareness.

So let us look at some of the marketing strategies implemented by McDonald’s over the past years .

A Detailed Focus on McDonald’s Franchise Model

McDonald’s has made such a franchise model that many companies even today replicate this model in their operations. 

Why did their model work? Two main factors contributed to the success of the Model: First, McDonald’s made a huge investment to ensure that the quality of services it provided was consistent across all its franchise outlets. The company invested in acquiring its products from local regions and crafted menus that catered to individual regions’ palettes.

The above two factors have worked wonders for McDonald’s and paved the way to enter and expand its reach globally.

Catering to All Age Audience

Being a fast-food restaurant, MC Donaldss decided to cater to all ages. Since then McDonald’s has scouted ways to market its offering for all age groups of a family.

Mcdonald’s came up with options like Happy Meal to target children and also offered its meals in bigger packages and different portion sizes to ensure that hunger be it small or large can be satisfied at Mcdonald’s. 

McDonald’s – I’m Lovin’ It…. Para Pap Pap Paa:

“I’m Lovin’ It…  Para Pap Pap Paa” is a very well-known jingle that has been used by McDonald’s for a very long time now.

This jingle highlights the positive experience one can have while dining at McDonald’s. The jingle is memorable because it speaks about how happy consumers are during their meals there, and how helpful and friendly the employees are.

Brand Mascot of McDonald’s

What is the best McDonald’s brand mascot? A funny clown character that McDonald’s can successfully market to both children and adults. The brand mascot strategy was first implemented by McDonald’s in 1963 and since then this mascot has become an integral part of the company’s legacy. 

Marketing Strategy of Mcdonald's - A Case Study - Brand Mascot

Collaborations with McDonald’s

McDonald’s has a long history of collaboration with various companies and artists. The motive behind these collaborations is to maintain its brand reinforcement in the minds of its customers. This goes beyond simply creating advertising campaigns that promote the value of its products. 

It very recently collaborated with BTS – the very popular South Korean Music band where it introduced a special McDonald’s meal called the BTS Meal. Likewise, it has collaborated with artists like Travis Scott, and J Balvin as well as Companies like Coca-Cola .

Marketing Strategy of Mcdonald's - A Case Study - Collaborations - BTS Meal

Digital Marketing Strategies of McDonald’s

By adopting digital marketing practices, McDonald’s has been able to increase its brand awareness and create demand for its offerings. The information promoted is similar to the ones used in traditional marketing platforms such as TV, billboards, newspapers, etc., however, the execution of the same content differs. 

By encouraging its customers to click pictures of their meals and post them on various social media platforms. This growing food photography trend has helped McDonald’s to lure new customers, in fact, between the period of September 2018 and February 2019, there were 4.9 million McDonald’s logos posted on Twitter globally.   

The company also adopted SEO practices, where it found that its “organic” practices perform better than “sponsored” promotions. As per Simplilearn, in December 2019, McDonald’s received 90.7% of the search traffic through organic searches by their customers, while the remainder was received through sponsored activities.  

McDonald’s has increased its engagement with its customers by interacting with them on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Also communication of various offers and discounts through social media have also been a factor contributing to the increase in customer traffic on its website and App.

By incorporating digital elements in McDonald’s marketing strategy, the company has been able to maximise its reach.

Are you interested in learning digital marketing strategies that can help your business grow, then I recommend you check this blog on “ IIDE’s PG in Digital Marketing ROI ” so that you can understand how investing in a PG course can help you reap benefits for your business in the long run.

Marketing & Advertising Campaigns of McDonald’s India

A marketing campaign can have many goals, but at the core, they are all about getting more customers. An effective and well-timed campaign will create a demand which then supports the product or service. 

When it comes to McDonald’s, it has a very strong strategy in place. Right from showcasing its delicious burgers along with bringing out the positive “McDonald’s vibe” to ending the commercials with slogans like, “I’m Lovin’ It…  Para Pap Pap Paa” .

So let us look at some of the popular campaigns of McDonald’s.

Kartik Aaryan Meal by Mcdonald’s India  

Mcdonald’s India introduced the new Kartik Aaryan Meal including burger, fries, and a pizza puff with a different packaging than unusual. The meal also features a QR Code, which upon scanning, fans can take a selfie with him virtually. 

We Get It – Campaign & Commercial Ad  

Another Campaign launched by McDonald’s India was “We Get It” revolving around the craziness of life and how McD continues to make you feel special and give the best experience through that. 

There’s A McCafe for Every Moment – A Marketing Campaign of McDonald’s India

McDonald’s India came up with this campaign to highlight its beverage range, McCafe and how they are there for all the good, bad and neutral moments of life. 

This campaign was released back in 2017, showcasing all the minute elements of life through a catchy theme song.

Family time means McDonald’s #Mealsmakefamilies – A Marketing Campaign gaining lots of love

McDonald’s India came up with this campaign to highlight how meals bring families together.

This campaign which was launched recently showcases some relatable moments people share with families while having a McDonald’s meal.

Marketing & Advertising Campaigns of McDonald’s during the Covid-19 Pandemic:

McDonald’s released a series of advertising commercials showcasing how so many things have changed since the pandemic . The basic idea behind the campaign was to highlight how life has changed but McDonald’s is still there, offering the same positive experience with extra hygiene and safety measures.

 #MatchedByYou – A Marketing Campaign of McDonald’s India

McDonald’s introduced an exciting campaign #MatchedByYou. It shows a love triangle between burgers, fries, and cola. This campaign showcased the offering of food combos for a price as low as ₹45.

After reading the McDonald’s Marketing Strategy, I suggest that you take a deeper look into the SWOT Analysis of Mcdonald’s .

Top Competitors of McDonald’s 

Like fast fashion, fast food outlets are also trying to get a share of the monopoly that McDonald’s once enjoyed. Here are a few top competitors of McDonald’s in India as well as internationally:

1. Top Competitors in India

  • Burger King 
  • Jumbo King 
  • Wow Momo’s 
  • Local Food Joints 

2. Top Competitors Internationally

  • Smokin Joes
  • Burger King

Failed Campaigns of McDonald’s

We looked at the campaigns that brought the essence of McDonald’s to everyone’s screen but now let’s look at some of the failed campaigns that didn’t hit a chord with the audience. 

