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Stratigic Marketing Audit



Marketing orientation begins and ends with the customer. Market audit or market research involves analysis in marketing management that involves identifying the customers. This is an analysis of why they buy the product or service and whether they are satisfied with it or not. The process can include quantitative analysis; How many customers? What is our market share? How many competitors? Qualitative analysis Why do people buy? And what are their motivations, attitudes, & personality?



Business Environmental Variables:


The Micro Environment:


An organization’s micro environment is comprised of market environment the organization operates in and also includes internal aspects of the organization which may influence the development of a marketing strategy.


The market environment consists of all aspects of a market which affect the company's relationship with its customers and the patterns of competition. Understanding the behavior of these groups enables the company to use its marketing strategies to encourage loyalty, obtain preference from suppliers/distributors, and influence what competitors does and what consumers think.


Analysis of micro environment:




McDonald’s Ireland uses over 250 different local Irish suppliers to source over €80 million worth of goods and services each year. Once providers can meet our high standards of product safety and hygiene we prefer to buy locally like products including beef, dairy and eggs are sourced in Ireland. Once providers can meet McDonald’s high standards of product safety and hygiene, it’s always preferable to buy locally and currently 40% of products including beef, dairy and eggs are sourced in Ireland. McDonalds has a policy to not work with such suppliers who do not follow the standards required by Irish and EU legalities concerning animal welfare, transportation and husbandry.


Distributive Network / Supply Chain


The distributive network will often impose constraints on an organization, because of consumer familiarity with existing distributors and the degree of market power held by the distribution network. Currently McDonald's has 74 restaurants Ireland with 31 in Dublin and 43 around the country. From that 50 are franchised and the remaining are owned by the company. In total our restaurants directly employ over 4,000 people with a significant number of jobs also generated by companies who form part of our supply chain.




McDonald's is serving approximately 150 thousand people every day in Ireland. Understanding consumers is vital for McDonalds. Consumer satisfaction is the ultimate aim and leads to enhanced profitability. McDonald’s working in the principles of Quality, Service, Cleanliness and the combination of which is designed to get 100 per cent total customer satisfaction.




To establish a competitive advantage, McDonald’s has plenty of restaurants as mentioned above are serving 150 thousand people every day; it is providing quality of food and services. So it is at the economies of scales. To compete with it one requires the huge capital, supplier’s system around the Ireland, customer’s satisfaction without compromising cost and quality. It facilitates its customers in very economical prices by the Euro Saver Menu. The first Drive-Thru in Europe opened in Ireland at Musgrove Shopping Centre in 1985. It has since been re-branded to Mc Drive to reflect a more European approach. This facility is not in any other restaurant.



Interest groups


Any analysis of the market environment must include the role of interest groups also known as 'publics'. These are groups whose opinions and attitudes may affect the success of a business. An understanding of the attitudes of these groups enables the business to consider how best to present itself to them. McDonald’s supports community programmers which operate at grassroots level, usually focused on family and local environment related issues. These include sponsorships of local teams, fundraising for children’s charities and educational and environmental initiatives.


People at Work


As McDonald’s providing a high level of employment around the Ireland, it also provides the valuable work experience that enables people to form solid career with us or elsewhere. The skills include time-keeping, food safety and hygiene, marketing, finance, responsibility, teamwork, purchasing and business control. Policies ensure that applicants are selected, trained, promoted and treated purely on the basis of their relevant skills and performance without reference to gender, marital status, disability, race, sexual orientation, family status, age and religious belief.



McDonald’s is world famous for its franchising and there is a accurate selection process for the new franchisees. In Ireland, McDonald’s has over 30 independent franchisees that operate and manage over 50 restaurants. The remainders of McDonald’s Restaurants in Ireland are company owned.




The macro environment is concerned with broad trends and patterns in society as a whole. Careful monitoring of this environment can enable an organization to identify threats to its business and will enable it to adopt a proactive ( rather than reactive) stance in the action it takes.


The macro environment can be described in terms of four key components: political / legal, economic, social / cultural, and technological (PEST factors).


The political/legal environment


This involves the interaction between the Company and government or regulatory bodies. As mentioned above McDonalds selects those suppliers that provide high standards of product safety and hygiene. McDonalds has a policy to not work with such suppliers who do not follow the standards required by Irish and EU legalities concerning animal welfare, transportation and husbandry.  It includes legal restrictions imposed to regulate businesses and the less formal aspects of government relations with industry, such as government attitudes.


