Global Marketing

McDonald’s International Market Communications Strategy

Similar to many large businesses, McDonald’s uses an integrated international market communications approach to ensure the consistency of their brand and messages worldwide. They have developed a “think global, act local” strategy to help meet the cultural needs of each of their consumer segments.  This strategy allows them to leverage advantages of a combined globalization and internationalization market communications approach.  They use many different channels, including print and digital ads, to reach their global audience.

One example of their globalization and internationalization combined strategy involves their products. While McDonald’s offers a standardized set of food that tastes the same globally, they have also introduced specific menu items depending on location. This marks their recognition for the need to adapt to cultural requirements of their consumer base. Taking advantage of economies of scale, items such as McNuggets and the McFlurry are standardly offered worldwide.  On the localization side, for example, McDonald’s introduced the Maharaja Mac in India to appeal to vegetarian and non-beef eating customers.  To properly communicate their recognition of consumers’ needs in India, McDonald’s emphasized how the Maharaja Mac was made with a corn and cheese patty. They also used “Maharaja” to appeal to India’s history and liking of royalty. They called it “The Social Burger” to show that it could be eaten fast, giving people more time to spend with friends.

Another way McDonald’s uses an internationalization strategy involves their digital or TV advertisements. They sometimes create different TV or video ads to properly communicate their product and service offerings depending on each country and consumer segment. Some examples are provided below:

  • In Singapore, McDonald’s appealed to the population’s strong sense of nightlife.  Their ad in Singapore focuses on how McDonald’s can enhance a night out and add to a nightly experience.
  • In the United Kingdom, McDonald’s created cartoon ads that focused on Happy Meals to attract the UK’s large segment of children.
  • In Ecuador, McDonald’s created an ad that leveraged a large population of Ecuadorian people who celebrate Christmas to communicate that they offer delivery.

Lastly, McDonald’s recently announced a new growth strategy that involves their international communication efforts.  Part of their growth strategy involves an increase in investing in cultural marketing campaigns that help them better communicate their brand and story. By renewing their purpose to emphasize ways they can support communities and their environment, McDonald’s hopes to create new marketing opportunities to communicate this purpose. Considering globalization, they will continue to use the golden arches as a worldwide symbol of their brand.  Considering internationalization, they will introduce new packaging specific to different locations or countries.

Example of McDonald's New Packaging