1. #McDStories on Twitter  

In the late 2010s, McDonald’s introduced a hashtag on Twitter –  #McDStories & that encouraged their fans to share their stories revolving around the Happy Meal. 

What the brand expected was stories that would inspire people to get together with their friends and family to enjoy a Happy Meal. 

Instead, Twitter users started using this hashtag sarcastically and shared their negative experiences with McDonald’s.

Here’s one of the tweets using #McDStories:

2. Controversial Ad in India 

In 2023, McDonald’s released a commercial ad where a customer was wooing a female staff member. The ad didn’t go well without the viewers and faced a lot of backlash. 

Q1. What is the marketing strategy of McDonald’s?

Ans: McDonald’s marketing strategy adopts an emotional approach by marketing Ads that evoke emotions, such as togetherness, joy, and laughter among its target audience. The only aim in evoking such emotions is to show that this brand can deliver an enjoyable experience and make their moments cherishable.

Q2. What type of strategy does McDonald’s use?

Ans: McDonald’s has heavily focused on its pricing strategy by keeping its price as low as possible with the aim to deliver happiness in the lowest possible price.

Q3. What is the marketing strategy of McDonald’s in India?

Ans: McDonald’s marketing strategies in India adopt 5ps: product, price, place, promotion and people. The primary aim of all these 5 Ps is to deliver value to its products and build a relationship over the long run.

Q4. Why is McDonald’s marketing so successful?

Ans: McDonald’s has been working on creating a strong brand through its marketing efforts involving traditional and digital marketing channels. Such consistent communication has helped the community to build a strong relationship with their customers contributing to the success of their marketing efforts.

Q5. Who is the target audience of McDonalds?

Ans: McDonald’s caters to everyone, be it children, elders, working professionals, etc. They have curated meals that can cater to both small and large hunger, making their products a go to meal for their audience. 

McDonald’s is one of the world’s most recognized fast-food restaurants. With annual revenues in excess of $19 billion, it is no doubt that McDonald’s has a major influence on society in terms of food choices. 

Its reach extends far beyond the borders of its home country and geographically encompasses many nations around the globe. With a strong presence on both offline and online marketing, and cruise control over production and distribution, McDonald’s looks very well placed to take up industry-changing challenges.

Want to learn how you can create such compelling strategies? Head onto our Online Digital Marketing Courses where you will be trained in such aspects.

Let us know your thoughts on this case study in the comment section down below. Thank you for reading, and if you liked our then do share this in your circle. 

Liked our work? Interested in learning further? Do check our website for more. Also, if you’re interested in Digital Marketing, you can check out our Free Digital Marketing Masterclass by Karan Shah.

Until then, see you next time!

marketing research report on mcdonald

Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs...... [Read full bio]

Ajira Asthana

This is a concise and well written case study of Mc Donald’s. It will be useful for Management students .


One of the best detailed report i have read. Great work, great research.

Ali haider merchant

Very well written blog on mcdonalds marketing strategy which makes us understand how McDonald’s is growing instead of so much competition

Sheetal Gupta

McDonald’s leverages nostalgia and innovation, captivating diverse consumer demographics effectively.

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McDonald's Corp in Consumer Foodservice

McDonald's is the leading global foodservice player by sales. The company has strong brand recognition globally, with its largest presence in limited-service burger and a smaller presence in cafés. McDonald's continues to innovate through strong delivery and pick-up programmes and a digitally focused loyalty programme. In recent years McDonald's has refocused its growth plan on outlet openings and core menu items of burgers and chicken, along with the expansion of its coffee business.

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Euromonitor International's report on McDonald's Corp delivers a detailed strategic analysis of the company's business, examining its performance in the Consumer Foodservice market and the global economy. Company and market share data provide a detailed look at the financial position of McDonald's Corp, while in-depth qualitative analysis will help you understand the brand strategy and growth prospects of McDonald's Corp.

This report examines:

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  • Marketing and distribution strategies

A detailed SWPT analysis of McDonald's Corp provides strategic intelligence on:

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  • Challenges and threats from current competition and future prospects
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Euromonitor International's company profile reports are written by our Consumer Foodservice research team, a dedicated group of analysts that knows the industry inside and out. Buy this report to inform your planning, strategy, marketing, sales and competitor intelligence functions.

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Top companies at a glance, mcdonald’s global footprint, mcdonald's geographic segmentation and franchising, company overview, growth decomposition, exposure to growth, growth catalysts and mcdonald’s overall strategy (1/2), growth catalysts and mcdonald’s overall strategy (2/2), r elative performance, key categories and markets, limited-service sales by region, new launch in the limited-service space, cafés/bars sales by region, projected cafés/bars sales, executive summary, projected company sales: faqs (1/2), projected company sales: faqs (2/2), consumer foodservice.

Consumer foodservice is composed of cafés/bars, full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, self-service cafeterias and street stalls/kiosks.

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McDonald’s Marketing Strategy Overview

McDonald’s marketing strategy is based on the following principles:

1. Think globally, act locally . McDonald’s is a truly global company with 40,031 restaurants in in119 countries. [1] The fast food chain is famous for standardisation of a wide range of business processes. Specifically, the company attempts to adjust its menu, as well as, restaurants settings to the tastes and preferences of local consumers. For example, it serves McSpaghetti in Philippines, Chicken Parm in Australia, Cookie and Cream Pie in Malaysia, Gracoro Burger in Japan and the list goes on.

McDonald's Marketing Strategy

2. Extensive focus on print and media advertising. The fast food giant focuses on print and media adverting component of marketing mix to a greater extent compared to other components. Specifically, McDonald’s advertising costs totalled USD 82.9 million, USD 329.2 million and USD 81.5 million for 2021, 2020 and 2019 respectively. [2] The marketing message attempts to associate the brand with enjoying tasty food and sharing goods moments with loved ones.

3. Targeting the widest range of customer segment . McDonald’s segmentation, targeting and positioning strategy attempts to appeal to the needs and preferences to the wide range of customers in terms of geographic location, demographic, behavioural, as well as, psychographic traits.

4. Cost leadership strategy . Within the framework of marketing communication mix (also known as 7Ps of marketing) McDonald’s prioritizes price over other elements. In fact, enjoying tasty food served in short duration of time is fast food chain’s unique selling proposition. The tasty food served by the company is often not a healthy one, but this is a separate issue impacting the brand.

