Global Marketing

McDonald’s Global Business-to-Business Marketing Strategy

In 1940, McDonald’s was founded by Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernardino, California which revolutionized the fast food industry in America. They started as a hamburger stand, but turned it into a franchise while also producing the golden arches logo. In 1955, Raymond Kroc purchased the chain from the McDonald brothers. They serve over 60 million customers, in 117 countries daily. McDonald’s is known for their hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and French fries. Later, they introduced soft drinks, desserts, chicken, breakfast items, and milkshakes. They were faced with negative reviews and backlash for the unhealthy food options they provided, so they introduced fish, smoothies, salads, and fruit. McDonald’s has become the “world’s second-largest private employer with around 1.7 million employees,” and placed ninth in the global brand valuation. Kroc was an aggressive business partner, eventually driving the McDonald brothers out and reaching a larger global base. 

When McDonald’s reached saturation levels in the United States, they wanted to expand globally by standardizing their products to a clean and green environment. Because the localities of each foreign country greatly differed from one another, McDonald’s decided to tailor to different markets, cultures, and beliefs of other nations. Therefore, McDonald’s provided an extensive marketing campaign in addition to media coverage such as the television, radio, and newspapers. They devoted much of their time to billboards and signage, and other sponsor events such as FIFA World Cup, Olympic Games, and even the Little League. McDonald’s has used twenty-three different slogans in the United States as viewed from the television, which played a central role in McDonald’s advertising strategies.

Their expansion into each market has been different for each country. When expanding into China, McDonald’s had to adapt to Chinese culture by offering different food items such as the teriyaki burger to suit the flavors of the natives. In South Africa, the drive-thru best suited customers because of their busy lifestyles and utilized the vertical integration approach to improve productivity. In Brazil, the franchise model has been successful due to consistent performance and high standards of quality. In Saudi Arabia, McDonald’s closes during prayer which is about five times a day, and does not serve pork to respect the wishes of the natives. The McArabia is a flatbread sandwich that was introduced in the Middle East to tailor to their taste. In India, McDonald’s adapted locally by customizing the menu to suit Indian culture taste. They are very careful in offering vegetarian options and shed light on the importance of using separate tools and utensils to avoid cross contamination. In France, McDonald’s offered macarons and offered McSpaghetti in the Philippines. McDonald’s “glocal” approach aided in their business-to-business marketing strategy to expand globally, and aided them in diversifying their food in every nation they are licensed in.