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Elaborative Marketing Mix of McDonalds – With Complete 4Ps

Updated on: Sep 7, 2021
Marketing Mix of McDonalds - Featured Image

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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 McDonalds and how the company utilises its product, pricing, place, and promotion techniques to outperform its competitors.


About McDonald’s

brand logo of McDonalds-Marketing mix of McDonalds | IIDE

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 7.8 billion and no doubt everyone has heard about McDonalds, seen the huge ‘M’ and mascot – Mr Ronald – the clown. In 1955, Kroc realised the key to success was accelerated expansion, and the best way to do it was to sell franchises. Over 70% of McDonald’s outlets 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 becomes 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 foodservice retailing industry. Its first store opened in 1996.

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

Marketing mix of McDonalds

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. McDonald’s marketing mix consists of several strategies that address the corporations’ problems among the fast-food restaurant markets globally.    

1. Product Strategy 

product mix of McDonalds-marketing mix of McDonalds | 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 learnt 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, McDonald’s pricing strategy 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, seeming cheaper. This approach encourages customers to buy the product on a perceived affordability factor.

3. Place Strategy 

place strategy of McDonalds - marketing mix of McDonalds | IIDE

McDonald’s operates a hybrid structure of franchised and company-owned restaurants. 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 pace, McDonald 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, 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 televisions, 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. To know more about how the company makes money click here.



McDonald’s has positioned itself in a manner 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 an 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 McDonald’s marketing strategies? Write away in the comments below! 

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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]


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