McDonald’s Corporation Report contains the above analysis of McDonald’s marketing strategy. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on McDonald’s . Moreover, the report contains analyses of McDonald’s leadership, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of McDonald’s business strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.

McDonald's Corporation Report

[1] Annual Report (2021) McDonald’s Corporation

[2] Annual Report (2021) McDonald’s Corporation

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Bringing Big Data to Big Macs: Lessons from McDonald’s Successful Adoption of Data Science for Personalized Marketing

McDonalds Logo

Background: Civis began a data technology partnership with McDonald’s North America Marketing and Data Science teams in late 2017, and — after a year and a half of keeping our heads down — we jointly presented some of our key learnings recently at Advertising Week in New York.

David Galinsky, McDonald’s Director of Customer Data Science, and Emma Higgins, McDonald’s Media Sciences Manager, both represented McDonald’s, and I asked them questions about their experience, what we all learned, and what they’ve been able to return for the business. In case you want to nerd out, the full video of our conversation is  here ,  and the short-cut video is  here . We encourage it.

So what do we do together? Civis empowers the McDonald’s team with the Civis platform, a cloud-hosted data science stack for customer data science teams, but David and Emma’s teams produced the insights & implementation. The content below outlines our collective key steps in our journey, and lessons for other businesses. McDonald’s is a $100B+ business in the midst of a digital transformation. In response to growing competition and changing consumer needs, McDonald’s has created a new (and now very popular) mobile application , and it’s redesigning many of its stores from the ground-up with digital kiosks. These new digital technologies are now creating a huge amount of rich customer data.

The question for McDonald’s, and every other business in a similar digital transformation, is how should marketers use these new data sources to improve marketing results?

In our Advertising Week conversation, David and Emma described how McDonald’s marketing operation has transformed itself from a traditional  market-research led  organization into an innovative  digital first-party data & data science led  organization. Today, McDonald’s leverages it’s 360-degree customer database to design, launch, and measure highly personalized campaigns that drive measurably stronger same-store sales. In a recent market experiment, for example, they found that a personalized marketing campaign’s impact on same-store-sales was 3–5x higher than a traditional marketing campaign’s impact. Those are big numbers.

Below, I’ve done my best to list the six lessons that David and Emma provided in our Advertising Week conversation. Again, dig into  the video  for the complete story, but these are the toplines:

1. As always, start with the data. Build a light-weight ‘single source of customer truth’ database in the cloud.

The first step is straightforward. The McDonald’s team first consolidated customer data from every relevant silo: in-store data, market research data, location data, their mobile application transaction data, and other sources, into a single database housed in the Civis Platform. Doing this in the cloud improved speed and let the IT team stay focused on core, production tech.

The next step is less straightforward: the McDonald’s team carefully and diligently created a single ‘customer ID,’ onto which they could show a person’s complete interaction with each part of McDonald’s — from market impression to purchase. Instead of data silos, they had a 360-degree view of each customer. This database allows McDonald’s to answer basic questions (who’s buying what?) and more complex cause-and-effect questions (who bought what after a new campaign?). It’s the fundamental anchor of the digital customer business.

2. Set the rules of success. Measure the impact of marketing activity against purchase behavior and deemphasize traditional marketing activity (e.g. ‘impressions’) metrics.

Once you have all of this data in one place, there’s an opportunity to move away from “impressions” and other vanity metrics that don’t accurately measure business value. We agreed early on that our KPIs would correlate with sales and in-store visits, something that was now possible with actual customer data. With the ability to conduct additional research nationally and among McDonald’s customers, we’ll also be able to measure changes in brand perception and attitudes.

3. Empower the marketing implementers with the data. Build web-based tools to empower the marketing & agency teams to cut their own lists based on first-party data. This replaces email back and forth and sleepless nights for the over-stretched data science teams.

McDonald’s wanted to target campaigns based on customers’ past purchases. The data science team had the ability to query the raw purchase data, but it created a bottleneck between who could generate lists and who was actually using them. David and Civis built a simple ‘list-cutting’ application in the Civis platform that enables marketers to pull lists directly from the customer database based on past purchases, and send that directly to their digital partners for activation. Below is an example of what they see (not real data).

Screenshot of the lists cutting app

This is what the McDonald’s list-cutting app looks like.

4. Dashboards > PowerPoint. Build & deploy dashboards for leadership on key customer metrics and marketing performance that they can read on their phones. Down with slide decks!

It’s crucial to make this information accessible for leadership so that everyone feels comfortable relying on this single source of truth. Data scientists like David can produce Tableau reports through Platform for leadership to view. In fact, the President of McDonald’s US looks at Tableau reports like this on his phone (note: this is dummy data, not real data).

Example Tableau report shown on smartphone

The President of McDonald’s US looks at Tableau reports like this one.

5. Test, learn, and scale as a team. Data science, marketing, and McDonald’s agencies should collectively design experiments to test personalization and scale the results at an enterprise level.

As mentioned above, McDonald’s tested a more personalized media experience based on first-party data-driven product segments. David and Emma set up a control group, who received a rotation of the usual McDonald’s media, and piloted a test where groups of customers received ads more tailored to their product preferences (“chicken people” see chicken ads, etc.). They saw a 3–5x increase in same-store sales among those who received targeted advertisements based on these new product segments. Better sales and customers receiving media that they like is a win-win.

6. Build support with advocates from day one, and drive institutional momentum with results.

One of the top takeaways from our conversation is the importance of having buy-in from cross-functional stakeholders right off the bat. McDonald’s’ “Measurement of the Future” team includes Marketing, Finance and IT, so data can serve as the guiding principle — and these stakeholders as the evangelists — across the organization. Everyone is using the same data, tools and building predictive models, which speeds up adoption and keeps momentum moving.

Interested in discussing the type of work we did with McDonald’s? Reach out:

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Table of Contents

Mcdonald's consumer profile, mcdonald's advertising strategy , promotion for broadcast, billboard ads, outdoor ambient marketing, mcdonald's digital marketing strategy, become a digital marketer in 2022, mcdonald's marketing strategy - a case study.