The economic environment


Economics of Ireland is very favorable for the business of McDonald's. It has more than 70 branches in Ireland, facilitating its customer as providing maximum facilities and providing career opportunities to a number of its employees. McDonald's has every type of job providing its economy such as: Crew, Managers, Party Entertainers, Administrative Assistants, Training Consultants, Field Consultants, Operations Consultants, Customer Services, Development, HR, Construction, Marketing, Finance, and Quality Assurance. It providing services to every type of community according to its income such as it has:



The social/cultural environment


McDonald’s devoted to open and honest about its impact on society. Every two years, McDonald’s Corporation publishes a Social Responsibility Report that gives an overview of the major policies and the issues the company is facing. All products served at McDonald’s restaurants have full traceability from farm to restaurant. As part of our community and environmental policy, McDonald‘s was the first restaurant in Ireland to introduce and operate Litter Patrols in all restaurants around the country. At local level, restaurants take part in litter clear ups in conjunction with local authorities, and in the sponsorship of litterbins. It is offering its services to every category of its society such as it has different products for youth, some other products and services for children; big class menu for larger families and it has also the facility to arrange the party in McDonald's.


The technological environment


Now days, kitchen equipment of McDonald's Outlets are being used by the company as these are lower energy consumer and increase in operational efficiency and reduce in its maintenance cost. For payment system to the ease of its customers McDonald's is providing high quality point of sales service such as McDonald's is providing facility of chip and PIN payment card readers also. The means is to make paying by card as quickly as paying by cash. McDonald’s providing its home delivery services to all over the Ireland and there is the difference between the McDonald’s and its customer sitting at its home is of one Phone call and after a fast delivery anything from the menu on McDonald’s will be available at customer’s door.



The four Ps that are Product, price, physical distribution and promotion of the marketing mix are often described as ‘the controllable to distinguish elements that an organization can influence from those that are beyond its control. The four Ps are defined in detail in upcoming dissertation.



A product may be said to satisfy needs and wants by possessing the following attributes.

a)         Tangible attributes


Availability and delivery:

McDonald's everything available at every restaurant in Ireland and can be delivered in Ireland within few minutes of time and this service is available 24 x 7.



Since 1985 McDonald's is providing its services in all over the world and from that time to now it is performing brilliantly.



McDonald's has every type of price products in its menu for every type of community in Ireland.


Design and taste:

McDonald's has several products and can be varied by its design and taste. Such as it has products of beef, chicken, nuts, special product for children meal, ice cream, coffee, and many more which has further several type of categories according to its design and taste.


b)         Intangible attributes



 Since early 1970s McDonald's has made an extremely high image round the globe. Its products have different types of variety as mentioned earlier and due to such a variety, the company has established a great image.


Perceived value:

It has a special perceived value in the eyes of its customers for the purpose of meals or at any time of meal.


Product Life cycle:


McDonald has a lot of products these are starting from the burgers and then it has got a long product berth and depth. McDonald is using its product life cycle technique in an exceptional way. It is always involved in producing a variety of innovative products.


The product life cycle has proved to be a useful control device for McDonald's for monitoring the progress of new products after introduction. The formula of product life cycle is fits just the perfect on the McDonald's products. McDonald's is often finishing its existing products which are in the phase of decline.


The company at all times introduces new products and making a lot of changes in its product breadth. In this way a single change in the product ingredients, shape or designs will finish the life cycle of a product and introduce a new product life cycle.


Changing in the product life cycle is all the times effecting the profitability and sales promotion about the company’s products. All four Phases about the McDonald's product are explained as under:


a)     Introduction:


A new product like Ham burger is taking time to find consumer acceptance and there is a slow growth in the sales. Prices for the new products are always high for the company to cover the costs of production and especially the promotion cost applied on the new product.


b)     Growth:


In the growth phase of McDonald's Ireland’s product life cycle there are two types of conditions being applied. Firstly if the new product like Ham Burger gains fast food customer acceptance, sales will rise more sharply and the product will start to make profits. 

In the other way, the product with prospects of cheap mass production and with strong market attracts the competitors like the local and international restaurants of fast food. With increase competition McDonald’s is spending a lot of money on the product improvement, Sales promotion and home delivery special packages to obtain a dominant or strong market position.


c)     Maturity:


In the maturity phase almost all the products reacts in a similar way. It depends on the product life time span or a better luck to survive in this phase for the long run. In maturity phases the rate of sales growth slows down and the products reach their period of maturity which is probably the longest period of successful a product’s life cycle.


