35-McDONALD+PROJECT - The marketing process Introduction...

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The marketing process Introduction McDonald's is one of the best-known brands worldwide. This case study shows how McDonald's continually aims to build its brand by listening to its customers. It also identifies the various stages in the marketing process. Branding develops a personality for an organisation, product or service. The brand image represents how consumers view the organisation. Branding only works when an organisation behaves and presents itself in a consistent way. Marketing communication methods, such as advertising and promotion, are used to create the colours, designs and images, which give the brand its recognisable face. At McDonald's this is represented by its familiar logo - the Golden Arches. Marketing involves identifying customer needs and requirements, and meeting these needs in a better way than competitors. In this way a company creates loyal customers. The starting point is to find out who potential customers are - not everyone will want what McDonald's has to offer. The people McDonald's identifies as likely customers are known as key audiences.
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The marketing mix and market research Having identified its key audiences a company has to ensure a marketing mix is created that appeals specifically to those people. The marketing mix is a term used to describe the four main marketing tools (4Ps): product price promotion and the place through which products are sold to customers . Using detailed information about its customers, McDonald's marketing department can determine: 1. What products are well received? 2. What prices consumers are willing to pay? 3. What TV programmes, newspapers and advertising consumers read or view? 4. What restaurants are visited? Market research is the format which enables McDonald's to identify this key information. Accurate research is essential in creating the right mix to win customer loyalty.
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In all its markets McDonald's faces competition from other businesses. Additionally, economic, legal and technological changes, social factors, the retail environment and many other elements affect McDonald's success in the market. Market research identifies these factors and anticipates how they will affect people's willingness to buy. As the economy and social attitudes change, so do buying patterns. McDonald's needs to identify whether the number of target customers is growing or shrinking and whether their buying habits will change in the future.
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