McDonald's Marketing Strategy: A Case Study

In 1940, California was where the first McDonald's opened. It became well-known quickly for its tasty hamburgers and friendly service. Eight years later, it was one of the first places to switch from traditional table service to fast food. It added new kinds of burgers and milkshakes to its menu. The success of the development led the company to sign its first franchise agreement in 1952, which led to rapid growth worldwide. The company runs about 40,031 restaurants worldwide, and sales in other countries brought in about $21.076 billion in 2019.

McDonald's marketing strategy has helped the company achieve the success it commands today. From the start of its growth, the company wanted to build strong brand recognition and market penetration to help promote its growing franchise business. As the company's number of customers grew, they did more research on demographics to help them target easily. McDonald's marketing strategy includes investing in online and offline marketing methods that spread its clear, brand-centered messages to a large audience and using other channels like its dedicated mobile app to reach and keep loyal customers.

Learn All the Tricks of the Marketing Trade

Learn All the Tricks of the Marketing Trade

McDonald's has a wide range of customers because it uses mass marketing and has low prices at fast-food restaurants. Most of the chain's customers are between 35 and 54. Buyers, both men and women, often have low to average incomes. They are known as brand-loyal casual diners who spend an average of $7.79 each time they eat.

Many of these customers are parents of young children who like that the brand's atmosphere and food are good for families. This market group was first targeted in 1979 when Happy Meal, a set of children's meals with a free-themed toy, was introduced. 

McDonald's website wants to create a "pleasant, entertaining environment for everyone to enjoy." This shows how many different kinds of people it wants to attract. The brand does primary market research to determine how to market itself and make sure it fits the demographics of the people it wants to reach. McDonald's uses surveys and questionnaires in stores, on social media, and through its mobile app to find out how happy customers are with the food, service, delivery, and other things. McDonald's Community and other digital channels are always being watched to keep track of what customers say and do.

McDonald's spends a lot of money on billboards and TV ads. In 2018, the company spent nearly $1.5 billion on advertising in the US alone. Outdoor, TV, and radio ads aren't likely to reach many people, so digital marketing strategies are used to send consistent information to people who aren't likely to see or hear the ads.

McDonald's marketing strategy uses TV and radio to get the word out about its brand and promote new menu items, meal discounts, and charitable work. Its broadcast channels and times are chosen so that most people will watch or listen. In November 2018, when the NFL season was at its peak popularity, McDonald's is expected to have spent $52.9 million on TV ads in the United States. This shows the importance of the fast-food chain getting the most prominent broadcast ad positions.

McDonald's has a lot of traditional billboard ads, which have the same marketing goals and content as its TV ads. With billboards that range from static to digitally interactive and are placed in high-visibility, high-traffic areas, the company tries to keep its target demographic and other connected consumer groups thinking positively about its brand.

This is a great example of how multiple ways to promote the same goals can make the campaign more successful compared to campaigns that only use one method.

McDonald's also does creative and interesting outdoor ambient marketing. Ambient advertising is when promotional materials are put in places or on things that are very unusual or unexpected or that aren't usually used for advertising. McDonald's is using this type of guerrilla marketing to make more of an impact on customers. McDonald's campaign shows this for its "Massive McMuffin Breakfast." During the whole year of 2010, the company put up big paper takeout bags with the name of its new breakfast item on major streets in New Zealand. The unexpected and hard-to-miss image got a lot of attention from people walking by, as shown by the many photos of the scene people took and shared on social media. This helped promote the McMuffin breakfast.

The brand's street markings at pedestrian road crossings are another example. They are meant to look like fries sticking out of a McDonald's-branded package of fries.

Online advertising helps the brand reach its goals of building brand awareness and creating demand. The information used online is similar to what you might see in a McDonald's TV ad or on a billboard. However, both the language and the graphics are made to work best on the social media platforms used, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. By asking customers to post pictures of their meals online, McDonald's takes advantage of the growing food photography trend. In fact, between September 2018 and February 2019, 4,9 million logos of McDonald's were posted on Twitter around the world. This made McDonald's the second most pictured brand.

The company also works on search engine optimization (SEO), but its "organic" SEO method does better than "sponsored" promotion. As of December 2019, 90.7% of the search traffic to came from natural search results, while 9.3% came from sponsored keywords.

Become a Certified Marketing Expert in 8 Months

Become a Certified Marketing Expert in 8 Months

McDonald's marketing strategy in the digital medium includes customer interactions through social media like Facebook and Instagram. The customers interact with the brand and with each other on social media. Also, the company offers various discounts and coupons through their social media pages and the company app. McDonald's was one of the few companies that performed well during the 2000s recession. The reason for the success was that the company communicated its strategy to the consumers.

McDonald's digital marketing strategy allowed the company to fight back rumours circulating on social media in 2018. The company got  a Long Term Excellence Award from the Marketing Society. The company responded directly to the allegations that it faced and was able to get its message out in the open. 

McDonald's marketing strategy across the various offline and online methods has allowed the company to maintain its leadership position in the fast-food business. The target audience is families that allow most of the population to feel comfortable at the restaurant. McDonald's marketing strategy across the digital channels helps the company communicate clearly and directly.

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Recommended Reads

Digital Marketing Career Guide: A Playbook to Becoming a Digital Marketing Specialist

Walmart Marketing Strategy

12 Powerful Instagram Marketing Strategies To Follow in 2021

Introductory Digital Marketing Guide

A Case Study on Netflix Marketing Strategy

What is Digital Marketing and How Does It Work?

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Top Stock Reports for Berkshire Hathaway, Eli Lilly & PepsiCo

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Solid insurance business aid berkshire (brk.b), cat loss ail, lilly (lly) new products hold key to sales growth in 2024, pepsico's (pep) business investments to bolster performance.