 Most of the products by McDonald's on the restaurants are at the maturity stage of their life cycle. Eventually sales are decaled so that there is overcapacity of production. Severe competition occurs; profit fall and some product are refined by the company. The remaining products seek means of prolonging the product life by modifying it and searching for new the market segments.  


d)     Decline:


At one time all each product has to reach the phase of decline. There are many procedure reluctant to McDonald's, although some inevitable do because unprofitable and decline stage of life cycle then gives way to a senility stage.




A company’s product portfolio or product assortment or mix) is all the product lines and items that the company offers for sale.


Aspects of portfolio:


Product breath:

McDonald’s Ireland has a huge product breath which involves a lot of product line and then those lines are further categories in big and small widths of those lines. All the product breath with product lines, their widths and then their consistency is audited in the upcoming part of the report.



McDonald’s Ireland has a variety of product lines as follows:

Product Lines:


McDonald's Ireland has a variety of product lines that the company carries. Such as we McDonald's has Burgers, Chicken, fish and pork, Other products, Breakfast, Beverages, Desserts and other discontinued menu items.

These product lines are target for the different customers and diverse needs or wishes of customers in different. Sometimes people are willing to eat burgers, some other times the same customer is willing to eat chicken or fish and on the same time the Company is giving a variety to have more product lines to be chosen by the customers.




Depth is calculated by dividing the total number of items carried by the number of product lines. For example if the customer is willing to eat burger then it has a huge variety of burgers available for him. Category of burgers involves Hamburgers and cheeseburgers, Quarter Pounder, Big Mac, Angus Burger and many more: Burger category is filled with a lot of products which is sometimes confusing to the customers.

Chicken, fish and pork Product Line involves Mc Chicken, Premium chicken sandwiches, Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese, Chicken Mc Nuggets, Filet-O-Fish, Mc Rib, etc.


Category of beverages is having Coca-Cola Company beverages, PepsiCo, Cadbury-Schweppes, Dr Pepper, Hot and iced tea, hot chocolate, various juices, Lattes, espresso, Iced coffee, LTO shake for Banana, Mango Raspberry, Honeycomb, Arctic  etc.   



The closeness of items in the range in terms of marketing or production characteristics is the consistency in the McDonald's Ireland products.  Many of the burgers are similar to each other; many beverages are provided by different companies for the same flavors. This consistency can be considered a negative points of marketing strategy but most of the points goes in to favor that customer is having more choice in the products to choose which can be a key to success to McDonald's Ireland.


Extending the product mix:


Introduce variations in models or style. McDonald's Ireland is always involved in introducing new products and finishing the product life cycle of decline phase products.


Change Quality of Items:


Change the quality of products offered at different price levels. This is also a great strategy by McDonald's Ireland that list is changing the quality of the product as the price increases. Better the price better the quality and size of product.


Develop associated items:


McDonald's is producing from time to time the with the items or products which are interrelated like finger chips, special beverages, ketchups and other sort of things.


Technical relation:

McDonald's develops new products with little technical or marketing relationship to the existing range. This is a wonderful strategy to develop products which are having technical relations with other products.




There are different product strategies used for the different types of items. To launch a new product in the market the strategies re given as under:


Market Penetration:


McDonald’s is having a strategy of market Penetration is its pricing department for the most of products. Most of the product like burgers and beverages are introduced in the market below the competition by McDonald's. This is evaluated in the strategic audit that the this effort by McDonald's makes it a low standard Restaurant as compare to other fast food restaurants like KFC and King Burger.


Market Skimming:


For few products of McDonald’s the pricing strategy is kept on the higher standard. A new product Launched is having its price more than the competitions especially when it is having more of attributes are innovative.



Promotional strategy is judged the best in our strategic audit. It is using all the tools of promotion to promote its existing and especially innovative products. It is using the print and broad cast media for advertisement. It is having sales promotion team which goes in the commercial places and book the long term contracts.


It is using its sales promotion techniques by giving gift to the children and making play lands for them. It is having Drive Through Service which is increasing the image of the Company. It is having 76 outlets in the country. Many of them are owned by it and some are given on the franchising contracts.




