McDonald’s Announces Major Change to Marketing Strategy

Big changes are coming to the world’s largest fast-food restaurant, McDonald’s, as executives look to shake things up in the marketing department. 

According to a leaked internal memo discovered by CNBC reporters, the global fast-food giant plans to make drastic, companywide changes to their marketing strategy leading into 2025. 

What does their new marketing plan look like and what does it mean for the future of this corporate powerhouse? 

Join us today as we dive into the details of this breaking story and what it could mean for the future of the marketing industry. 

McDonald’s Embraces the Future

According to an internal memo published by McDonald’s U.S. customer experience officer Tariq Hassan and chief information officer Whitney McGinnis that was recently discovered by CNBC reporters, the fast-food giant is in the early stages of shifting funds away from lower-return traditional media marketing outlets like TV commercials and print, and, instead, making a major economic investment in digital media. 

As reported by CNBC, McDonald’s wants to invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several years to expand their digital presence by upgrading their MyMcDonald’s Rewards and its digital ordering channels to help bolster their e-commerce business as well as expand their overall digital marketing strategies. 

According to company executives, the strategy is expected to help modernize the company’s marketing strategy and widen its competitive advantage by moving them away from traditional, legacy marketing (which produces lower returns when compared to its digital counterparts) and help push the company’s global efforts toward digital-forward strategies. 

In order to successfully implement this wide-reaching strategy over the course of the next few years, executives plan to lean on operators to pay for the funding using their existing marketing contributions. 

In addition, by 2025, franchisees will be expected to contribute 1.2 percent of their expected identified digital sales – a rate that will be updated annually based on projections. 

So what’s in it for the franchisees? 

Early projections show a $2,600 increase in cash flow for every U.S. store starting in 2025. 

Discussing the change during the brand’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Chris Kempczinski said, “When we shift marketing investment from traditional mass media like television, print and billboard ads, to collective investment in modern and digital capabilities to personalize the experience, we drive profitability. And successfully delivering personalized experiences depends on transforming our restaurants to deliver what customers want, hot fresh orders delivered with convenience and accuracy.” 

Continuing, Kempczinski added, “Breakthrough campaigns, a great tasting menu, and personalized experiences will drive customers to McDonald’s again and again as they come through the physical doors of our restaurants and the digital door of our mobile app. And in this environment, with pressured [quick-service] traffic, we have an opportunity to get the customers who already visit to visit more often. As more customers make purchase decisions based on personalized recommendations on their phones, driving frequency means using our digital capabilities like loyalty to know when to serve our customers better than anyone else. With the insights powered by our loyalty members, we will work to deliver the right message at the right time to the right customer, encouraging those who already love McDonald’s to visit even more.” 

And, according to early earnings reports, this full on embracing of digital outlets seems to be working for the company as global Q1 year-over-year sales lifted 2 percent in 2024, marking the brand’s 13th straight quarter of positive comps. This includes the 30 percent growth previously reported over the past four years. 

… Focusing in on the U.S., same-store sales reported sales rose 2.5 percent thanks to, among other things, effective marketing campaigns and the continued expansion of the brand’s digital presence. 

The Power of the Digital Realm

Shifting from traditional marketing initiatives to a digital marketing strategy, akin to McDonald’s latest marketing efforts, can revolutionize how businesses of any size connect with their audience and unlock a realm of endless opportunities. 

In the digital age, where consumers are constantly online, digital marketing offers a dynamic and interactive platform to engage with potential customers in real-time. 

This shift allows businesses to reach a global audience, breaking geographical barriers and tapping into new markets that were previously inaccessible through traditional marketing channels. 

One of the key advantages of digital marketing is its ability to target specific demographics with precision. 

Through data analytics and targeted advertising tools, businesses can tailor their marketing messages to resonate with their ideal customers, leading to higher conversion rates and increased brand loyalty. 

Moreover, digital marketing provides valuable insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends, enabling businesses to adapt their strategies in real-time and stay ahead of the competition. 

Even still, embracing a digital marketing strategy opens doors to diverse marketing channels such as social media, content marketing, SEO, email marketing, and more. 

These channels not only enhance brand visibility but also foster meaningful interactions with customers, building trust and credibility over time. 

… And by leveraging the power of digital platforms, businesses can create personalized experiences for their audience, drive engagement, and ultimately, pave the way for sustained growth and success in the digital era. 

The Wrap Up

As we’ve seen, the shift from traditional marketing to a digital marketing strategy represents a transformative journey for businesses of all sizes. 

By following in the footsteps of innovative approaches like McDonald’s latest marketing endeavors, companies can harness the vast potential of digital platforms to expand their audience reach, cultivate meaningful connections with customers, and navigate towards a future brimming with endless possibilities. 

Remember, embracing digital marketing is not just about adapting to the times; it’s about seizing opportunities, leveraging data-driven insights, and staying agile in a dynamic marketplace. 

As businesses continue to embark on this digital transformation, they position themselves to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape, where creativity, innovation, and strategic adaptation are the keys to sustained success. 

P.S. If you’re eager to join the digital realm but are unsure where to start, let Rain Digital be your guide! 

Our team’s years of marketing experience has proven to be just the resource many businesses like yours have needed to get their marketing efforts up and running. 

… And if you’ve already got a marketing strategy in place but just need an experienced team to bounce ideas off of, well, we are here for you too! 

Folks, when it comes to meeting your digital marketing needs, Rain Digital is here to help! 

… From the beginning to the end, let Rain Digital help make sure your marketing efforts get you where you want to go!