Marketing Planning

A Smart Analysis on Marketing Planning Strategies

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Introduction to Marketing Planning

Marketing planning is very crucial task for the company and is essential for any marketing activity to make sure that an organization realizes its marketing objectives. With the proper implementation of their marketing plan company can enhance their market share and attract large pool of customers as well. There are different ways of market auditing which determines how internal and external factors influence marketing planning for an organisation. The present report focuses on the strategic planning of the McDonald's as they need to remain competitive in the market (Kotler, 2008). For this purpose they have set their marketing plan and apply environmental auditing techniques in order deal with the threats available in the marketing environment. There are various barriers which may cause to decrease the market share of company so it is necessary to implement proper marketing plan with the help of new product development. Organization needs to use different product development technique through which they can easily achieve their target.

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P 1: Nature, Purpose and Components of Marketing Audit

In any marketing planning process, marketing audit is a fundamental part and it is conducted at a series of point during the implementation of plan. Organizations are using different tools in order to implement best marketing plan. It considers both internal and external influences on marketing planning. It is essential for companies to evaluate their marketing approach as well as activities. Audit process mainly involves different activities that need to be completed such as understanding the goals, gathering marketing material, analyzing and reporting. It helps in understanding the overall requirements of the customers and what company needs to improve by gathering different marketing materials (Breton and Martín, 2011). The main purpose of this audit is to make their objectives clear and achievable. It is a part of marketing planning process and it is necessary to review the overall process of the plan. It is undertaken to determine the existing opportunities for the company as well as identifying the problems that exist (Cooke, 2000).
In order to overcome the existing problems they should go with the proper implementation of the plan. The nature of the marketing audit is not fixed as it changes from company to company and there are different marketing plans created by different companies as per their requirements. Each company can make its own marketing audit plan and it must include different components of plans such as marketing environment audit, marketing strategy audit, marketing organization audit, marketing system audit, marketing productivity and function audit. These are the different types of marketing audit and the nature of the audit can be decided by company's marketing objective.

  • Marketing environment audit: It consists of the external environment of company and includes all the external factors such as natural environment, political, demographic environment etc.
  • Marketing strategy audit: It mainly analyzes the marketing objectives of the company and determines that whether it is proper or not.
  • Marketing organization audit: It examines all the organizational resources of company i.e. manpower, structure, training and development of company as well as their working relations etc
  • Marketing system audit: Ability of the company to analyzing and collecting the data. It also looks for the overall marketing information of the company such as planning, control system etc.
  • Marketing productivity audit: It determines the profitability of the company's products.
  • Marketing function audit: It is the complete study about the overall marketing functions of the company. It relates the price, promotion, products and place of distribution

P 2

McDonalds is the fastest leading and growing fast food company but in 2010 Subway went beyond McDonald's as the largest restaurant operator globally. In order to go through the reasons of their decreasing market share they have applied environmental auditing techniques to better deal with the threats and available opportunities in the marketing environment. It provides them various benefits and also serves as a tool to review and evaluate the major strengths and weaknesses in the functional area of their business. They should understand and manage the business risk in an appropriate manner (Kotler, 2008). McDonald's should increase the communication between the line and staff personnel. They can involve their employees in their decision making process through which they can improve the organizational synergy. With the help of this, the company is coming up with greater ideas in order to easily react to the changes in the environment. Through the environment audit company can detect the new market opportunities and forecast the demand of their customers. Further, these requirements ensure that there is an ongoing commitment and a systematic process to improve their environmental performance. It helps them in go with the proper strategic planning and producing the products through which they can gain higher market share (Narasimhan, 2005). It has its positive impact on the McDonald's in terms of communication, shared vision, strategic planning and future direction.


