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Introduction and Background

Discuss about the Case Study for Importance Of Integrated Marketing Communication For Improving The Performance Of Mcdonald's In The Uk?

Introduction

Marketing management is one of the most important factors for making an organization successful in today’s business world (Selvakumar 2013). However, the business environment and related aspects are changing frequently (Belch and Belch 2012). Such changes largely affect a business, particularly the brands that expanded their business globally (Carroll 2013). This is because the global marketplace includes a complex set of rivals fighting for acquiring customers in a rapidly changing business environment (Clow and Baack 2012). In addition, new companies are also emerging on a daily basis (Shin 2013). Different customers in different regions have different needs and expectations (Kelly and Jones 2012). Marketing strategies for any particular region are unlikely to be effective for different other regions (Shimp and Andrews 2013). Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is one of the recent marketing phenomena that can help the companies to enhance their sales and to promote brand image (Nellermoe 2012). IMC is the coordination and integration of all the available marketing communication avenues, tools and sources for maximising impacts on the customers at a minimal cost (Naeem, Bilal and Naz 2013).

McDonald's is one of the most precious leading multinational brands that offer delicious and healthy fast food items (Forbes.com 2016). The company expanded their business in more than 100 countries across the globe (Aboutmcdonalds.com 2016). Europe is one of the most profitable regions for them concerning to sales and market-share. However, McDonald's has not been yet able to utilise the UK market effectively, even after launching 1,200 restaurants and employing 97,000 people in the UK (McDonald’s UK 2016). According to many business experts, the management of McDonald's may significantly invested in different marketing activities, but they mostly failed to realise the actual marketing needs in the UK market.

The key aim of the current research is to evaluate the importance of integrated marketing communications (IMC) for improving the performance of McDonald's UK.

To evaluate the existing marketing strategies of McDonald's UK

To compare traditional marketing communication and integrated marketing communications (IMC)

To understand the importance of IMC

To prepare a IMC plan for improving the performance of McDonald's UK

To identify the challenges of implementing an IMC plan

To suggest recommended strategies to minimise the challenges What are the existing marketing strategies of McDonald's UK?

What are the differences/similarities traditional marketing communication and integrated marketing communications (IMC)?

Research Aim

What is the importance of IMC?

What are the steps involved to prepare an IMC plan for improving the performance of McDonald's UK?

What are the challenges of implementing an IMC plan?

What are the recommended strategies to minimise the challenges?

Introduction

It is important that an organization keep itself updated with the latest happenings in the market and the latest technologies, which will be beneficial for an organization. Gradually, the organization will aim at the different marketing strategies that will be helpful for the organization. The integrated marketing communication explains different factors that an organization should take into account to reach out to the consumers.

This literature review will shed light in the importance of the integrated marketing communication by determining the various components of integrated marketing communication (Belch and Belch 2012). Eventually, it will move in to the development of the integrated marketing communication and evaluate the factors in every step. The literature review will take into account the difference between the traditional marketing communication and the integrated marketing communication. There will be a critical analysis regarding which marketing communication will be more beneficial for an organization. The integrated marketing communication model will throw light in various steps that will be taken into account while making a marketing plan. The general marketing mix will be linked with the integrated marketing communication mix. It is expected that the structure of the literature review will be helpful in getting an idea about the usefulness of the integrated marketing communication in an organization.

Marketing and promotion is one of the most important parts of a business. It is thorough proper marketing and correct promotion that an organization will be able to deliver their products and services to the people (Belch and Belch 2012). Integrated marketing communication takes into account various models and objectives and critically aims at reaching the audiences. Integrated marketing communication also aims at increasing the sales of an organization by engaging various technologies and marketing skills to attract the consumers (Caywood 2012). The marketing department of an organization first does a thorough market research to study the external environment and then chooses the components of the integrated marketing communication to reach out to the public.

The components of integrated marketing communication are (Carroll 2013):

Consumers

The marketing strategy should be able to communicate with the consumers. Similarly, the answers should be able to get the information from the consumers properly so that they are able to understand the needs and the demands of the consumers (Clow and Baack 2012). It is the process of communicating with the consumers; the marketers will be able to understand the correct channel and methods that can be applied to communicate with the consumers. The marketers determine the thought process of the consumers and accordingly change the content of the messages that should be communicated to the consumers.

