The Main Barriers to MacDonald’s Marketing Planning

The Role of Marketing Planning

Marketing planning activities are extremely important for MacDonald’s development, but they have potential barriers that prevent a company from consecution, flexibility, moving forward and achieving plans. Marketing planning in MacDonald’s is a complex phenomenon as it includes solution,, attitudinal, cognitive and organizational problems. The potential barriers to MacDonald’s marketing planning are operational and organizational. It is evident that planning is an important part of the management process that is why it should be efficient and well-done. For MacDonald’s, planning is the way of achieving of their goals and priorities. Planning helps to determine goals and the main mission of MacDonald’s that is why this company pays so much attention to this aspect of management. Planning is based on determination, decision-making and future perspectives (Akkaya 2000).

Determination perspective presupposes planning of MacDonald’s achievements and goals for the future. However, the main barriers here are additional costs, involvement of additional human resources and finding new locations for opening MacDonald’s cafes. Decision-making perspective presupposes finding the actions necessary for implementation of decisions. The main barriers here are contradictions between the managers in decision-making process. Lastly, future perspective implies setting priorities for the future. The main barriers here are economic and political issues that can prevent implementation of these priorities. It is evident that, for an effective planning, it is necessary to identify barriers for overcoming them (McDonalds 2014).
It is also evident that marketing planning plays an important role for development of MacDonald’s cafes and restaurants. Marketing planning is one of the most important performance measures. There are many strategic models of development of marketing plans. However, as every organization has its peculiarities, it should adapt these models to its management. For MacDonald’s, marketing planning is a way to implementation of new products, overcoming their weaknesses and reinforcing their strengths.

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Potential Barriers to Marketing Planning

One can distinguish many barriers MacDonald’s faces which that prevent the company from successful marketing planning activities. Planning is characterized by rigidity and for a good functioning of marketing activities it should be flexible. Rigidity is a barrier of successful planning. Another barrier of MacDonald’s marketing planning activities is that their activities do not take into consideration the fact of dynamic environment. Today’s business environment is chaotic that is why it is impossible to predict all risks. However, one proposes to MacDonald’s not to be tied to formal plans, but be creative, flexible and dynamic. Successful marketing planning activities should be based on creativity and intuition. MacDonald’s should not develop their marketing planning activities according to vision of their leader but according to their employees’ and customers’ visions (Barney 2012).

Without a doubt, formal planning can lead to failure. As a result, marketing planning activities can be efficient when a leader and managers of MacDonald’s will be one creative and intuitive team that is able to innovate, develop and implement new products. In order to overcome barriers hindering marketing planning activities, it is necessary not to limit the planning to exactly formulated points and formalization. Plans should be short-term as too long-term plans can not cover all MacDonald’s issues. Short term plans are more flexible while long-term plans are rigid. Successful marketing planning activities can be achieved with the help of fostering cooperation and teamwork. MacDonald’s marketing planning process demands precise objectives, careful analysis, strategy implementation, evaluation and control. Strategic objectives will be the basement for a successful realization of their marketing activities.

Recommendations for Overcoming the Barriers to Marketing Planning

Marketing planning plays a crucial role for MacDonald’s as it motivates building of future priorities and their implementation. Planning motivates MacDonald’s to keep abreast of technology. Besides, it promotes stability and for MacDonald’s it is a crucial factor, as at the present time, they deal with many economical and social issues. In order to overcome the barriers to marketing planning, MacDonald’s should be creative and flexible in their planning. Planning will provide successful adaptation to dramatic changes in the future for organizations and helps to improve outputs and increase value for money. However, planning should be realized by the competitive and creative staff (McDonalds 2014).

Well-round direction will ensure further perspectives for MacDonald’s that is why this company should define the purpose of their activity, set the exact goals, identify the main strategies and approaches, define the main actions for realization, monitor and update the plan. For overcoming barriers, MacDonald’s should identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat of their business, define the main priorities, create the programs and establish the plan of actions.

MacDonald’s should select the driving forces for the benefit of their company and struggle with restraining forces, develop the future perspectives, select the changes that will be effective for their marketing strategies. Besides, overcoming of barriers should include development of innovative production and struggle with the restraining forces. One also recommends developing performance strategy and being concentrated on cultural values, new methods and techniques. In order to better the level of performance and overcome marketing planning barriers, MacDonald’s should be innovative, creative, intuitive, global, changing and economically developed company. Performance of MacDonald’s depends on the level of management, marketing and planning strategies. Marketing planning activities have a positive impact on the organization and productivity of the employees (McDonalds 2014)

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MacDonald’s Marketing Audits

Macro-Environmental Factors Affecting the Marketing Activities of MacDonald’s

Marketing decisions of McDonald’s are influenced by macro and micro environmental factors. Without a doubt, macro and micro environmental factors can be positive and negative to this company. Macro environment consists of external factors that include political, economical, social, technological, environmental and legal factors. Micro environment consists of internal factors that can include outbound logistics, inbound logistics, marketing and sales, operations, service, firm infrastructure, Human Resource Management, technology development and procurement.
General environment of McDonald’s is influenced by political, economic, sociocultural, technological, legal and environmental factors. Political factors of McDonald’s are connected with international operations of this company. The policy of a separate state influences McDonald’s. There are groups in the USA that ask the acts of governmental power in order to forbid harmful elements in their food. For example, in India religious laws forbid consumption of meat and that is a problem for McDonald’s. Besides, tax obligation is another political factor that influences this company.

