FEATURE3 June 2013

The meat of the matter

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Research and insight play a central role at McDonald’s, helping to keep the company focused on better serving customers. Its insight VP Lauren Cody tells all to Joe Fernandez.

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“McDonald’s is a customer-oriented business, and research and consumer insight are our lifeblood, ” says Lauren Cody, vice president of business strategy and insight for McDonald’s UK. “It runs right through the heart of our planning process, the development and testing of new products, and the introduction of changes to our operations and customer experience in our restaurants.

“Our strategy is built and shaped using a range of research and insight methods; from collating qualitative and quantitative research to garnering insight from unprompted customer feedback and engagement on social media. But overall, we take a 4-Cs approach with the aim of producing insight which encompasses and adds value to all key pillars of our business – customer, competitor, company and (trading) context.”

That’s the McDonald’s of today: confident, successful and in tune with customers. Ten years ago it was a different story – 2003 was a watershed year for the fast food chain. That was the year it made its first quarterly ...