McDonald's marketing chief tells ANA audience that ethnic insights set the curve

(November 6, 2009) Neil Golden, chief marketing officer of McDonald's USA, told a conference of industry executives that the global food chain used its insights and expertise in marketing to African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians to provide direction and strategy for its efforts in the general market.

"Ethnic segments are leading lifestyle trends," Golden told the Association of National Advertisers' 99th annual gathering in Phoenix, Ariz. last week. McDonald's is so intent on getting ethnic marketing right that Golden said if the company conducts night focus groups, two will be for African-Americans, two will be of Hispanics, two will be for Asian-Americans and three will consist of a cross-section of all consumers.

Golden said the focus on ethnic consumers was dictated by financial realities. Forty percent of McDonald's current U.S. business comes from the African-American, Hispanic and Asian markets, and 50 percent of consumers under the age of 13 are from those segments. "And they're among our most loyal users," Mr. Golden said.

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