McDonald’s marketing strategy relies upon an extensive utilization of individual elements of the marketing communication mix. Specifically, McDonald’s marketing communication mix comprises print and media advertising, sales promotions, events and experiences, public relations and direct marketing. McDonald’s marketing and promotional efforts focus on value, quality, food taste, menu choice, nutrition, convenience and the customer experience
McDonald’s marketing strategy attempts to integrate the elements of creativity and uniqueness in its print and media advertising. For example, the company has launched ‘Easy Morning’ print ads with the tagline “In the morning not everything is as easy as breakfast at McDonalds”, and a humorous attempt has been made to show an appropriate time to eat burger via a print ad.
McDonald’s spends considerable amount of financial resources for print and media advertising. These investments amounted to USD 82.9 million, USD 329.2 million and USD 81.5 million for 2021, 2020 and 2019 respectively. Particularly, in 2020 the fast food chain made significant investments in brand communications.
The company has launched some controversial marketing campaigns as well. These include commercial in UK that exploits a child’s grief over the death of his father, “Carry On,” campaign referencing public tragedies including 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings and others.
McDonald’s viral marketing also plays an instrumental role in terms of spreading the marketing message among the members of the target customer segment. The most noteworthy McDonald’s viral marketing campaigns include “Ask McDonald’s YouTube campaign” in Canada, ‘McDonald’s GOL!’ marketing video clip that attracted more than 10 million views and others.
McDonald’s Sales Promotions
Sales promotion is a popular marketing technique with McDonald’s and other fast food chains.
McDonald’s uses the following sales promotions techniques:
- Competitions. Free breakfast delivery promotion according to mobile nominations
- Seasonal promotions. “”McPick 2,” a limited-time deal that willlet customers select two of the following items for USD2: a McDouble, a McChicken, small fries, and mozzarella sticks” and others.
- Customer loyalty program. MyMcDonald’s Rewards offers points for purchases and points can be redeemed at restaurants via getting certain items from the menu free of charge.
McDonald’s Corporation Report contains a full analysis of McDonald’s marketing communication mix and McDonald’s marketing strategy in general. 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.
 Annual Report (2021) McDonald’s Corporation
 Samuely, A. (2015) “McDonald’s builds free breakfast delivery promotion around mobile nominations” Mobile Commerce Daily, Available at: http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/mcdonalds-delights-consumers-in-northern-california-with-mobile-enabled-breakfast-delivery
 Peterson, H. (2016) “McDonald’s is getting cheaper — and that should terrify Burger King and Wendy’s” Yahoo! Finance, Available at: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mcdonalds-getting-cheaper-terrify-burger-160555106.html