Fixed line phones have become a part of history, but they have a sense of nostalgia associated with them. Their loud rings, the race to answer a call, all are but memories now. After the fixed line phones, came the cordless phones and then eventually mobile phones. The development in technology mobilized and modified everyday functions, like now you can easily multi-task while talking on the phone.
Change, being the only constant, is the precursor of development. Like the example above, businesses too need to adapt to prevalent norms. For brands like McDonald’s, it has always been a key strategy to engage with the consumers, and be at the top of the game.
So about 15 years ago, McDonald’s communication strategy focused on television advertisements because that was the most interactive medium to engross the consumer. “When we first went live on mass media, our initiatives were targeted at building brand relevance. People knew McDonald’s was a global brand but the QSR format was completely new to India. Our campaigns were therefore aimed at positioning the brand as aspirational, yet culturally relevant to the Indian audience. We wanted our communication to represent family values and at the same time position McDonald’s as a comfortable place to eat out”, says Kedar Teny, Director-Marketing and Digital, McDonald’s India (West and South)
Notice how a whole range of new vocabulary has now come into fashion, for instance, use of the terms digital and online marketing comprise of the most decisive brand strategies. Therefore, with a plethora of forums for social engagements, McDonald’s is reassessing its communication strategy to keep up with the dynamic environment.
So why is social media an important part of McDonald’s communication strategy now?
The most relevant reason being the personal touch it imparts to the whole process. With highly intuitive and informed consumers, it is not simply about advertising but more about direct engagement. It creates a simple channel between the customer and the brand to interact in real time. McDonald’s yesteryears method of creating brand relevance for the family has diversified into talking about price, assortment, health, and much more. All this is based on what the consumer wants.
Through social media, it becomes easy to identify and approach new ideas. It also provides a platform to hear what the people have to say. “Over time, we have seen phenomenal growth in our Twitter base and better engagement rates with our Facebook fans,” says Kedar Teny. For example, McDonald’s plan of rolling out more McCafe’s is well underway, both, on ground and on social media and the positive feedback from the customers has encouraged McDonald’s to open outlets in a number of new places.
It is quite clear that McDonald’s is creating a new image for itself with developing India to be more in sync with demands of the consumers.