Consumer marketing helps McDonald's thrive during recession
American fast food behemoth McDonald's is one of a handful of chains doing decently well in the recession. But for the amount of time and labour spent on planning their "recession marketing strategy", this should be no surprise.
Speaking to the American Marketing Association's Mplanet 2009 conference in January of this year, McDonald's Chief Marketing Officer Mary Dillon said that the chain is in the "busy lifestyle business," which she categorized as a growth industry as people work more hours to try and make ends meet.
Here in the UK, the "global brand promise" and localized strategy technique has involved such things as direct advertising of its Apple Dippers, as a tie-in to the movie Madagascar 2. This, Dillon said, linked entertainment with food choice.
Another campaign was aimed at developing excitement for the introduction of the McFlurry (in France) by a three-pronged digital campaign on several platforms: TV, mobile, online, and ringtones. All platforms hammered on the theme of "customising your McFlurry."
In Japan, a tie-in with Nintendo has been successful. The combination of old school outdoor advertising with computer game characters and trial game versions in Happy Meals connects what's hot in Japan with going to McDonald's.
Is this combination of global and local marketing based on comprehensive research the reason for McDonald's relatively smooth ride through the current global recession? Or is it simply one of the few things that people have not had to totally give up despite hard times?