McDonald's uses sales promotion strategies like menu upgrades, gift cards, demographic-specific marketing campaigns, digital initiatives and a focus on breakfast sales. McDonald's experienced declining sales in 2014, inspiring the company to reinvent some of its offerings and try new marketing promotions.
Menu upgrades include limited-run menu items, such as the McRib sandwich, as well as new types of burgers, such as the Bacon Clubhouse sandwich. New additions to the menu bring in new customers who might convert into loyal patrons of the franchise. They have also targeted breakfast specifically through promotions concerning breakfast sandwiches as well as free coffee offers.
McDonald's also offers gift cards, called Arch Cards, that can be reloaded by the consumer. The company advertises Arch Cards both as gifts for loved ones and as a convenient payment option for users who buy the cards for themselves.
In recent years, McDonald's has pursued demographic-specific promotions that target patrons in specific age ranges, such as teens, baby boomers and families. They have shifted their focus away from menu-only marketing strategies.
Additionally, McDonald's has begun digital marketing efforts to reach consumers who like to pay using their smart phones and tablets as well as customers who want digital ordering options.