Providing excellent customer experience requires knowing your audience and understanding their pain points and desires. Positioning your products and services to appeal best to a specific audience, requires focusing your marketing efforts on segmentation. Target marketing is key to success.
Traditional consumer packaged goods companies such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola for example, organize their marketing department by brand. So you will have a brand manager on Coke / Pepsi, a brand manager on Sprite / 7 UP and a brand manager on Powerade / Gatorade.
Other companies like McDonald’s take a different approach to segmenting than most companies do. Instead of splitting the marketing team by brands, McDonald’s focuses on segments. So, instead of having a brand manager for burgers, a brand manager for french fries and a brand manager for salads, you will find at McDonald’s a director for Young Adults, a director of Women & Moms, a director of African-American consumers, a director of Hispanic consumers etc. This structure puts McDonald’s in the position to really maximize the results of their target marketing strategy.
The other day I was watching a few brand commercials on YouTube and I came across this amazing video with Carol Sagers, Director US Marketing McDonald’s, USA talking about the importance of segmenting, targeting, and positioning.
As I used to work for one of the traditional corporates I mentioned above, where segmenting and positioning was totally detached from segments and rather attached to different brands & brand managers, I found the approach taken by McDonald’s very refreshing and definitely more consumer-oriented.
Market Segmentation & Positioning at McDonald’s
Source: Atlantis University, YouTube
McDonald’s uses internal and external market research data to constantly optimize ingredients, menus and overall offers to better meet customer requirements and wishes. This again helps position the products in a way that is most appealing to each particular segment.
Transferring Know-How from McDonald’s to our business: A quick step-by-step approach
#1. Gather market insights to understand consumer needs, buying behavior, values and lifestyle of each segment.
#2. Based upon the results from step #1, create a positioning profile for every single product and service you provide.
#3. Use the custom profiles to create promotions and campaigns that are relevant to the different segments.
McDonald’s has a team of a couple of hundred people who work full-time to keep the data and profiles of their customers visiting the fast food chain current. This is a prerequisite to ensure that the marketing message is compelling and helps growing the business.
Learning from the BEST
Often times marketers love to focus all their efforts on creating new products and ad campaigns, forgetting to keep their fundamentals up to date.
Technology has changed the way consumers search for products and services, and more importantly, how they buy. Positioning requires understanding what consumers want, need and desire. Therefore make sure you review your marketing fundamentals. Keep your customer profiles up to date.
Over To You
How often do you review your customer profiles? Do you struggle with your positioning strategy?