PROBLEM STATEMENT :
In order for McDonald's to reach its goal of "par excellence", it must use the full meaning and definition of marketing. Marketing is giving the target market what they want, when and where they want it, at a price they are willing to pay for it.
REFLECTION / OPINION
For McDonald's to achieve its "par excellence", they must focus on the fact that there is an ever changing market and that the wants and needs of consumers are constantly changing. Since McDonald's has been around for forty-one years, it is safe to say that they are the father of the fast food industry and that they have set an example for others to follow.
When Ray Kroc bought the first McDonald's in 1955, he focused on what people wanted. With this focus came the utilization of Mr. Kroc's theory of QSC ( quality, service, and cleanliness ).
QSC successfully got McDonald's off the ground, but as times changed, the company saw many more market segments and opportunities. In the 1970's and 1980's once again McDonald's lead the way in the fast food industry. The changes we saw included, for example, the fact that women were now a major part of the work force and dual income families were becoming a more common occurrence. McDonald's became a mastermind of marketing toward specific markets by pioneering ideas such as breakfast menus, healthier choices and alternatives, and "adult" foods. McDonald's has truly evolved into a world power by paying attention to the needs and wants of the changing market and adjusting to these needs.
LINKING THEORY :
Ray Kroc saw early on what needed to be done. He changed what was at one time a product orientation, into a marketing orientation. Back in 1955, this was still a new type of management. From the beginning, Kroc was already in the forefront of marketing.
Marketing orientation focuses on the customer and what they want in a product, rather than product orientation which focuses on the product itself. McDonald's has taken every aspect of marketing orientation and utilized the philosophy to its fullest. McDonald's has focused in on the customer needs and wants, sometimes even putting the ideas into the consumer's mind before they even knew what they wanted or expected. McDonald's could deliver! They have done extensive market analysis and product development based on this analysis. They have packaged their food and priced it exactly to the market segment which they have targeted.
Showing McDonald's innovations in marketing even further, is its early adaptation of societal marketing. Societal marketing takes into account the overall concerns of the target market, the environment, for example. McDonald's got rid of their one time innovative styrofoam packaging and replaced it with more environmentally sound paper packaging. They stress the fact that they are environmentally aware, by reminding us not to litter, etc., on their various forms of packaging. Another example if societal marketing is the Ronald McDonald House. This is probably McDonald's largest community service project. It demonstrates the way that McDonald's is willing to give something back to the very communities that support the company. These examples as well as the various events that McDonald's promotes, such as the Olympic Games, puts their name worldwide. This makes it difficult for us ever to forget of the existence of McDonald's.
McDonald's also uses a theory referred to as relationship marketing. Relationship marketing is defined as marketing to protect the customer base. The customer is viewed as an asset and the company's marketing goal is to attract, maintain, and enhance customer relationships.
There are five main criteria that must be met for a successful relationship marketing strategy and they are as follows :
1) There needs to be an ongoing and periodic desire for the product or service by the customer.
2) The service customer controls the selection of the service supplier.
3) There are alternative suppliers of the service.
4) Customer loyalty is weak and switching is common and easy.
5) Word of mouth is an especially potent form of communication about the product.
All of these criteria are met by the fast food industry, and McDonald's has generally had a very successful relationship marketing strategy, especially through the implementation of the QSC program.
McDonald's has definitely exceeded the definition of success. How many other businesses can say they have served billions and billions? McDonald's has done an incredible job taking an intangible product and virtually dissipating any perception of risk associated with service products. Whether someone orders a burger, McNuggets, or a fish fillet, they know that their expectations will be met every time.
A clear solution for McDonald's to continue its success is to stay focused. For years, McDonald's has had the unique ability to adapt to the changing market, and that, along with their QSC program and innovative product development, has kept them on top. As long as McDonald's seems to make our lives easier, by giving us a consistent, valued product, the company will always be in existence.