Elaborative Marketing Mix of McDonalds – With Complete 4Ps

Updated on: Oct 6, 2023
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McDonald’s is the world’s largest American restaurant chain by revenue. The food corporation serves over 69 million people at roughly 37,000 owned locations in over 100 countries. The corporation has a strong marketing mix that has yet to be matched by its competitors.

The blog discusses the Marketing mix of Mcdonald’s and how the company utilises its product, pricing, place, and promotion techniques to outperform its competitors.

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About McDonald’s

marketing mix of McDonald's Marketing mix of McDonald's

McDonald’s Corporation started as a barbeque burger and milkshake drive-through and is now an American fast-food corporation formed in 1940 as a restaurant in San Bernardino, California, by Richard and Maurice McDonald.

Our world population is over 8 billion and no doubt everyone has heard about McDonalds, seen the huge ‘M’ and mascot – Mr Ronald – the clown. In 1955, Kroc realized the key to success was accelerated expansion, and the best way to do it was to sell franchises. 

Worldwide, independent local company owners own and run roughly 93% of the McDonald’s outlets. In the US, 95% of McDonald’s outlets are franchised. In contrast, franchisees own more than 70% of the McDonald’s locations in India. With the exact number varied by region, it can be said that a sizable majority of McDonald’s locations are owned by franchisees.

There certainly could be many factors involving its success, however, I believe McDonald’s marketing strategy is the top reason. McDonald’s is one of the most well-known food brands in the world, with a leading market share thanks to the innovation of franchising and the production of some of the most inventive marketing and branding efforts.

McDonald’s has become a part of the community in which it operates and contributes to the growth of the area in which it works. McDonald’s has a network of over 160 restaurants across India, celebrating over 12 years of leadership in the food service retailing industry. Its first store opened in 1996.

What’s new with McDonald’s

Check out some current news about McDonald’s

  • After closing some of its outlets in Ukraine in February 2022 owing to the Russian invasion, McDonald’s has reopened some restaurants in Kyiv and western Ukraine opened for delivery services solely as part of the phased reopening.
  • Richard “Rick” Lenny, who has worked for McDonald’s for 18 years, retired from the board of directors in August 2023.
  • Kantar placed McDonald’s as one of the most valuable restaurant brands in the world: With a brand worth $191,109 million, the study revealed that McDonald’s was fifth in the fast-food sector.

Target Audience of McDonald’s

McDonald’s primarily targets a diverse audience of all ages, with a focus on families, children, and young adults. The brand appeals to those seeking convenient, affordable, and familiar fast-food options, making it a popular choice for quick meals and snacks.

Check out the buyer persona of McDonald’s

Buyer’s Persona






20 years




  • Convenience and speed of service
  • Affordable prices
  • Quality and taste of food
  • Family-friendly atmosphere
  • Variety of menu options

Interest & Hobbies

  • Watching movies and TV shows
  • Listening to music
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Traveling
  • Trying new foods and restaurants

Pain Points

  • Health consciousness and concerns about fast food
  • Long wait times or slow service
  • Limited menu options for vegans or those with dietary restrictions
  • Inconsistent quality of food or service

Social Media Presence

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

The company has etched itself all over the world with its fast yet tasty food. They are aware of their client’s needs and provide them with just what they desire. Let’s dive into the analysis of the marketing mix of McDonald’s. 

Marketing mix of McDonald’s

Marketing mix analysis refers to the tools used by a corporation to attend to the targeted customers in the aspect of the 4Ps – products, pricing, place, and promotion.  marketing mix of McDonald’s consists of several strategies that address the corporation’s problems in the fast-food restaurant markets globally.    

1. Product Strategy 

product mix of McDonalds-marketing mix of McDonald's | IIDE

When McDonald’s first opened its doors, one of its goals was to establish a uniform selection of products tasting the same everywhere. However, McDonald’s has learned while uniformity is cost-effective, the flexibility to adapt to regional preferences guarantees success. As a result, McDonald’s has embraced the notion of “think global, act local.”

McDonald’s menu consists of five primary food components – beef, chicken, bread, potatoes, and milk. Their main offerings are burgers, sandwiches, fries, salads, desserts, breakfast, snacks, and sides. They provide a range of breakfast and dessert options and have a ‘McCafe’ section offering a wide range of beverages ranging from coffees to refreshers.  

They alter their menu regularly to accommodate changing demands, trends, and tastes. Before a new product is added to the menu, it is thoroughly market-tested so the franchisee has a fair sense of its potential. 

McDonald’s uses beef in its hamburgers and other menu items in the United States, but the business changed its menu in India to add chicken and vegetarian options – meeting the needs of the country’s food palettes. 

The Happy Meal was promoted to children by McDonald’s. When a kid has been asked where they’d like to have a Happy Meal, they’ll just shout out one name – “MCDONALDS!”

The company altered the fast-food chain by placing itself as the market leader by offering cost-effective, quality-driven meals and a fun environment for kids. These were the elements the market sought at the time and the company delivered in heaps.

2. Pricing Strategy 

McDonald’s sets the prices of its products to appeal to the middle and higher middle classes of society. 

