Marketing Matters is a blog that tells marketing stories from an industry, academic and student's perspective. We confront and debate today’s business trends. Views expressed by the blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Sydney Business School.
Thursday, 18 February 2016
Modern marketing for Maccas, you say?
Taking a look into the evolution of products and communications for retail giant McDonald’s.
There is no doubt that consumers are
increasingly becoming more demanding, particularly due to the variety of choice
we now get. With this being said, brands such as McDonald’s have responded by
evolving their products and communication strategies to meet the changes in
In 2015, the initial launch of their new
steak range of products saw McDonald’s enter the experiential world of
marketing where elements of fun, disruption and interaction bought over the
hearts and wallets of thousands of consumers. Lunchtime was not deemed so ‘boring’
anymore and Maccas now saw their campaign make it into the notorious Guinness
As the whole campaign centered around the
idea of this red and yellow ‘lunchbox’, McDonalds decided to build one that
really reinforced the idea of Maccas being the fast food ‘giant’.
The lunchbox was parked outside the Opera
House for two days gaining interest, traction and curiosity from all the foot
traffic travelling past. Once the #maccaslunchbox was opened a restaurant
appeared giving away free sampling testers of the steak wrap.
The success of this campaign saw customers
interact with the pop up restaurant by using their unique #maccaslunchbox hash
tag to post images across social media generating a huge amount of awareness
for the brand. The success of the campaign enabled Maccas to pack up their
lunch and move it across the country.
There will always be a level of marketing
challenges businesses will face. With the plethora of new innovative
technologies on the scene, the idea of being able to really ‘connect’ with
consumers will be something that McDonald’s need to continue to address in
order to stay ahead of the curb.
Consumers in this day and age want to feel
valued, they want to feel good about the food they put into their mouth and
Maccas really needs to keep up with the times along with the changing lifestyle
and needs of the people keeping them in business.
– World leader or follower?
Even though McDonald’s is perceived as a large
international brand, each country continues to operate autonomously. Australian
CMO for McDonald’s stated that “over the past 40 years, McDonald’s has been
part of the Australian fabric and community and we’re really passionate about
serving that community, so I wouldn’t say that we ‘lead the world’, I just
think were independent and we just do what’s right for us”.
Brds these days lose sight of who they
are and whom they are targeting their products to. If McDonald’s Australia was
to implement the same communications strategy and product lines seen in India
or America, I don’t believe their success would have lasted this long.
We as an Ozzie nation love our coffee and
with the introduction of cooking shows such as MKR and Masterchef we have
wanted to become more involved in the process of cooking, along with an
understanding about what exactly were eating.
McDonald’s remains hugely successful
at understanding their consumers. They listen and observe, and as a result of
the changing face of Australian consumer needs, launched the McCafe along with
the ‘Create Your Taste’ meals.
Modern Media Menu
When CMO Lollback was asked about the best
media mix for McDonald’s, his response indicated that McDonald’s Australia is a
large media buyer that uses a diverse range of media channels. At the end of
the day, Maccas is a large conglomerate brand that has multiple parts, trying
to serve customers seven days a week with multiple messages and multiple
absolutely still use TV and see television as a really important part of our
portfolio. We definitely use outdoor, we use radio, we use mobile, we are very
much on social media. Money moves around – I don’t think anybody would be
surprised to see more money be directed into digital – but it’s not an
avalanche,” says Lollback.
has always been a big user of outdoor, however once it moves towards a more
digitalised environment consumers should start to really see some clever pieces
of advertising being promoted across the country. Reflecting on our culture, I
suppose outdoor has proven to be hugely successful for the Australian division
as most of the Australian consumers drive around in their cars, or catch busses
predicts that outdoor will continue to evolve but it will depend on location.
It only makes sense if there is proximity, however over time consumers should
start to see some interesting things happen. In terms of interactivity, mega
sites like Trafalgar Square in London have already started to be utilised in a
regards to digital, it still remains to be quite an erratic medium to use. “Digital is going to open up a lot of flexibility around
out-of-home,” Lollback says. “We’re exploring, we’re experimenting, but to be
able to do it en masse, on road signs and the like, it’s still got a long way
Having been the
market leader for a considerable amount of time, McDonald’s doesn’t get too distracted
or focused on its competitors. At this point in time, the best thing they can
do is grow. The more they lead, the more they will continue to innovate and in
return customers will reward them.
There is no
doubt that customers want more choice than ever, demands are increasing and
lifestyles are changing. With this being said it is up to Maccas to continue
leading their category and respond to the changing face of Australia.