Friday, June 14, 2024 The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B), Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY) and PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP), as well as two micro-cap stocks Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. (HOV) and IDT Corporation (IDT). The Zacks microcap research is unique as our research content on these small and under-the-radar companies is the only research of its type in the country. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today. You can see all of today’s research reports here >>> Berkshire Hathaway’s shares were in line with the Zacks Insurance - Property and Casualty industry over the year-to-date period (+13.8% vs. +13.8%). The company is one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies with numerous diverse business activities. A strong cash position supports earnings-accretive bolt-on buyouts and is indicative of its financial flexibility. Continued insurance business growth fuels increase in float, drive earnings and generates maximum return on equity. The non-insurance businesses have also been doing well in the last few years. The addition of Pilot Travel Centers (PTC) has strengthened its energy business. A sturdy capital level provides further impetus. However, exposure to cat loss induces earnings volatility and also affects the underwriting results. Huge capital expenditure remains a headwind. With the demise of Charles Munger, uncertainty looms over the company's performance. (You can read the full research report on Berkshire Hathaway here >>> ) Shares of Eli Lilly have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the year-to-date period (+52.0% vs. +21.8%). The company boasts a solid portfolio of core drugs for diabetes, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Its revenue growth is being driven by higher demand for drugs like Mounjaro, Verzenio, Jardiance, Taltz and others. Eli Lilly’s new tirzepatide medicines, diabetes drug Mounjaro and obesity medicine, Zepbound, are seeing exceptionally strong demand trends. Lilly has also launched some other new products like Omvoh and Jaypirca. Mounjaro, Zepbound and other new products are expected to drive Lilly’s top line in 2024. Lilly is also making rapid pipeline progress in areas like obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. However, generic competition for some drugs, rising pricing pressure and challenges in meeting strong demand for incretin products like Zepbound and Mounjaro are some top-line headwinds. (You can read the full research report on Eli Lilly here >>> ) PepsiCo’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Beverages - Soft drinks industry over the year-to-date period (-2.4% vs. +2.2%). The company witnessed soft sales trends in the QFNA segment due to recent product recalls. Adverse currency rates also remain headwinds. Nevertheless, PepsiCo has been benefiting from strength and resilience in core categories, diversified portfolio, modernized supply chain, improved digital capabilities, flexible go-to-market distribution systems and robust consumer demand trends. Additionally, PEP’s international business continues to hallmark its overall performance, delivering significant volume and organic revenue growth in the first quarter. These factors along with robust pricing aided PepsiCo’s earnings and organic revenues first-quarter 2024. The company’s productivity and cost-management initiatives bode well. (You can read the full research report on PepsiCo here >>> ) Shares of Hovnanian have outperformed the Zacks Building Products - Home Builders industry over the past year (+54.5% vs. +34.2%). This microcap company with market capitalization of $920.57 million has substantially improved its financial health, reducing debt from $2.5 billion to under $1 billion as of the second quarter of fiscal 2024. Its aggressive growth in controlled lots, which rose 29% year over year to 36,841 at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2024, and a planned community count increase of 5-10% by year-end will support revenue growth. The company targets niche markets like active adults and innovates in-home designs, ensuring solid sales potential. However, Hovnanian faces legal risks from litigation and regulatory challenges, especially in environmental issues. The competitive homebuilding market threatens market share and profitability, exacerbated by the dependency on volatile housing market conditions. A declining contract backlog could affect the company’s profitability and growth. (You can read the full research report on Hovnanian here >>> ) IDT’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Diversified Communication Services industry over the past year (+38.6% vs. -9.4%). This microcap company with market capitalization of $929.95 million is innovating its B2B2X financial services and leveraging digital payments, enhancing operational efficiency with a notable rise in NRS EBITDA margin from 1% to 20%. DT's NRS segment reported $82 million in recurring revenues with a 30% year-over-year increase, driven by a suite of merchant services. The POS network grew 28% to 28,700 terminals, tapping into a TAM of 200,000 retailers. BOSS Money's remittance service saw a 42% revenue uptick, boosting the fintech space. Challenges include regulatory risks in fintech, reliance on volatile segments like Traditional Communications for cash flow, and intense competition in POS and remittance markets. Macroeconomic factors and one-time costs may impact profitability. Despite growth, concerns about expense management and the unpredictability of new investments could affect investor sentiment. (You can read the full research report on IDT here >>> ) Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Broadcom Inc. (AVGO), McDonald's Corp. (MCD) and Amphenol Corp. (APH). Mark Vickery Senior Editor Note: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>

Featured Reports

Strong demand for networking products aids broadcom (avgo).

Per the Zacks analyst, Broadcom is riding on robust demand for networking solutions. Strong adoption of AI accelerators among hyperscalers is driving top-line growth.

McDonald's (MCD) Banks on Strategic Initiatives, High Costs Ail

Per the Zacks analyst, McDonald's is likely to benefit from the loyalty program, menu innovation and Accelerating the Arches strategy. However, commodity and wage inflation pose concerns.

GE HealthCare (GEHC) To Gain from Rising Product Demand

Per the Zacks analyst, GE HealthCare's (GEHC) topline is likely to driven by rising demand for its products as it cater to growing markets. However, choppy macro environment to weigh on the stock.

High Margin Assets & Cost Management Aid Devon Energy (DVN)

Per the Zacks analyst Devon's strong production from its high margins assets and efficient cost management will drive performance over the long run.

Rental Unit Demand Aid Essex Property (ESS) Amid High Supply

Per the Zacks Analyst, Essex Property is likely to benefit from the healthy demand for residential units amid high home ownership costs, though new deliveries and high interest rates are woes.

Genpact (G) Gains From AI Product Portfolio Amid Talent Cost

Per the Zacks analyst, Genpact has growth potential in Artificial Intelligence with a strong product portfolio and benefits from acquisitions. A competitive talent market remains a concern.

Operational Efficiency Aids Silgan (SLGN) Amid Low Volumes

Per the Zacks analyst, Silgan is gaining from disciplined capital allocation model and strong operational performance. However, lower volumes will continue to hurt its top-line performance.

New Upgrades

End-market strength & diversification aids amphenol (aph).

Per the Zacks analyst, Amphenol benefits from commercial air, military, industrial and automotive end-market demand. Diversified business model also lowers volatility of individual geographies.

Robust Construction Activity & Acquisitions Aid EMCOR (EME)

Per the Zacks analyst, EMCOR is benefiting from increased project flows from high-tech manufacturing and network and communications market sectors. Also, focus on acquisitions bode well.

Loan Demand, Fee Income, High Rates Aid BankUnited (BKU)

Per the Zacks analyst, decent loan demand, high rates and focus on fee income will keep on aiding BankUnited's revenues. Solid balance sheet and liquidity positions will support capital distributions.

New Downgrades

Macro headwinds and cautious customer spending to dent flex.

Per the Zacks analyst, Flex's performance is likely to be impacted by macro headwinds across multiple end markets coupled with cautious customer spending behaviour and rising global tax rates.