Research Objectives

Communication channels

For any communication process to be successful, it is necessary that the marketers choose the proper communication channel (Jung 2013). If a group of consumers is unaware of the electronic media and then the marketers would make use of the print media to reach the consumers (Waller 2012). Hence, the market research is an integral part to find out the information regarding then suitable communication channel to be used to communicate with the consumers.

Results

The results decide whether the strategies used by the marketer to market and promote the products will yield good results (Kelly and Jones 2012). The results also decide whether the marketers should keep on using the strategy that they are using so they should bring any change in the strategies. Result leads the marketers to an evaluation process where they decide their future steps to yield good result.

The components of the integrated marketing communication lets the marketers know the ways to develop an integrated marketing communication. The development of integrated communization follows the four simple steps:

Tactical coordination

Tactical coordination mainly deals with the contents. It involves the tactics applied by the marketers to develop the content of an advertisement to influence the consumers to buy their products (Shin 2013). This involves the interpersonal communication among the staffs to enhance the content and trace the consumers.

Selecting the method of marketing communication

This step mainly deals with the channels. The marketers take the feedback of the customers and the takes into account the demands of the costumers to seelct the proper channel (Shimp and Andrews 2013). The selection of the channel will help them to evaluate the proper channel that will be helpful in communicating with the consumers.

Applying the information technology

The step involves the application of the proper technology and referring to the database from where marketers will get the information regarding the customers who will be profitable for the organization (Shimp and Andrews 2012). This step will also help the marketers to identify the investors and consumers who will be profitable for the organization.

Financial and strategic integrations

In the final step the marketers accumulate the strategies and the financial integration and then evaluate the process. The final step also controls the marketing communications and has to make the changes accordingly to the demands of the consumers (Selvakumar 2013).

The difference between the traditional marketing communication and the integrated communication varies accordingly

Integrated Marketing Communication

Traditional Marketing Communication

The integrated marketing communication is integrated in one plan.

The marketer develops different plan to reach out ti different customers with various demands

Oriented to the customers: the marketing communication plan aims at satisfying the needs and demands of the consumers

 the marketing plan is planned in a way so that the consumers are attracted to the company and they are satisfied with the products and services

Oriented to the organization: traditional marketing communication gives more importance to the goals of the organization and designs the services in a way so that it able to achieve the goals of the organization

The communication programs are logical and continuous: The programs are aimed at acquiring new customers and delivering services delivering the services according demands and needs

The communication program is not continuous. The marketers first thinks of achieving the goal then thinks of the customers and implemented new strategies to achieve those goals

Aims at developing a strong relationship between the buyer and seller: They aim at developing a long term relationship with the customers so that they are able to retain the customers

The marketer aims at short term sales. They aims to achieve the short-term goals and objectives and makes the plan to achieve the  short-term goals rather than making long-term goals

The integrated marketing communication has a target market and targeted audience. in addition to this, the marketers finds out the proper investors and the areas which will be beneficial for the organization and the marketing mix is targeted to get profit from the targeted audience

The traditional marketing communication is aimed at a huge audience. The marketers do not have a specific set of customers or area where they aim to achieve the business. They target a widespread audience to promote their services and products.

Research Questions


Out of the traditional marketing communication and the integrated marketing communication, it can be said the integrated marketing communication will be beneficial for an organization. The main reason behind the success of the integrated marketing communication is the focus on the consumers. The marketers who implement the integrated marketing communication take into the needs and demands of the consumers (Reviews 2013). They study the tastes and preference of the consumers and then decide which channel will be more suited for the organization to reach out to the consumers. On the other hand, the traditional marketing communication is more organizational goal oriented. It is important that the organizational goals be followed in an organization, yet there is a chance it might fail as the goals of the organization and the demands of the consumers might not match at every level. Moreover, the integrated marketing communication aims at long-term relationship among the consumers and the buyers rather than solving current problems or looking after the present objective, they at obtain the consumers who will stay with the organization (Nellermoe 2012). Once an organization gives more attention on the present states, chances are high that they will lose the consumers who are more advanced than the organization. Thus, the characteristics of integrated marketing communication will be beneficial for an organization as it helps in development of the organization on a long run, hence, an organization, which aims at a secure future is expected that it will prosper in the future rather than the organization, which aims at solving present and small issues.