P 3

McDonald's facing various marketing barriers while planning their marketing strategy. It directly affects both the external and internal environmental factors of the company. These barriers are such as:

Lack of customer knowledge

Most of the successful company's adept long term success at bringing products and service into the market that fits with their customer's needs. It is necessary for them to have a proper understanding about all their customer's needs and wants. A lack of understanding of customer needs, problems and lifestyles have its direct impact on the brand image of the industry (Racela, Chaikittisilpa and Thoumrungroje, 2007).

Cultural barriers

Organizations need to have a proper knowledge about the cultural values, beliefs, attitude of all their consumers as well as their employees. It influences the performance of company. If they fail in understanding the cultural sensitivities of the target audience then it may leads to faulty marketing plans.

Cognitive barriers

It can be described as a primary reason for faulty or unsuccessful marketing plans due to lack of knowledge or skills. Marketers should have a adequate knowledge and skills about the products, markets, customers etc. If they don't have this skills than it may be a reason of faulty or ineffective marketing plans.

Communication barriers

A planning session should be properly communicated among all the employees. There may be a problem due to language problems, culture differences or simply a manager is a poor communicator. All these problems make it hard to express goals and organizational mission (Richter, 2012).

Behavioral barriers

Behavioral qualities of the employee highly influence the marketing plan. It can be occur due to the lack of top management support and lack of cross functional involvement. There are various interpersonal issues or ego clashes may leads to lack of departmental support and negatively affects the marketing plan of McDonald's.

P 4

McDonald’s may overcome these barriers during marketing planning by adopting different techniques and implementing proper marketing plan. These strategies are:

Clear communication

Leaders of the company needs to properly communicate with all their subordinators. It helps them in achieving their target by understanding the aims and objectives of the company. Further, they can easily develop appropriate marketing plan. With having proper communication management team can easily review the expectations and needs of their customers. It may leads to attract large number of customers towards their services.

Price competition

In order to protect the market share of the company they can offer lower prices to all their consumers against their competitors. It helps them in attracting large pool of consumers as well as increasing market share.

New products

In order to develop an appropriate marketing plan it is essential for companies to offer superior performance in their existing range. Companies can incorporate new product development plan for their long term strategy. McDonald's can easily overcome with the threats in the short term through a strategy of sourcing or licensing new products from business partners.

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P 5

McDonald's started their new product Happy Meal in order to attract more customers. They have to set their marketing plan such as:

Segmentation criteria:

In order to bring together all the customers who have similar requirements McDonald's is going to create small groups within the large markets. There are various products which give opportunity to McDonald's to earn more profit. With the insights of more earning company have introduced their new product Happy Meal in the market. Company enables the market segment and enables decisions about different marketing activities for that particular product. They offer this product with including free gifts such as toys etc. They will segment their market on demographic basis and mainly target the kids. It mainly focuses on the characteristics of the customers (Fuchs and Diamantopoulos, 2010).

Targeting strategy

McDonald's only target their customers on the basis of their needs. With the help of market segmentation it is clearly described that on the basis of kid's habits and their tastes they set their target. Size of target market can be decided by the appropriate targeting strategy. The main strategy of the company is to introduce a new product which contains low cholesterol content.


In order to create a positive brand image in the mindset of customers they will place different advertising which gives health message to their customers.
In order to develop appropriate plan they need to set their marketing mix for their new product and have to make whole process of bringing it into market.


McDonald's are going to sell its new product Happy Meal in order to sell it to their target market. They should consider the quality, packaging, customer services etc. in order to attract large number of kids towards their product.


They need to set the appropriate physical location for the distribution of their products. They set the place near parks and shopping malls. Further, its outlets are very evenly spread throughout the cities making them very accessible (Rosenbloom and Dimitrova, 2011).


A value of customer perception is very much important and company has to set the price of products according to their competitors. They should set relatively cheaper prices than that of their competitors.


McDonald's provide right message to all their clients with the help of different promotional tools or advertising channel such as TV, Online, poster sites etc. Company advertises various healthy messages with the help of all these channels which directly reaches to their customers. McDonald's knows more about people and communicate message to them that directly appeal to them (Marshment, 2009).

