This weekend The New York Times published an important piece on how the bottom-line success of McDonald’s has left burger rivals Wendy’s and Burger King in the dust. The average, free-standing McDonald’s restaurant pulled in nearly $2.6 million in sales last year, up 13 percent since 2008, despite a sluggish economy.
Times reporter Keith O’Brien points to a number of reasons for the impressive growth: An estimated $2 billion advertising budget. New menu items. Newly remodeled restaurants. Even the McRib, “the highly processed pork sandwich whose popularity baffles even some at McDonald’s,” he writes.
Another important and successful strategy? Outreach to bloggers. Specifically, mommy bloggers, one of the most powerful groups of writers on the Internet these days. The tactic is known as brand work, and it’s intended to change the perception of fast food among women who are largely in charge of food choices for their family.
How big of a priority is this audience? So big, they’re given access to Jan Fields, the president of McDonald’s U.S.A.
In 2010 McDonald’s invited 15 influential bloggers to the company’s headquarters for a look-see, which included McFlurries in the test kitchen, a tour to the Ronald McDonald House, and more. The bloggers were asked to post about their trip, and the effort was so successful that in August 2011 the company sent Fields to San Diego for the BlogHer conference, where McDonald’s arranged for a private luncheon for 25 bloggers.
And McDonald’s is far from the only food company trying to harness the power of moms who blog. Jennifer James, editor of Mom Blog magazine, writes, “Those of us who notice the big players in the mom blogging space know that consumer foods make up a huge part of the product reviews and online activity with mom bloggers.”
Continue reading at TakePart.com.
Source: TakePart.com, May 8, 2012