It is having its distribution system on at the best of the fast food restaurants.  McDonald's Ireland is having a drive through system which is increasing the company’s image in which cars are coming in the restaurants and the driving person stops its car and buys the things he wants and then goes out of restaurant after paying. In this whole process even the drivers don’t have to come outside the car.


After drive through it is having a home delivery service in which customer makes his order write down on the phone. Then a person appointed by the company himself reached on the spot of customer is waiting.


Product market matrices:


The product-market matrix is a simple technique used to classify a product or even a business according to the features of the market and of the product. It is often used at the level of corporate strategy to determine the relative positions of businesses and select strategies for resource allocation between them. The two most widely used approaches are the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) growth-share matrix and the General Electric (GE) Business Screen.



The BCG matrix


The BCG matrix, illustrated below, classifies products (or businesses) on the basis of their market share relative to that of their competitors and according to the rate of growth in the market as a whole.


(a) The split on the horizontal axis is based on a market share identical to that of the firm's nearest competitor, while the precise location of the split on the vertical axis will depend on the rate of growth in the market.


(b)  Products are positioned in the matrix as circles with a diameter proportional to their sales revenue. The underlying assumption in the growth-share matrix is that a larger market share will enable the business to benefit from economies of scale, lower per unit costs and thus higher margins.

Strategic Table 1


Problem Child: First which is analyzed in the strategic audit is Actimel a product especially produced and served for the children. This is just in the first stage of its life cycle and falls in the second box of the BCG matrix called Problem child. It has a small market share with respect to the children food but has got a definite high growth in the fast food industry. The product is clearly popular but customer support for the product is limited. A small market share implies where the competitors for children food are in a strong position.


The market looks good for children food it is still in on starting phase of the website and the product is viable, then the company should consider a build strategy to increase market share. This would essentially involve increasing the resources available for that product to permit more active marketing. If the future looks less promising, then the company should consider withdrawing the product. What strategy is decided will depend on the strength of competitors, availability of funding and other relevant factors.


Star: Mc Flurry is the product by McDonald's Ireland which is being in the star phase of the BCG matrix. It is analyzed in the strategic audit that the product has a high market share in a high growth industry. This star product has potential for generating significant earnings currently and in the future. However, at this stage it may still require substantial marketing expenditures to 'maintain' this position, but is probably regarded as a good investment for the future.


Cash Cow: All the Ham buglers like Chili chicken sandwich are being in the maturity phase of their life cycle and are falling in the cash cow section of McDonald's Ireland products. According to the strategically audit the product is having a high market share but in a mature slow growth market. Typically ham buglers are well established product with a high degree of consumer loyalty. Product development costs are typically low and the marketing campaign is well established.


The ham burgers are normally making a substantial contribution to overall profitability. The appropriate strategy will vary according to the precise position of the hamburgers. If market growth is reasonably strong then a 'holding' strategy will be appropriate, but if growth and/or share are weakening, then a harvesting strategy may be more sensible: cut back on marketing expenditure and maximize short-term calls flow.


Dog: Ice Cream by McDonald's Ireland Soldy Strawberry is found in the decline phase of the BCG matrix. This is analyzed as product characterized by low market share and low growth.  Now the customers are getting bored by its continuing flavors. Again, typically a well-established product, but one which is apparently losing consumer support: and may have cost disadvantages. The usual strategy would be to consider, divestment unless cash flow position is strong, in which case the product would be harvested in the short term prior to deletion from the product range.


The General Electric Business Screen (GEBS) Matrix:


The approach of the GE Business Screen is similar to that of the BEG matrix. The GEBS includes a broader range of company and market factors for McDonald's Ireland. The GE matrix classifies McDonald's Ireland Products according to industry attractiveness and company strengths. The approach aims to consider a variety of factors which contribute to both these variables. The following are typical examples of the factors which determine industry attractiveness and company strength.


(a) Industry attractiveness: market size, market growth, competitive climate, stability of demand, ease of market entry, industry capacity, levels of investment, nature of regulation, profitability.


(b) Company strengths: relative market share, company image, production capacity, production costs, financial strengths, product quality, distribution systems, control over prices/margins and benefits of patent protection.