P 6

At the time of strategic planning of the McDonald's it is essential to set their marketing plans so that company can easily understand the current market situations. Organizations needs to go through the overall budget requires for their marketing plan. It is essential to set the marketing plan in order to generate appropriate budget before implementing the plan. Company can easily generate their new product according to the needs and demands of the customers. They can further understand the consumer's perception which helps them in attracting large number of customers (He and Cai, 2012). Moreover, corporation can set their strategic planning according to their budget and it helps them in achieving their target. They can attract large number of customers by providing them services according to their demands.

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P 7

There are mainly four stages in the techniques adopted by McDonald’s for their new product development. These stages are:

Idea Generation

There are different methods adopted by companies which helps them in better idea generation such as brainstorming, Delphi, focus group etc. there is a smart incentive approach which provide both the creativity and validation in the process. McDonald's always use to organize different brainstorming sessions through which they can go through more ideas. In order to provide the required market validation, generated ideas are evaluated by a peer groups. Company can take advantage by generating ideas about whole products and individual features.

Feature development

McDonald's should have to identify the features that would be of interest to kids. They can offer them various toys and gifts on its highest purchasing order. All the attributes and levels are rated by the respondents so that proper feedback can be taken by the management people (Papadopoulos and Martín, 2011).

Product development

For this stage company have to use combinations of features in order to build or evaluate the products. They can take a survey of different respondent's through which they can take appropriate feedback about the new products. Further, respondents can build their ideal products by selecting from a list of available features.

Product Testing

It is necessary for them to test their product before launching it in market. McDonald's go through the review process of the Happy Meal. With this stage they can estimate the interest in various product combinations especially in running market simulations (Linus, 2001).

These are the most important techniques for new product development for McDonald’s which helps them in proper implementing their marketing plan.

P 8

McDonald's have set their relatively competitive price so that they can attract more customers. They have set the cheaper prices as per their marketing strategy in order to increase their selling. Kids are very demanding and it becomes necessary for their parents to complete their demands. Due to this reason if company set cheaper prices than it is very easy for parents to buy their products for kids. Further, they have set their outlets nearby parks or shopping mall as kids are freak about these activities such as playing games etc. This is the only place where parents come up with their children's for their entertainment (Dekimpe and Hanssens, 2004). Moreover, it is very essential to promote all these services so that large quantity of consumers is attracted towards it. McDonald's promotes its products or services by different advertising channel. Kids are much more concern about the television so that they can attract by the ad of their new products. They can give healthy message with the help of different media channels. Further, these are the most appropriate ways for pricing policy, distribution and communication mix for McDonald’s (Caemmerer, 2009). It helps them in enhancing their services and implementation their market plan with proper targeting and segmentation.


P 9

There are various factors that influence the effective implementation of McDonald’s marketing plan such as political factors, economic downturn, changing marketing situation, social factor and technological development. Marketing plan should be implementing as per the changing needs and demands of the customers and it is the biggest social threat that companies are facing. With the changing environment and changing marketing situation needs of customers are shifting and for this purpose company need to change their marketing plan (Benson and Barclay, 2002). It is very crucial task for company to set the overall plan and come up with the new product. Further, changing political situation of the country and economic downturn leads to decrease the market share of company. Company should implement proper marketing plan with current marketing situation and for this purpose they have to go with the appropriate market research. Due to changing political situation company needs to follow different rules and legislations as per the government or the country. Company should go through the strength and weaknesses of their competitors (Ferguson and Hlavinka, 2007). Another major threat they are facing is lack of communication. In order to resolve this issue management people should respond effectively to each other. Size and growth of the market somewhere an effect the overall marketing plan and it is necessary to implement the plan as per the changing needs of the customers as well as market situation.