Economic factors of McDonald’s are connected with buying power of consumers as it can cause decreasing in profits, selling and demand on their products. When international economy faces with difficulties, McDonald’s also suffers from these difficulties especially when it comes about changes in exchange rates and inflation. McDonald’s should always take into consideration the economic state in the country.

Sociocultural factors of McDonald’s are connected with locations of McDonald’s’ cafes and restaurants. This company should take into consideration religious and cultural background of their clients, especially in Muslim countries. It is evident that McDonald’s deals with a variety of clients that is why should respect their religion and culture with the help of eating habits. McDonald’s should also include social status of their customers offering them meals at different prices.

Technological factors are connected with rapid changes in technology and becoming of McDonald’s services obsolete. Technological innovations helped McDonald’s in TV advertising, implementation in stock systems and payment operations. Legal factors are connected with paying taxes and services that do not violate the law. McDonald’s should follow the existing laws that forbid GMO products. Besides, McDonald’s should follow tax obligations, requirements to quality of their food and employment standards. Environmental issues are connected with pollution of the environment by production of McDonald’s products. Without a doubt, production of this company is harmful for the environment that is why it is crucially important for them to follow
environmental standards (Ferrel 2010).

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Potential Opportunities Arising from Macro-Environmental Analysis

Potential opportunities of McDonald’s arising from the macro-environmental analysis are:

  • Development of New Dishes and Services.

McDonald’s has a valuable opportunity to develop new dishes and services that will be advantageous and innovative. Taking into consideration environmental and political concerns of this company about adding of GMO and chemicals in their products, Hence, McDonald’s should develop a strategy of using healthier products.

  • Integration at the Global Market.

At the present time, McDonald’s has opportunity to win an international market. However, McDonald’s should take into consideration national peculiarities of cuisine and eating habits of different countries.

  • Global Market Development.

This strategy is aimed at diversifying markets involving changes and innovations. For example, McDonald’s should constantly develop their menu.

  • Enlarging the Number of Consumers.

This aspect is aimed at satisfying different customers’ needs; for example, to attract different consumers from different countries with different national cuisine and eating habits. This proves about globalization of marketing and finding customers from all over the world.

  • Including geographic diversity.

This marketing strategy takes into consideration peculiarities of climate, space and topography.

  • Using economic growth rates for motivation and stimulation

This framework intends to raise the level of marketing of McDonald’s to the high degree.

Identify and Propose SMART Marketing Objectives Based on the Opportunities

Identified in the Previous Section

McDonald’s does their activity according to SMART marketing objectives in order to remain efficient, successful and competitive. McDonald’s marketing objectives are divided into specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. As McDonald’s has a wonderful opportunity to develop new dishes and products, their specific marketing objective should be to implement healthy and tasty sandwiches and be against the junk food. Use of natural ingredients should become the company slogan. No additives, no artificial colours, but a perfect taste (Porter 1985).

Measurable marketing objectives of McDonald’s are aimed to measure total profit, total sales revenue and number of sold units. As McDonald’s has an opportunity to win an international market, it means that they should measure their profits not only in the USA but in other countries. Achievable marketing objectives of McDonald’s are aimed to achieve the main goals and objectives. The main objective of McDonald’s is to diversify markets involving changes and innovations. For example, McDonald’s should constantly develop their menu and change their policy taking into consideration health issues. Realistic marketing objectives of McDonald’s are aimed to implement only those goals that are possible for them. For example, widening of a circle of customers is a realistic objective for McDonald’s. Timed marketing objectives of McDonald’s are aimed to achieve goals as quickly as possible. In order to provide this objective, McDonald’s should develop time management (Jeannet, J-P & Hennessey 2001).

MacDonald’s Marketing Plan for Product-Gluten Free Burger

Marketing Strategies to Support the Achievement of Your Stated Marketing Objectives

Introducing product-gluten free burger, McDonald’s should take into consideration product strategy, distribution strategy, promotional strategy and pricing strategy.

  • Product strategy. McDonald’s should develop product-gluten free burger production. However, this burger should be healthy without additives, chemicals and preservatives.
  • Distribution strategy. McDonald’s should offer their new product in many countries as one can not be sure that in the UK, product-gluten free burger will be more demanding than in the USA.
  • Promotional strategy. Managers of McDonald’s should communicate with the consumers in order to know their tastes and to collaborate with competitors in order to know their marketing strategies. Information about product-gluten free burger should be available via direct mailings, Internet, and in person. This aspect is aimed at satisfying different customers’ needs and at attracting different consumers from the different countries with different national cuisine and eating habits. This proves about globalization of marketing and finding customers from all over the world.
  • Prising strategy should also be taken into consideration, as both very high and very low prices may deter the consumers (McDonalds 2014). .