Medifast (MED) Troubled by Customer Acquisition Challenges

Per the Zacks analyst, Medifast is battling customer acquisition challenges due to the rising popularity of weight loss medications. Consequently, the company expects soft revenues in second quarter.

Sunoco's (SUN) Debt Woes, Market Instability Threaten Growth

Per the Zacks analyst, Sunoco's (SUN) high debt-to-capital ratio, surpassing industry peers for the last five years, and consumer shifts to alternative fuels over climate concerns may impact profits.

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Market Reports

  • Zillow Home Value and Home Sales Forecast (May 2024)
  • Market Moves Closer to Balance as Sellers Return and Buyers Balk (May 2024 Market Report)

Home value growth eases along with competition – price relief may be on the horizon.

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  • Higher Wages, Steady Rental Market Have Allowed Renters to Catch Their Breath (May 2024 Rental Market Report)

The Housing Market Eased off the Accelerator in April as Mortgage Rates Spiked (April 2024 Market Report)

Home value growth and days on market slowed in April, while price cuts jumped

Renters Need to Make $80,000 to Comfortably Afford the Typical U.S. Rental (April 2024 Rental Market Report)

The Expensive Get More Expensive: Home Value Growth Tops in Highest-Price Markets (March 2024 Market Report)

Monthly appreciation spikes in expensive West Coast metros with meager options, stays cooler in areas where inventory has returned.

The Rental Market’s National Stability Hides Local Eccentricities (March 2024 Rental Market Report)

Influx of Sellers Arrives Just in Time for Spring Shopping Season (February 2024 Market Report)

New listings rise 21% annually as homeowners join a competitive market

Sigh of Relief? What Softening Rent Growth Means for Renters (February 2024 Rental Market Report)

Home shopping early may pay off as price cuts abound (January 2024 Market Report)

Expensive, coastal and Western markets are already heating up as spring season approaches

  • May 2024 Housing Starts: New Construction Slows As Inventory Accumulates
  • Buyers Needs a $127,000 Down Payment to Afford a Typical Mortgage Payment
  • Affordability crisis: Housing Shortage Worsened Despite Pandemic Construction Boom
  • Despite 7% Mortgage Rates, One in Seven Families Could Still Afford To Take On A New Mortgage
  • Treasury Yields, Mortgage Rates Fall On Faster Than Expected Disinflation in May
  • Market Heat Index
  • Treasury Yields, Mortgage Rates Ease Ahead of Last Month’s Jobs Report

Money blog: Three major brands fail Which? sunscreen tests

The Money blog brings you personal finance and consumer news, plus all the latest on the economy. Let us know your thoughts on any of the stories we're covering in the comments box below.

Friday 21 June 2024 07:07, UK

  • Three major brands fail Which? sunscreen tests
  • Interest rate held at 16-year high in blow for borrowers
  • Aldi tactic forces Tesco 'to pull products from sales campaign'

Essential reads

  • Why frozen fruit and veg can be better for our health - and our wallets
  • Ian King analysis: Door still open for August rate cut - though one thing could get in the way
  • 'One guy wanted to rent my room for a few hours to meet a friend...' What I learnt from putting my home on Airbnb
  • Women in Business : 'How I went from mum with no qualifications to owner of big law firm'
  • Best of the Money blog - an archive

Ask a question or make a comment

Three popular sunscreen products have failed an annual safety test by Which?.

Asda Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF30 High, Calypso Press & Protect Sun Lotion SPF30 and Bondi Sands SPF 50+ Fragrance Free Face Sunscreen Lotion all failed the consumer champion's tests to assess their SPF and UVA protection.

Asda said it did not recognise the results, while Calypso said its product passed EU standards and regulations in independent testing.

Which? said the Calypso's Press & Protect lotion "barely mustered" two-thirds of its claimed SPF30 across the two tests.

Asda's Protect Moisturising lotion failed both rounds of testing, it added.

Bondi Sands SPF50+ "did not come close" to the claimed SPF and did not reach the minimum required UVA protection. 

Asda said: "We recently had our Asda Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF 30 High re-tested by a leading external provider using internationally recognised testing methods. 

"These test results confirmed that this product has a sun protection factor of 31.5, and therefore we do not recognise the test results Which? has published.

"When Which? reviewed this same product in 2022, they awarded it 'Great Value' at that time and it passed their SPF test."

Calypso Sun said: "All products are carefully and independently tested and have passed EU standards and regulations."

Bondi Sands did not respond to a Which? request for comment.

It can be hard to balance the demands of eating well without spending a lot.

In this series, we try to find the healthiest options in the supermarket for the best value - and have enlisted the help of  Sunna Van Kampen , founder of Tonic Health, who went viral on social media for reviewing food in the search of healthier choices.

In this series we don't try to find the outright healthiest option, but help you get better nutritional value for as little money as possible.

This time, we're looking at whether frozen fruit and vegetables, often a lot cheaper and more convenient, are just as good for you as fresh. 

Frozen products often get bad press, but is that fair? 

Sunna argues they can be better for you nutritionally than fresh - and that's good news for your wallet.

Fresh produce challenges

Before we get to why frozen fruit and veg is so great, let's look at some of the downsides of fresh produce. 

"Fresh fruit and vegetables are some of the healthiest foods you can eat, but they often have been picked before peak ripeness to allow them to ripen during the long distances to reach your local supermarket," he says.

This gives them less time to develop their full range of vitamins, minerals and natural antioxidants and during the journey, they might also spend days or even weeks in transit and storage. 

Because of that, vitamins like C and B and other antioxidants start to degrade - beginning the moment they are picked. 

"By the time it reaches your plate, your fruits and veggies might not be as nutrient-dense as they once were," he says.

The average UK household also wastes about £470 of food each year - and a big portion of that is fresh fruit and vegetables that have gone bad before being eaten. 

Why frozen may be a better option 

"Frozen veg could be your best ally in maintaining a nutritious diet while keeping costs low," Sunna says. 

Frozen produce is picked at peak ripeness, when it's most nutrient-dense, then flash-frozen within hours of picking. 

"This process effectively pauses the degradation of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, preserving the nutritional value until you're ready to eat," Sunna says. 

"Freezing produce also locks in nutrients that might otherwise be lost during the transportation and storage of fresh fruits and vegetables."