Thus, it is important that the organization move from traditional marketing communication to integrated marketing communication for the enhancement of the business. The integrated marketing communication further helps an organization to acquire the valuable stakeholders through proper advertising and promotion. Moreover, the access to database through various social media will be beneficial for the organization. however, it is important that the organization keeps into account the traditional marketing communication as well. It is important for an organization to keep a check on the short-term sales objectives as well. By overlooking the short-term objectives there is a chance theta the organization might lose an opportunity to get quick success, which will further help the organization to attain the long-term goal. Thus, a correct m mix of both integrated marketing communication and the traditional marketing communication is important for the organization. However, it is up to the organization to make the right choice of marketing communication.

Literature Review

The integrated marketing communication models aims at differentiating the different steps that can be taken by a marketer to achieve the goals and targets of the organization. The marketing plan under the integrated marketing communication is divided into various steps which includes  the elements of the marketing mix and the elements of the communication mix (Naeem, Bilal and Naz 2013). The marketing ix step includes he general marketing mix, which includes the four Ps of mating like, the price, products, promotion and place. The promotion of the general marketing mix leads to the integrated communication mix. The integrated communication mix takes into account the different channels through which the promotion or marketing is done. A number of factors are identifies in the integrated communication mix. The factors are, direct marketing, sales promotion, personal selling, publicity public relations, various events, word of mouth and the feedback of the employees. However, it is up to the organization to decide which channel they should choose to reach out of to employees. Moreover, it is important for the employees to decide the proper integrated communication mix so that the consumers are convinced by the ideas.

Integrated Marketing Communication Model

Figure: Integrated Marketing Communication Model

(Source: Koekemoer 2014)

Conclusion

The literature review takes into account the importance of the integrated marketing communications. The literature review concludes that integrated marketing communication will be helpful for an organization because it helps an organization in establishing a strong bond with the consumers. The bond further helps the organization in developing new business in the market. However, the present literature review of the research work mainly focuses in the importance of the integrated marketing communication. A further research can be conducted to study the perspectives of the consumers and the perspectives of the businessperson regarding the importance of the integrated marketing communication.

The literature review ahs followed the following conceptual model. The conceptual model explains that the literature review will take into account the components of the integrated marketing communication. The components will be further helpful in development of the integrated marketing communication. It explained the difference between the traditional marketing communication and the integrated marketing communication. The model of integrated marketing communication links the general mating mix with the integrated marketing communication mix. The model links the ‘promotion’ out of the four Ps of mating mix with the integrated marketing communication. The integrated marketing communication mainly takes into account the promotional activities incorporated by an organization to gain the customers from the market as well as retain then customers in future

Main Body

Conceptual Framework

Research methodology implies the procedure to perform the research by concentrating on the problem statement (Robson and McCartan 2016. Appropriate research methods will be selected based on the research aims and objectives to derive expected conclusions. The research will be validated for interpreting research outcome by linking objectives with conclusion. Each research methods are essential for leading the entire research towards the right direction and for evaluating the importance of IMC for enhancing the performance of McDonald's UK.

Research onion is the systematic structure and way of performing a research to meet the research objectives through different significant steps (Anfara Jr and Mertz 2014). All the related steps are as follows:

Research Onion

Figure 3: Research Onion

(Source: Saunders et al., 2009, p-52)

Research philosophy is the key step of the research onion and all the other methods depend upon the philosophy (Bryman and Bell 2015). It is significant for the author to select the most appropriate philosophy for evaluating the parameters associated with IMC, where the learner has chosen McDonald's UK as a case study.

The author has initiated to briefly analyse the insights of the research topic for pursuing the most suitable methods. Positivism philosophy is better for assessing the importance of IMC for enhancing the performance of McDonald's UK. Therefore, the learner can identify the real fact through identifying the parameters associated with IMC planning. Therefore, positivism is better than various other research philosophies such as post-positivism, realism and interpretivism for making detailed structure for the current research.

Research approach is the next layer in the research onion. Two basic research approaches that most of the researchers usually follow are Inductive and Deductive (Zikmund et al. 2012). Observation, data collection, data analysis (using effective analytical tools) and potential theories/hypothesis development related to the topic are followed by inductive approach (Dawson 2014). On the other hand, deductive approach follows theory selection, data analysis, hypothesis testing, theory implementation to analyse data and confirming theoretical evidences (Davidsson and Gordon 2012).

In the current research, the author discussed the relevant theories of IMC in the previous chapter: literature review. The next chapter analyses the validity of theoretical evidences. In other words, the current research is based on confirmation of the theories selected for evaluating the ways an IMC plan could enhance the performance of McDonald's UK. Therefore, the current research follows deductive approach.