Strategic Table


Products of Macdonald Ireland are lying in the different positions in the GE Business screen Matrix Grid. The Grid suggests many different strategies in the separate cell of matrix. There are four types of strategies or advises are given after the Strategic Audit of McDonald Ireland is as follows:




Invest Strategy:


SBUs in the three cells in the upper left of Grid lying are mostly Hamburgers and cheese burgers.  In predominantly Muslim countries like Malaysia, pork is not served due to Muslim dietary laws; the hamburger is called the beef burger. Additionally, in North African Morocco also Muslim countries, all meat is slaughtered in the method called halal and labeled as the same. McDonald Ireland is doing well to Invest in the products like these. These are the product basing in the strong or average market positions and Attractive or average attractive to the perspective customers:


  • Big Mac is being in the top position with respect to business position and market or customer attractiveness. Big Mac: Along with the Quarter Pounder with cheese, this is one of the two McDonald's hit menu items. Introduced in 1968 as a response to the flagship burger at Big Boy restaurants. McDonald's Ireland Must invest for growth of this product.
  • Mc Chicken also a big seller in the McDonald's Restaurants. It is positioned average with respect to customer attractiveness. A normal spicy chicken sandwich is made of hundred percent chicken breast, mayonnaise, and shredded lettuce on a toasted bun. It was introduced in 1980, then later removed, but and now reintroduced. McDonald's is investing selectively for growth of this product.
  •  Mc Spicy a McDonald's Ireland brand in positioned in the High attractiveness for the customers and an average seller. This is the burger that caters to those who crave for something really spicy. The Mc Spicy uses original chicken thigh for its patties, and is topped with lettuce and mayonnaise. It used to have two patties and was called Mc Spicy Double. McDonald has used Invest Selectively and builds strategy for it in a right manner.

 Protect Strategy:


Resources should be allocated selectively to SBUs along the diagonal running from lower left to upper right corner of the Grid. In this strategy McDonald's is defensively approaching help which is helping and maintaining the other SBUs. In this category SBUs of breakfast sandwiches, Happy Meal and Chicken Mc Nuggets are falling:


  • Breakfast Sandwiches are having weak position in the business and attractive for the customers. McDonald's offers a line of breakfast sandwiches that are sold on several different carriers. Bagels, biscuits, and a special type of maple flavored pancake called Mc Griddles. McDonald's Ireland is developing Selectively Strengths for Breakfast sandwiches.
  • Happy Meal is an SBU by McDonald's Ireland which is falling in the medium customer attractiveness and market or business position by the company. The Happy Meal. McDonald's created the concept of a children's meal when it introduced first Happy Meal in 1979. The meal includes an entrée, a side order, beverage and a toy. McDonald's Ireland is selectively handling this SBU for income.
  • This falls high with respect to business position but don’t have got a good attractiveness for the customer. In the U.S., the entrée is a choice of hamburger, cheeseburger, or four-piece Chicken Mc Nuggets; the sides are a choice of fries or sliced apple with caramel dip. McDonald's Ireland is developing this brand for income by making some improvement and catching the customer’s attraction again.



Harvest Strategy:


Because of lack attractiveness for customers and strong market position, SBUs in two cells just below the three cell diagonal are not receiving potential in new resources by McDonald's Ireland. The SBUs of McDonald’s is being adopted in this strategy are as under:


  • This is positions as low business position and average attractiveness to the customers. A sandwich featuring boneless pork smothered in barbecue sauce, diced onions, and pickles which were created in 1981, but later pulled from menu. Released on annual basis for one to two months. Rarely seen in the US, the sandwich is presently on some European menus. Mc Rib is being adopted with the harvest strategy by McDonald's Ireland by decreasing the availability in the restaurants. Mc Rib is being adopted with the harvest strategy by McDonald's Ireland by decreasing the availability in the restaurants.
  • Business Position for this Product is medium and customer attraction is very low. Chicken Fajita - Chicken Cheese, red and green bell peppers, and diced onions in a flour tortilla. Comes with Picante sauce packets on request, which is available in mild and spicy. Available in only a few markets. McDonald's Ireland is still investing for the brand which is wrong. It either should be harvested or diverted.

Divest Strategy:

Pizza an SBU in the lower right corner of the grid is not much going for the brand. McDonald's has also attempted pizza at various times, with an apple-pie-like Mc Pizza and more conventional McDonald's Pizza. A line of personal sized pizzas were sold in the early 90s. The pizza originally began as a family sized pizza that was brought out to the table by an employee and placed on a raised rack in the center of the table.

Later it was scaled down to a personal sized pizza when the larger version did not sell well. Hence this SBU must be diverted and there should not be any investment on it any further which is done by McDonald's Ireland. The expert work for the Pizza must be left to the pizza experts.


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