McDonald’s follows a thorough pricing mechanism in place for each nation to establish the price for a set market. Without compromising the quality of their products, they follow the following strategy while pricing: – 

  • Determining a price target
  • Identifying demand
  • Cost estimation
  • Examining the expenses, pricing, and offers of rivals
  • Selecting a pricing method
  • Settling on a final price 

Additionally, the pricing strategy of the marketing mix of McDonald’s has two prominent components:- 

  1. Bundle pricing strategy – Here, McDonald’s offers meal packages and other food bundles that fall at a discounted price when compared to purchasing the items individually.
  2. Psychological pricing strategy – Instead of rounding to the nearest dollar, the company sets the price at $.99, which seems cheaper. This approach encourages customers to buy the product on a perceived affordability factor.

3. Place Strategy 

place strategy of McDonalds - marketing mix of McDonald's | IIDE

McDonald’s operates a hybrid structure of franchised and company-owned restaurants as a part of place strategy of marketing mix of McDonald’s. The corporation has over 37,000 locations distributed in over 100 countries. Customers may either visit these locations to dine or avail of take-away. 

They are primarily restaurant-based. Their fun amenities set up for children, grant families to primarily visit the outlets. Catering to the digital space, McDonald’s offers customers the option of ordering food online via their website. Additionally, the corporation partnered with various leading online food delivery services.

Some of these outlets have kiosks where they offer a specific selection of items like desserts and beverages. Temporary set up of kiosks are at various events such as sports contests, seasonal events, festivals, concerts, and so on. 

4. Promotion Strategy 

McDonald’s works to personalize its marketing strategy to account for the diverse range of cultural and other variants each nation presents. In that context, the food corporation examines consumers’ opinions regarding its products, consumption patterns, and ethnic, moral, and religious factors.

McDonald’s runs a variety of marketing initiatives in different nations. Recently, worldwide, they collaborated with a Korean boy band, BTS, and curated a special month-exclusive BTS meal campaign. 

They implement traditional forms of marketing such as advertisements on television, radio channels, and newspaper outlets. They advertise online via social media on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Instagram. They communicate with their consumers and inform them about the current happenings within the company. 

McDonald’s employs a large sponsorship budget as a promotional technique. This is an essential element of the image-creation process. McDonald’s brand recognition has increased as a result of its sponsorship at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the Premier League, and the European Championships. 

Check out the latest Mcdonald’s Campaign, which amassed 1 million views on Youtube, the campaign titled ‘Raise Your Arches’ centers around an invitation to grab a McDonald’s meal without uttering a single word.

Watch the video here –

How does McDonald’s use Digital Marketing Strategy?

Freebies to draw in customers: 

McDonald’s provides free food and beverages to users of their mobile app, which aids in bringing in new customers and keeping existing ones. McDonald’s has made great strides in enhancing the customer experience with digital initiatives including the launch of the points-based loyalty program MyMcDonald’s Rewards in the United States.

Every dollar spent by customers who are enrolled in the program entitles them to 100 points, which they may redeem for a range of menu items such as hash browns, cheeseburgers, and McChickens. To entice more online consumers, McDonald’s runs promotions like offering new MyMcDonald’s Rewards members a free 10-piece package of Chicken McNuggets.

Social Media Marketing:

In order to increase demand on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, McDonald’s uses online advertising by encouraging customers to share photos of their meals online. Through social media and the app, the business additionally distributes discounts and coupons. The Marketing Society’s Long Term Excellence Award was given to McDonald’s for their use of digital marketing.

Every social media account for McDonald’s is continuously updated. They consistently maintain audience engagement by posting frequently on every occasion—a holiday, a major celebration, or a dull workday. 

Hence, this brings us to the end but before we conclude the study on the marketing mix of McDonald’s, let us have a look at the competitors of McDonald’s.

Top 5 Competitors of McDonald’s

  • Subway: Known for its sandwiches and salads, subway is a popular fast-food restaurant. It is renowned for its customizable menu items and healthful selections.
  • KFC: KFC is a fried chicken-focused fast food chain. It is renowned for both its unique recipe and its extensive menu.
  • Burger King: It is a fast-food restaurant brand known for its burgers and fries. It is well-known for both its inventive marketing strategies and flame-grilled hamburgers.
  • Starbucks: It is a chain of coffee shops with a focus on coffee, tea, and pastries. Starbucks is renowned for its welcoming ambiance and adaptable cocktails.
  • Domino’s Pizza: It is a pizza delivery company known for its quick service and customizable pizzas. It is renowned for its cutting-edge marketing strategies and technology.

This brings us to the end of the case study on marketing mix of McDonald’s. Let us conclude our understanding in the next section.

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McDonald’s has positioned itself in a manner that where majority consider as their go-to and best fast-food chain. Their food is curated to appeal to people of all ages, preferences, and taste buds.

With their carefully crafted business plan and marketing strategies that attend to a country’s preferences, it’s no surprise McDonald’s has grown to the extent of holding the world’s largest fast-food corporation. 

Are you as much of a fan of McDonald’s? What are your thoughts on the marketing mix of McDonald’s? Write away in the comments below.

If you wish to read more case studies like the marketing mix of McDonald’s do check out our IIDE Portal. Thank you for reading!

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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]


  1. Prajwol Shakya

    I learned a lot about McDonald’s marketing strategies. I have a request: could you write about Lazada’s marketing strategy?

  2. Sarah Sayed

    Great Breakdown! The marketing mix of McDonald’s illustrates how the 4 Ps – product, price, place, and promotion – synergize to create an unbeatable experience.


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