McDonald’s Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

By John Dudovskiy
June 22, 2022

McDonald’s segmentation, targeting and positioning is one of the integral components of its marketing strategy. Segmentation involves dividing population into groups according to certain characteristics, whereas targeting implies choosing specific groups identified as a result of segmentation to sell products. Positioning refers to the selection of the marketing mix the most suitable for the target customer segment.

McDonald's Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

McDonald’s uses the following types of segmentation:

1. Multi-segment positioning. The fast food chain exploits multiple segments in terms of geography and demographics at the same time. The fast food giant develops items that appeals to the needs and preferences of each segment.

2. Adaptive positioning. McDonald’s periodically repositions its products according to changes in customer tastes and preferences. For instance, reflecting increasing health concerns by customers the fast food chain introduced a number of healthy items in its menu such as Fruit & Maple Outmeal and Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad.

The following table illustrates McDonald’s segmentation, targeting and positioning:

Type of segmentation Segmentation criteria McDonald’s target segment


Region Operating in 119 countries
Density Urban/rural


Age 6 – 70
Gender Males & Females
Life-cycle stage Bachelor Stage: young, single people not living at home

Newly Married Couples: young, no children

Full Nest II: youngest child six or over

Income Low and middle
Occupation Students, employees, professionals
Behavioral Degree of loyalty ‘Hard core loyals’  and ‘Switchers’
Benefits sought Cost benefits, time efficiency
Personality Easygoing& careless
User status Potential and regular fast foodeaters
Psychographic Social class Lower, working and middle classes
Lifestyle McDonald’s targets Resigned, Struggler and Mainstreamer individuals according to Cross Cultural Consumer Characterization developed by Young & Rubican

McDonald’s segmentation, targeting and positioning


Important aspects of the target customer segment as illustrated in table above serve as the main guiding principle for McDonald’s marketing management to deal with Product, Place, Price, Promotion, Process, People Physical evidence elements of the marketing mix.

McDonald’s Corporation Report contains the above analysis of McDonald’s segmentation, targeting and positioning 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.

McDonald's Corporation Report


Category: Marketing