McDonald’s New Strategies


McDonald’s is one of the world’s largest and best-known businesses. Yet, even this company has faced its share of challenges in operations and consumer relevance. Recently, the company’s executives addressed how the chain plans to tackle problems. It boils down to three primary strategies: improving marketing, focusing on core products, and stepping up digital efforts.

Improving marketing: Reorganizing from a product-based marketing approach to one organized by consumer group (e.g., families, adults, millennials).
Core products: The company had operational problems when it launched four new products in the U.S. too quickly (McWraps, blueberry-pomegranate smoothies, Egg White Delight McMuffins, and new line of Quarter Pounders). The focus will be more on core products like burgers and breakfast.
Digital efforts: Testing digital payments and digital ordering around the world.

The key is to focus on a specific strategy, and manage products and tactics to fit that strategy.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
1. Before discussion McDonald’s in class, discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
2. Ask students which strategy should McDonald’s use, and why?
3. Can it use multiple strategies? How and why?
4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market McDonald’s.
5. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
6. Debrief the exercise and share McDonald’s strategy.

Source: Ad Age Daily, USA Today, other news sources

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