Extended Marketing Mix (7 Ps)

Commonly used in traditional marketing, extended marketing mix, also known as the 7 Ps of marketing (Product, Place, Price, Promotion, People, Process, Physical Evidence), can also be applied to digital marketing.

To get an idea of how the 7 Ps are used in the real world, read this case study of what McDonald's extended marketing mix looks like.


McDonald's is best known for its range of burgers such as the cheeseburger and the Big Mac, and their French fries.

The fast-food restaurant allows its customers to buy individual items or purchase a meal that includes a drink.

In addition to its traditional menu, McDonald's offers a range of hot and cold drinks such as tea, coffee and milkshake. The dessert menu includes the chain's famous Apple pie, McFlurry ice cream, and more.

The modern menu is very different from the first McDonald's Franchise restaurant's menu, which included only a handful of items.

How McDonald's Products Changed Over Time

  • What was on the original McDonald's menu
  • How the menu changed over time
  • What influenced the changes 

When brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald's opened their 'McDonald's Famous Barbeque' restaurant in California in 1940, little did they know that their small business would go on becoming a global brand. The original restaurant served more than forty barbequed items. However, the brothers soon realised that most of their profit came from selling hamburgers. So in 1948, they redesigned their restaurant by implementing assembly line principles for speedy food preparation and started selling a limited number of items, including hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, cold drinks and coffee. The following year, the chips were replaced by French Fries and Triple Thick Milkshake was added to the menu. 

Despite McDonald's becoming a nationwide franchise in 1955, the menu remained largely unchanged until 1965 when McDonald's franchisee Lou Groen based in Cincinnati, Ohio, created the Filet-O-Fish sandwich to increase Friday sales in his primarily Roman Catholic location.

In 1967, a franchisee Jim Delligatti, who operated several McDonald's restaurants in Pittsburgh, created the Big Mac to compete with 'Big Boy hamburger' sold in a nearby Big Boy Restaurant chain's branch. Delligatti started selling The Big Mac in his restaurant in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. However, it proved to be so popular with customers that it was added to the menu of all American McDonald's restaurants the following year. Another product introduced in 1968 was the Hot Apple Pie

The Quarter Pounder was invented in 1971 by another creative franchisee, Al Bernardin, who owned two McDonald's restaurants in Fremon, California. Bernardin concluded that there was a gap in the market for burgers where the meat weights more than the bun. Two years later, the Quarter Pounder and the Quarter Pounder with Cheese were added to the national menu.

The Egg McMuffin was the brainchild of Herbert Patterson, who operated a McDonald's franchise in Santa Barbara, California. The invention of the egg sandwich was revolutionary because it created a potential breakfast business idea for McDonald's. However, despite being invented in 1972, The McMuffin was not added to the national menu until 1975.

The Happy Meal was created to bring in more families with small children and was added to the national menu in 1979. It comes with a small toy or a book along with food. 

McChicken sandwich was first introduced in the US in 1980. However, after failing to meet expectations, it was removed from the menu and replaced by chicken McNuggets in 1983. McDonald's eventually brought McChicken back in 1988. In 1996, it was replaced in the US with the Crispy Chicken Deluxe. But once again, McDonald's started reviving the McChicken in 1997. Currently, McDonald's restaurants all over the world serve an extensive range of chicken burgers and wraps. 

One of McDonald's most popular desserts, McFlurry, was invented in 1995 in Canada and was added to the international menu in 1997.

In 2002, the company committed to being a more responsible and sustainable brand by issuing McDonald's Social Responsibility Report.

Since then, McDonald's restaurants started offering healthier options, such as salads and fruit bags, along with their regular items. The chain also significantly reduced the amount of packaging it uses. 

Perhaps most importantly, McDonald's became more responsible towards animal welfare, undertaking on-site audits of their meat supplier facilities around the world.

In addition, the chain has recently introduced their first Vegan Burger, the McPlant, in selected restaurants. 


The history of McDonald's goes back to 1940 when the McDonald's brothers opened a small barbeque restaurant in California. In 1948, the brothers refocused on selling burgers, chips, soft drinks and coffee, setting the foundation for the McDonald's we know now.

McDonald's became a corporation in 1955 and has been growing ever since. There are now over 37000 McDonald's restaurants in more than 100 countries. The design of McDonald's restaurants differs from country to country and even city to city. However, the yellow arched letter M logo remains the same around the world.


Offering an extensive range of food items, McDonald's has different prices for different products.

Having branches all over the world, McDonald's also works with multiple currencies.

McDonald's uses Psychological pricing strategy, setting the price of their products lower than a whole number, e.g. £3.99 rather than £4.

Another pricing strategy the chain uses is Bundling, offering a discount on the purchase of a full meal to encourage customers to spend more money.


McDonald’s uses TV and online media as one of its main advertising strategies. In addition, the chain uses posters and popular newspapers, such as Metro, to advertise its products. Newspaper promotions often include money off coupons for certain meal options. 

In-store promotions include the saver menu, limited-time offers on certain items and the Happy Meal, which includes a toy along with a smaller sized meal, to attract families with young children.


McDonald's became a franchise in 1955. Currently, as many as 93% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by franchisees. McDonald's would not grow to be the large international corporation we all know without these independent local business owners.

McDonald's restaurants employ over two million people worldwide, making the chain one of the largest employers in the world. McDonald's refers to its staff as crew members. The crew members are responsible for food preparation, customer service, cleanliness, and hygiene.


McDonald's is a market leader in engineering and process. They have implemented effective processes for ordering, preparing, serving and delivering food over the years. 

McDonald's makes sure that customers are served as fast as possible, whether they buy food in one of the chain's many restaurants, use a drive-thru, or order McDelivery.

Physical Evidence

The fact that you can find McDonald's restaurants all over the world, including in unusual locations, such as the desert near the Dead Sea in Israel, is clear evidence of the chain's success.

McDonald's branding on their product packaging, such as drink cups and French fry and burger boxes, is another evidence of the restaurant's success.

Room for Improvement

McDonald's impressive ability to cater for different tastes and lifestyles is reflected in their marketing campaigns. However, one of the common complaints is that McDonald's restaurants do not offer gluten-free buns. With an increasing number of people suffering from gluten intolerance, it would be a good idea to introduce gluten-free burger options to the menu and include this in the marketing campaign.  

About the author

Michaela Mrockova

Michaela has been working as a web designer and content writer for several years. Michaela will be sharing content marketing and SEO tips on this blog.