The good news doesn't stop there - as your wallet can also win here.

Here are a few examples of the price difference between fresh and frozen produce:

Blueberries - more than 40% saving

  • Fresh 300g - £10.50 a kg
  • Frozen 400g - £6.25 a kg 

Broccoli - more than 45% saving

  • Fresh loose - £2.19 a kg
  • Frozen florets - £1.19 a kg

Spinach - more than 65% saving

  • Baby fresh 220g - £6.10 a kg
  • Frozen 900g - £2.06 a kg

So switching from fresh to frozen blueberries (assuming one punnet a week) would save you £33.80 a year - do the same with broccoli and spinach and you're looking at more than £100 in savings. 

Look in your cupboards and in your fridge for easy substitutes to maximise savings - these are just three examples. 

There is one obvious drawback here...

"Frozen doesn't always taste as good as fresh," Sunna says, "but there are simple ways to make these changes more palatable for your taste buds too."

Sticking with our examples above - using fruit in smoothies means you'll barely notice a difference, while you can steam or roast broccoli instead of boiling it to avoid it going mushy.

Spinach tastes virtually the same. 

"Don't let the allure of fresh produce blind you to the benefits of their frozen counterparts," Sunna says.

"By switching to frozen, you can enjoy better nutrient retention, amazing cost savings, and reduce food waste - a win-win-win." 

Read more from this series... 

Every Friday we get an overview of the mortgage market with the help of industry experts. This week we have spoken to David Hollingworth, associate director at  L&C Mortgages , and Rachel Springall, finance expert at . 

Although it was widely expected to happen, the Bank of England's decision to hold interest rates at the 16-year high of 5.25% for the seventh time in a row dealt a blow to borrowers.

There had been better news the day before, when inflation fell to the Bank of England's target of 2%, ending a long three-year wait for borrowers.

Markets now expect the Bank to cut interest rates in August or September, which would be a major moment.

As Rachel Springall, finance expert at, says, with inflation reaching the target "there will be more pressure on the committee to vote in favour to cut the bank base rate at its next meeting in August".

"Regardless of any potential base rate changes to come, fixed mortgage rates can rise or fall depending on how markets anticipate rates to fluctuate, so it's essential borrowers keep a close eye on the latest deals to hit the market," she adds. 

"Week on week, the overall average two-year fixed rate fell to 5.96% and the average five-year fixed rate remained at 5.53%."

These are the lowest rates on offer…

Moneyfacts advises people looking to avoid upfront costs and legal fees to look at Best Buys as well as the deals with the lowest rates...

Will a cut change anything?

The last time inflation was this low was July 2021. Back then, as David Hollingworth, associate director at L&C Mortgages, points out, the lowest fixed rates were around 1%. 

They're now around 4.5%, which shows how quickly rates have changed.

Mortgage rates have moved around a bit in recent months as markets questioned when the interest rate cut would come and how big the cuts would be, David says.

"That pushed some fixed rates up a little, but we've seen funding costs ease back a little, and now lender price changes are often a mixed bag of cuts and hikes. 

"Overall mortgage rates are tending to hold steady and the decision to hold the base rate will not come as a surprise to anyone, so it's unlikely that there will be much reaction in mortgage rates."

He has some advice for anyone delaying taking out a mortgage in the hopes of a rate cut: "Those that have been holding off in the hope that fixed rates will drop soon may want to reconsider their approach. 

"Even if we do see a cut in August or September that will already have been priced into fixed rates and may not result in a major shift in rates.

"In many ways the safer approach may be to get a rate in place to protect against any increases and then keep rates under review up until the end of the existing deal.

"If rates do improve, you will generally still be able to move across to the newer product."

By Daniel Binns, business reporter

Sainsbury's is to sell its banking business to NatWest.

The agreement could see NatWest take on around one million customer accounts, as well as £1.4bn of unsecured personal loans, £1.1bn of credit card balances and £2.6bn of customer deposits.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2025.

Sainsbury's said customers would "not need to take any action" and said there would be no immediate changes to their terms and conditions.

It comes after the supermarket giant announced in January it was winding down its banking division to focus on the retail side of its business.

Simon Roberts, the chief executive of Sainsbury's, said: "Today's news means we will focus all our time and resources going forward on growing our core retail business, delivering great quality and value, week in week out."

NatWest boss Paul Thwaite added: "This transaction is a great opportunity to accelerate the growth of our retail banking business at attractive returns, in line with our strategic priorities."

The sale does not include Sainsbury's Bank's commission income businesses, such as insurance, cash points and travel money.

Argos Financial Services is also not included.

An English rosé has been celebrated as one of the 50 best wines in the world.

Chapel Down's Rosé Brut won one of the 50 best in show medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards - the first time a UK sparkling rosé has done so. 

The rosé, made in Kent, is a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier, pinot blanc and early pinot noir. 

Josh Donaghay-Spire, head winemaker at Chapel Down, said: "We are over the moon. 

"It is recognition of the attention to detail and quality that we put into every bottle." 

He put the success down to the cooler maritime climate and chalk soils of Kent, which offered the wine the "freshness and crisp character that can't be made anywhere else". 

You can get a bottle for around £37.

If you want to a list of the most affordable rosés out there, check out Money reporter Emily Mee 's report here ...

More than 30% of UK shoppers have seen a theft take place in a shop in the past year, data from Retail Insight suggests.

A poll of more than 1,000 consumers also found the average shopper had witnessed four instances of theft in stores in London.

According to the Association of Convenience Stores, there was a 409% increase in shoplifting last year, to 5.6 million incidents.

"There's little doubt that shoplifting poses a challenging and costly issue for retailers, many of whom are already giving away margin to keep the cost of everyday foods as low as possible for customers amidst cost of living pressures," Paul Boyle, chief executive of Retail Insight, said.

A ballot is under way that could see Amazon recognise a trade union in the UK for the first time.

Workers will eventually vote on whether they want the union, GMB, to represent them.

GMB needs 40% of them to vote in its favour for Amazon to recognise it.

If the union succeeds, it would mean Amazon would negotiate with GMB leadership over on terms, pay and conditions for workers. 

Ballot papers will be sent out on 3 July, with workplace voting starting on 8 July, lasting for six days.

The result of the ballot is expected on 15 July.