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P 10

There are so many barriers McDonald's are facing while implementing their marketing plan. These difficulties are the biggest hurdle in its proper implementation. Ethical issues may influence marketing planning in McDonald’s. Marketers should be truthful about their products or services so that ethical issues will not rise. They should not try to stress consumers to buy their services as it negatively affects their brand reputation. In today's competitive edge it is crucial for marketers to adhere to the corporate values solidly based on the moral judgment. The whole strategy can be based around ethical marketing and it helps in increasing the business cost or also creates a competitive edge. The overall market research following by product gathering, identification of product problem, product safety etc. should be set by the company in an appropriate manner (Brewerton, 2003). This information and marketing research should be completed successfully else it has its negative impact on the marketing plan of the company. Ethical problem may occur due to the market research and it may of invasion of privacy and stereotyping. If conducted irresponsible than it can lead to a variety of ethically undesirable results. With using negative advertising technique, advertiser highlights the negativity as well as disadvantages of competitor products rather than advantages of their own. McDonald's using relatively cheaper prices for their new product and it may intend to drive competitors out of the market or create barriers to entry for potential new competitors (Dobkin, 2007). Most of their workers face different ethical issues at work all the times. They can face various issues such as discrimination, side deals, gross negligence etc.


P 11

In order to respond with ethical issues McDonald's should incorporate their marketing plan with an appropriate market research. They should set their pricing as well as advertising ethics in order to set their target. Predatory pricing is the practice of selling a product or service at very low prices it may create barriers to entry for potential new competitors. McDonald's should respond to the ethical issues by setting anti competitive practices. While implementing any marketing plan company should be aware of all the ethics that is essential for them to follow. It adversely harms the brand image of company and also leads to give negative impression among all their clients. In order to respond with the discrimination issue at the McDonalds they should treat their female employees differently. For example some of the male employees make inappropriate remarks to the new female employee than company she can may lodge a complaint against her (Ranchhod, 2007). They should treat them differently based on their gender as it may consider discriminatory or unethical conduct. There should be a negotiator in the McDonald's who tries to make up rules as he goes. They will eventually encounter ethics related problem. It is the major responsibility of company to a follow all the ethics and rules in order to make their positive brand image in the society. In order to respond to social responsibilities and ethics they can organize various CSR activities through which they can promote their services and make strong social image (O'Shannassy, 2008). I order to resolve the issue of side deals manager should sign the employment contract according to which they need to work exclusively and use their talent to attract large number of clients.

P 12

Consumer ethics directly effects the marketing planning as they have their own purchasing and buying decisions. One of the major responsibilities of any company is to satisfy the needs and wants of their customers. It is also essential for company to maintain their socially responsible behavior. It helps them in making good impression of their brand name. Customer's ethical concern about their business practices may influence their purchasing decision as well as behavior. There are different consumer ethics that was created to help the customers in understanding how their purchasing power can help or harm the world around them. It is essential for companies to make better consumer choices as much as possible (Hollensen. 2009). By using consumer ethics they can further find out the products that are safe to use or healthy to consume. Customers should use their consumer power and understand that how to shop ethically. Company should set their marketing plan with more attention as customers have the right to lodge complaints against their products. They should use their purchasing power and take various actions. Support fair trade is a way through which company helps their workers to let their retailers know that what they are able to buy (Rosenbloom and Dimitrova, 2011).


From the above report on the marketing plan it has been concluded that McDonald's can achieve their objectives by effective planning. They have implemented their marketing plan in order to remain competitive in the market. They also have been implemented different environmental auditing techniques such as proper communication between the line and staff personnel as well as involving all the staff members in decision making process. McDonald's started their new product named Happy Meal in the market and target kids for this. While implementing this plan they faced various issues such as behavioral, cognitive issues, lack of customer knowledge etc. Various factors affect the implementation of marketing plan i.e. political factors, economic downturn, changing marketing situation, social factor and technological development. McDonald's adapted different techniques for new product development i.e. idea generation, product development, feature development and product testing. These are the essential factors that helps the Macdonald's to properly implement their plan.


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