Research design is the next layer of the research onion, where the author interprets the outcome of the data analysis on the basis of objectives and purpose of the research (Hair et al. 2012). Exploratory, explanatory and descriptive are three basic research designs (Galliers and Leidner 2014). Exploratory deign highlights the background information, whereas explanatory design evaluates the reasons behind the problems (Wilson 2014). On the other hand, descriptive design relates the research objectives with the research findings (Saunders, Lewis and Lewis 2012).

The author relates the research findings and conclusion with the research objectives. Maintaining the connection between these two aspects throughout the study signifies the dedication and attentiveness towards the apprehensive areas of all the components required for the current research. Therefore, descriptive design is appropriate for the current research.

There are two key data collection process: primary and secondary data collection. The author will concentrate mostly on the primary data collection process (Anfara Jr and Mertz 2014). The research topic is based on the IMC plan, where the involvement of the employees and marketing managers of McDonald's UK is more important for gathering the data for analysis purpose. The employees and the marketing managers have better knowledge and information to justify why McDonald's UK is still unable to enhance their performance. They can also shed light on the importance of an effective IMC plan. This is why primary data collection is crucial. Primary data will be collected directly from the respondents for making the research outcome valid and reliable (Myers 2013).

Sampling is a significant method for selecting the respondents to perform the survey, as the research involves collecting primary data (Dawson 2014). Sampling is the method of selecting appropriate research participants for the research (Davidsson and Gordon 2012). Probability sampling and non-probability sampling are two basic sampling methods and the author selects the non-probability sampling, especially the convenient sampling (Wilson 2014). Convenient sampling is basically used for minimising the variation of responses in case of the primary data collection (Galliers and Leidner 2014).

For the current research, the author will select 100 employees (quantitative data collection) and 10 marketing managers (qualitative data collection) of McDonald's UK. The sampling size is relatively larger and convenient sampling is essential for minimising the deviation of responses (Dawson 2014). Such approach will also help deriving expected conclusion from the research survey (Myers 2013).

There are two research methods, will be used in the current research: qualitative and quantitative (Hair et al. 2012). Quantitative analysis is useful for analysing data obtained through a questionnaire survey (large number of respondents). Qualitative research helps understanding marketing management policies and strategies of McDonald's UK. Quantitative research method will be applied through the questionnaire survey, whereas, Qualitative research method will be applied through the interview with the marketing managers (Galliers and Leidner 2014).

The author will try adapting the most appropriate research techniques for each individual component of the research. The selection of the research methods solely depends upon the research aims and objectives. Research methodologies are selected systematically for maintaining sequences of the research onion. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis are conducted for evaluating the aspects associated with integrated marketing communications (IMC) and the importance of IMC for enhancing performance of McDonald's UK.

Introduction

The research outcome will be derived from the literature review and primary research data.  Such data will be utilised for deriving conclusions by linking with the research objectives. All the research questions will be answered through the interpretation of primary data and analysis of the literature review.

Quantitative research will generate numeric values. In order to generate meaningful outcome, such numeric values will be analysed using various statistical data analysis tools such as MS Excel, SPSS and will be presented as percentage forms and in form of graphical charts.

It is essential to manage the ethical issues, while conducting the research in a systematic fashion. Ethical aspects justify the reliability of the research based on genuine data obtained from the respondents. Sharing the data with any third-party organization or for any commercial purpose will not be entertained. Relevant information and personal information of the participants will be kept confidential and the participants have the complete authority to withdraw their names form the research anytime. The participants will be duly informed regarding the research objectives and purpose before starting the research. The research will also follow appropriate Harvard referencing style.

The current research has some limitations:

Performing the entire research mostly based on primary data is one of the key limitations. Evaluating secondary data by comparing historical result of McDonald's UK should be pursued for analysing the impacts and limitations of the existing marketing strategies.

There are not enough evidences, where the companies have been significantly successful for implementing an IMC plan. In addition, the current research will not be essential to evaluate the importance of IMC plan for targeting different global markets like China and India (other than the UK). Greater sample size would enhance validity and reliability of the research outcome. The marketing managers will be interviewed through telephone calls, as face-to-face interview is not possible due to time limits. Therefore, the author will not be able to judge the body language and expression of the managers towards any particular question.

