Page 2: The marketing mix and market research
Having identified its key audiences a company has to ensure a marketingmix is created that appeals specifically to those people.
The marketing mix is a term used to describe the four main marketing tools (4Ps):
- and the place through which products are sold to customers.
Using detailed information about its customers, McDonald's marketing department can determine:
- What products are well received?
- What prices consumersare willing to pay?
- What TV programmes, newspapers and advertising consumers read or view?
- What restaurants are visited?
Market research is the format which enables McDonald's to identify this key information. Accurate research is essential in creating the right mix to win customer loyalty.
In all its markets McDonald's faces competition from other businesses. Additionally, economic, legal and technological changes, social factors, the retail environmentand many other elements affect McDonald's success in the market.
Market research identifies these factors and anticipates how they will affect people's willingness to buy. As the economy and social attitudes change, so do buying patterns. McDonald's needs to identify whether the number of target customers is growing or shrinking and whether their buying habits will change in the future.
Market research considers everything that affects buying decisions. These buying decisions can often be affected by wider factors than just the product itself. Psychological factors are important, e.g. what image does the product give or how the consumer feels when purchasing it. These additional psychological factors are significantly important to the customer. They can be even more important than the products' physical benefits. Through marketing, McDonald's establishes a prominent position in the minds of customers. This is known as branding.