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Introduction

The marketing mix of an organisation can help in understanding internal capabilities that can contribute to the competitive advantage of the organisation. The businesses engage in market so that they can make consumers aware of the products and services made by company to influence their purchasing position (Chumaidiyah, 2014). In the contemporary business world, organisations are exposed to high degree of competition and they require to win consumers so that they can maintain their market position (Urbancová, 2013). This has resulted in development of innovative ideas so that companies can outperform its competitors.  Promotion in the market mix comprises the communication tools that the company uses to distribute messages to the target consumers. The channels of communication includes advertisements, direct marketing, sales force and improvement in public relations (Rad, et al., 2014). This paper focuses on the promotional strategy of McDonald’s as a part of its strategy of increasing the sales in the Middle Eastern countries.

Background of the problem

McDonald’s is one of the leading chain of fast food restaurants located across 100 countries accounting for a total of 36,000 outlets. According to the estimates published by McDonald’s, over 80% of the restaurants are operated by independent local entrepreneurs. The company asserts that its franchisee system is one of the core success factors (McDonald’s, 2016).


The Middle East data on public health provides that the countries are experiencing fatal conditions due to increasing instances of obesity, heart disease, diabetes. Many researchers have accused the growing demand for fast food products to be central to this rising health problems. According to World health Organisation, almost 71% of the adult population in the Emirates suffers from obesity and this percentage increases to 81 for the women. These severity in the health conditions has reduced the franchise sales by 3.4% (Shah, 2015).

Statement of the problem

McDonald’s needs to develop a promotional strategy so that the company can retain its market share in the Middle Eastern market. In this research paper, the marketing strategy of McDonald’s has been analysed considering the responses of the consumers in Oman.

Methodology

Research design

The research design explains the procedure adopted by the researcher to collect the data and its analysis. There are three distinct categories of research design, namely, explanatory, descriptive and experimental (Jonker and Pennink, 2010). Descriptive research involves study on the data obtained from various observations in the selected area of research. In case of the experimental research, the researcher has to undertake experiments to conclude a proposition (Balnaves, Donald and Shoesmith, 2008). The outcome of the experimental research leads to the development of new fact and theories. On the other hand, researchers use explanatory research design in case of interpretation of the information related to an instance or event. In this research design, description of the situation leads to the development of the research problem and its analysis leads to addition to the existing pool of knowledge (Creswell, 2013).

In this research explanatory research design has been chosen to provide the interpretation of the responses collected from the consumers of McDonald’s in Oman. The qualitative research will provide in-depth analysis of the preferences of the consumers. The analysis of the responses will provide insight to the company related to its promotional strategies. The researcher wishes to understand the gap between the existing promotional strategies of McDonald’s and sales of revenue of the company. The questionnaire survey will provide the required insight of the influence of these strategies on the consumers and therefore, will help in understanding what McDonald’s needs to further work in order to increase its competitive advantage.

Scope of the Research

McDonald’s is one of the leading organisation with global chain of fast food restaurant. The organisation has invested in the Middle Eastern market. In UAE, the brand has been operational since 1994 and in the same year the brand had also penetrated the market of Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Egypt. Saudi Arabia accounts for the greatest market share in the Gulf region. Despite this growth of McDonald’s in the Middle Eastern market, it has faced increasing competition from other brands like, Subway, Burger King, etc. McDonald’s has failed to adapt to the changes in the customers’ taste and preferences (Crompton, 2015).  Therefore, this research will help the company in understanding the perspective of the consumers. They will be able to make the necessary changes in their strategy to increase their competitive advantage. On the other hand this research will help a reader in understanding the importance of promotional measures in the revenue earning of an organisation. McDonald’s performance in the competitive market can act as an example to other firms who wish to increase their sales volume. International expansion has been chosen by many companies as a solution to increase their market. However, the fall in revenue in spite of such wide exposure is definitely a cause of concern. Therefore, this research provides knowledge of the strategy that can be applied by the firms to retain their global presence after international expansion.

Figure 1: McDonald's Presence in the Middle East
(Source: Crompton, 2015)

Data collection method: Questionnaire survey

The data collection is one of the most important segments of carrying out a primary research. In this case, the researcher has prepared a questionnaire so that responses could be collected to understand their perspective on McDonald’s and its services. A questionnaire can be defined as a data collection tool which the researchers used to measure qualitative or quantitative variables, such as, behavioural aspects of the respondents, reaction to any particular event or validation of a new strategy (Rose, Spinks and Canhoto, 2014).

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