Task

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Planning And Preparing Dissertation Work Schedule

 

Choosing Dissertation Research Topic

 

Reading All Course Related Documentation Regarding The Dissertations

 

Scheduling Sessions With The Supervisors

 

Preparing Ideas For The Supervisors

ü   

Undertaking Background Study

ü   

Defining Research Title

ü   

Planning Approach Or Research Methodology

ü   

Preparing Literature Review

ü   

Undertaking Literature Review

ü   

Enquiring Regarding Ethics Procedures And Final Submission

ü   

Research Plans

ü   

Discussing Research Methodology With The Supervisor

ü   

Undertaking Secondary Data Collection

ü   

Secondary Data Collection

ü   

Preparing Timetable

ü   

Proofreading The Dissertation

ü   

Final Submission

ü   

The current chapter summarises that the proposal for analysis will be linked back to the literature and the research questions. Statistical methods will be used to analyse the quantitative data. In addition, the research will follow all the relevant ethical guidelines. The research will have some limitations, especially in terms of limited budget and time. The current chapter also includes the time plan for the entire research with a Gantt chart format.

Reference List

Aboutmcdonalds.com, (2016). McDonald’s – Official Global Corporate Website :: AboutMcDonalds.com. [online] Available at: https://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd.html [Accessed 22 Feb. 2016].

Anfara Jr, V.A. and Mertz, N.T. eds., 2014. Theoretical frameworks in qualitative research. Sage Publications.

Belch, G. and Belch, G. (2012). Advertising. North Ryde, N.S.W.: McGraw-Hill Australia.

Belch, G. and Belch, M. (2012). Advertising and promotion. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Bryman, A. and Bell, E., 2015. Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.

Carroll, C. (2013). The handbook of communication and corporate reputation. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Caywood, C. (2012). The handbook of strategic public relations and integrated marketing communications. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Clow, K. and Baack, D. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications. Boston: Prentice Hall.

Davidsson, P. and Gordon, S.R., 2012. Panel studies of new venture creation: a methods-focused review and suggestions for future research. Small Business Economics, 39(4), pp.853-876.

Dawson, J.F., 2014. Moderation in management research: What, why, when, and how. Journal of Business and Psychology, 29(1), pp.1-19.

Forbes.com, (2016). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/list/ [Accessed 22 Feb. 2016].

Galliers, R.D. and Leidner, D.E., 2014. Strategic information management: challenges and strategies in managing information systems. Routledge.

Hair, J.F., Sarstedt, M., Pieper, T.M. and Ringle, C.M., 2012. The use of partial least squares structural equation modeling in strategic management research: a review of past practices and recommendations for future applications. Long range planning, 45(5), pp.320-340.

Jung, H. (2013). Future information communication technology and applications. Dordrecht: Springer.

Kelly, J. and Jones, S. (2012). The IMC handbook. [Chicago]: Racom Communications.

Koekemoer, L. (2014). Marketing communication. South Africa: Juta.

McDonald’s UK, (2016). About us. [online] Available at: https://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/ukhome/Aboutus.html [Accessed 22 Feb. 2016].

Myers, M.D., 2013. Qualitative research in business and management. Sage.

Naeem, B., Bilal, M. and Naz, U. (2013). Integrated Marketing Communication: A Review Paper. 5th ed. [ebook] Available at: https://journal-archieves35.webs.com/124-133.pdf [Accessed 22 Feb. 2016].

Nellermoe, J. (2012). Integrated marketing communication.

Reviews, C. (2013). Studyguide for integrated marketing communication by blakeman, robyn, isbn. [Place of publication not identified]: Academic Internet Publish.

Robson, C. and McCartan, K., 2016. Real world research. Wiley.

Saunders, M. N., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2009) Research methods for business students, Page 52, 5th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Lewis, P., 2012. Doing research in business and management: An essential guide to planning your project. Harlow, UK: Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Selvakumar, J. (2013). Dimensions of Integrated Marketing Communication. Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.

Shimp, T. and Andrews, J. (2012). Integrated marketing communications in advertising and promotion. Mason, Ohio: South-Western.

Shimp, T. and Andrews, J. (2013). Advertising, promotion, and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Shin, K. (2013). The executor of integrated marketing communications strategy. Berlin: Springer.

Waller, D. (2012). Developing your integrated marketing communication plan. North Ryde, N.S.W.: McGraw-Hill.

Wilson, J., 2014. Essentials of business research: A guide to doing your research project. Sage.

Zikmund, W., Babin, B., Carr, J. and Griffin, M., 2012. Business research methods. Cengage Learning.

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