Almost one in five workers have had no change in their pay since the start of the cost of living crisis, new research claims. 

Jobs site Indeed said its survey of 2,000 people also found that two in five revealed they were struggling to make ends meet.

One in five said their salary had not changed since 2021, while almost one in seven said their pay had fallen since then.

Jack Kennedy, senior economist at Indeed, said: "After grappling with the cost of living crisis for over two years, it's no surprise that wages are front of mind for voters.

"There's a clear call from the British people for the elected government to further ease financial pressures, and we'd expect this to remain front of mind for the public long after the winning party is decided."

Taylor Swift's shows in London will boost the economy by £300m, officials have claimed.

The US star will perform three gigs at London's Wembley Stadium this Friday, Saturday and Sunday - before returning to the venue in August for a further five dates.

The sold-out shows will be attended by a total of nearly 640,000 people.

The Greater London Authority estimates fans will spend an average of £471 a show, with many travelling from around the world or other parts of the country to watch.

The capital's mayor Sadiq Khan said he was "delighted" the 34-year-old was playing more shows in the city than anywhere else in the world during her Eras Tour.

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee was never going to cut interest rates today. Not two weeks before a general election.

Cutting the cost of borrowing would have been perceived as highly political, potentially offering support to the government, even though some Conservative politicians, such as the former business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, sought to argue ahead of today's decision that not cutting Bank rate could equally be perceived as "a political decision against the government".

So it was no surprise to see the MPC maintain Bank rate at 5.25% or, indeed, for the composition of the vote, at 7-2, to remain unchanged from last time around, with uber-dove Swati Dhingra and Sir Dave Ramsden, again, outnumbered in voting for Bank rate to be cut to 5%.

The MPC also went out of its way to show how it is finely attuned to criticisms of bias one way or the other.

The minutes note: "The committee noted that the timing of the general election on 4 July was not relevant to its decision at this meeting, which would as usual be made on the basis of what was judged necessary to achieve the 2% inflation target sustainably in the medium term."

Why did the MPC vote to hold?

Leaving aside the politics, there were very good reasons why most of the MPC voted for no change today.

Chief among these was the fact that, although the headline rate of Consumer Prices Inflation in May returned to the Bank's target rate of 2% for the first time since July 2021, services inflation remains uncomfortably high at 5.7%. 

That will have raised alarm bells on the MPC about the risk of so-called "second round effects", whereby firms and workers respond to higher prices by themselves seeking to raise their prices or their wages and not least because services make up four-fifths of the UK economy.

The MPC minutes noted today that services inflation was "somewhat higher than projected" when the Bank published its most recent inflation report only last month.

The minutes added: "This strength in part reflected prices that are index-linked or regulated, which are typically changed only annually, and volatile components."

Inflation likely to rise again

The MPC is also very wary of the possibility that inflation is likely to begin creeping higher again later in the year. 

That is due to so-called "base effects" - the year-on-year comparison - and the fact that, in the second half of last year, the price of some goods in the inflation basket were falling or, at least, not rising as rapidly as they are expected to in the second half of last year. 

A good example of that, which stood out in the inflation figures published on Wednesday, is unleaded petrol - a litre of which cost 144.4p in May last year but which cost 148.8p in May this year.

More broadly, the economy is growing more strongly than the Bank has been expecting, as are several indicators of economic activity, among them spending by households on repair and maintenance of their homes and consumer confidence.

Wage inflation

The other major concern for the MPC is that wage inflation, at 5.9% during the three months to the end of April, remains too high for its liking.

The latest report from the Bank's network of regional agents - whose briefings are closely studied by the MPC's members - suggest that recruitment difficulties are "near to their pre-COVID levels" which represents "a historically high level".

Other survey data has also persuaded the MPC to conclude the labour market remains "a little tighter than official data" suggests.

The minutes highlight concerns that near-term pay growth may moderate by less than the Bank was expecting in its May report.

Consumer-facing businesses, which are most exposed to the National Living Wage, in particular are having to pay more to employees.

That said, a reduction in Bank rate is coming, with the MPC noting: "The restrictive stance of monetary policy is weighing on activity in the real economy, is leading to a looser labour market and is bearing down on inflationary pressures. 

"Key indicators of inflation persistence have continued to moderate, although they remain elevated."

When will interest rates be cut? 

The timing of that reduction is now going to be more fiercely debated than ever. Yesterday's inflation data, with that unexpectedly strong reading for services inflation, pushed market expectations for the timing of that first cut out from August to September.

Today's minutes, though, have persuaded some market participants to conclude that an August reduction in Bank rate may be back on.

The key line in the minutes that have raised that prospect was that, among some MPC members who voted for no change this month, "the policy decision at this meeting was finely balanced".

So the big takeaway from today's meeting is that the door remains open to an August reduction in Bank rate. 

The market was putting the probability of an August rate cut at 30% before the meeting. It is now placing a 60% probability on that.

But an August rate cut is not nailed on - and politics may yet rear its head - and the MPC will be watching closely to how markets react to the election result.

As Julian Howard, chief multi-asset investment strategist at GAM Investments, put it: "A potential Labour landslide could unsettle markets, in particular the currency.

"Sir Keir Starmer has come under pressure in recent days on the issue of tax and spending. Sterling will appreciate neither unfunded spending, nor a heavier tax burden."

Some more reaction to bring you now, with experts at Capital Economics suggesting the "pieces of the puzzle are almost in place" for a rate cut. 

It said "several developments implied a rate cut is getting closer", citing the two members who voted to cut rates by 25 percentage points to 5.00% and, interestingly, a lack of "hawkish" rhetoric in the minutes released alongside the decision.

"Despite the recent run of stronger inflation and activity data, the language in today's minutes was not much more hawkish than in May," Capital said.

"The minutes continued to suggest 'indicators of inflation persistence had continued to moderate' and that a range of indicators suggest pay growth had continued to ease.

"As a result, we still think there is a good chance of a rate cut in August and that rates will fall to 3.00% in 2025, rather than to 4.00% as investors expect."

We've been reading over the minutes from today's Monetary Policy Committee meeting - and here's what the governor had to say on the decision...

"It's good news that inflation has returned to our 2% target," Andrew Bailey said, referring to the data released yesterday.

"We need to be sure that inflation will stay low and that's why we've decided to hold rates at 5.25% for now."

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