Application of Marketing Mix Elements to Introduce Product-Gluten Free Burger


Implementing product-gluten free burger, McDonald’s should consider the pricing strategy as both very high and very low prices may deter the consumers. They should offer their new product freely, then they should take money but their price should be reasonable. Besides, McDonald’s should make discounts for their constant clients. Internal and external factors influence the pricing strategy. One may refer inbound logistics, outbound logistics, operations, marketing and sales, service, firm infrastructure, human resource management, technology development and procurement to internal factors.


Product-gluten free burger is a new item in McDonald’s menu. It is a kind of healthy food free from chemicals.


Without a doubt, McDonald’s proposes their product-gluten free burger in cafes and restaurants. However, internet facilities are the most optimum alternative to attract new customers. Supply chain, exploration, production, transportation, marketing, sales and distribution are the main operations of this company. If these operations are successful, they will become the driving forces for the development of the fast food business and their distribution.


Promotional strategy of McDonald’s is aimed at communication with consumers in order to know their tastes, as well as to collaborate with competitors in order to know their marketing strategies. It has been suggested that the promotional strategy is efficient for getting new customers, attracting the community and winning worldwide markets. This company does their promotion through television, radio, newspapers and the Internet. Promotional aspect is aimed at satisfying different customers’ needs and at attracting different consumers from the different countries with different tastes.

Additional elements of extended marketing mix are people, process and physical evidence. People are the basis of McDonald’s as both customers and employees are involved in development of the company. Employee performance of McDonald’s is not perfect and has its downsides. McDonald’s deals with such human resource issues as productivity, arranging and carrying out training, recruiting employees and preventing discrimination. For McDonald’s, customers are the users of their products and services. Hence, the company should provide their customers with qualitative services. Creating new services will benefit the company and increase the number of customers (McDonalds 2014).

MacDonald’s Ethical Issues in Marketing

Ethical Issues that Influence Marketing Planning

Ethical issues influence negatively marketing planning. One can distinguish many ethical issues concerning marketing planning such as poor citizenship between employees while composing marketing plan, lack of open communication between employees, employer and customers, lack of ethical leadership.

Good citizenship is extremely important for marketing planning as it is a basis of good relationships between employer and employees, team work and coordinated movement in one direction. It is important to be good citizens and good employees as this provides a sense of respect, mutual understanding, and collaboration between employers and employees. Good citizenship can be achieved by organizational culture and attracting and retaining a talented workforce. The culture of trust creates a friendly atmosphere. Moreover, McDonald’s should be dedicated to its employees and provide opportunities, training and tools for their success and growth.

Without a doubt, open communication and dialogue with employees are necessary for effective marketing planning. Open communication will help new employees to adjust to organizational environment. This process concerns an employee’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and requirements of a job. Open communication gives an opportunity to share the values of an organization and those of the employee

Many organizations around the world have made inefficient headlines. This commonly occurs because of organizational misconduct by either the organization itself or the management. This problem is associated with poor ethical decision making. In order to achieve proper ethical decision making at all levels of the organization, it is critical for a company to adopt appropriate strategies. One of these strategies is promoting ethical leadership.

Ethical leaders promote ethical considerations in their company decisions and marketing planning. Ethical leadership fosters positive relationships between all stakeholders of the organization, thus, provides a wide range of benefits at all levels of the organization. Poor relationship often has far-reaching negative effect on the decision-making process in McDonald’s.

Consumer Ethics and the Effect It Has on Marketing Planning

It is evident that a consumer ethics also has an impact on marketing planning. Respect is one of the most important notions of ethics that defines wrongness and rightness of a person’s behavior and deeds. Ethics is following of moral rules; it criticizes deception, lying, information suppression, violation of rules and abuse of power; it also requires the healthcare workers to make the right decisions. Ethics and professional behavior are the basis of good relationship between customers and the McDonald’s team.The feeling of respect between employees and customers can be seen in their cooperation, mutual help and support. The feeling of respect between employees and customers can be seen in caring about customers and offering qualitative products and services.


It is worth saying that marketing planning is an important part of McDonald’s management. It helps to overcome obstacles preconditioned by economic, environmental, political, social, technological and legal factors. Without a doubt, there are barriers that hinder effective planning, but one can overcome them being creative, innovative, flexible and dynamic. General environment of McDonald’s is influenced by political, economic, sociocultural, technological, legal and environmental factors. These should be taken into account when developing the company strategic plan. Efficient marketing planning will open many opportunities for McDonald’s, such as development of new products and dishes, winning the global market, global market development, enlarging the number of consumers and developing geographic diversity.

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