Global CMO Reorganizes McDonald's Marketing Efforts

New Focus on International Alliances, Technology, Families

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CHICAGO ( -- Mary Dillon, global chief marketing officer of McDonald's Corp., is restructuring the company's global marketing team to facilitate a growing array of consumer-generated content and word of mouth along with traditional media.
McDonald's global marketing chief Mary Dillon is refocusing the company's international marketing operations.
McDonald's global marketing chief Mary Dillon is refocusing the company's international marketing operations.

Globetrotting CMO
The move follows Ms. Dillon's globetrotting from Sao Paulo, Brazil, through Europe and Asia, conducting interviews with staff and customers and evaluating media-mix usage and return on investment. As a result, she is reshaping the team to put more focus on areas including brand development, global alliances, technology, families and consumer insights.

Key to the changes is the appointment of Peter Beresford, McDonald's U.K. chairman-CEO and president of Northern Europe, to a new post leading global brand development.

Peter Beresford's role
Once considered a front-runner for the post Ms. Dillon has held for seven months, Mr. Beresford will report beginning May 1 to Ms. Dillon, who created the new role to "bring additional strategic focus on our brand's global development and position in the future," she said. Mr. Beresford will oversee brand positioning, creative framework development and implementation, advertising practices and agency relationships. He also will expand the company's programs around balanced, active lifestyles through the marketer's global advisory council and key stakeholders.

He joins Eric Leininger, senior VP-global insights, and Dean Barrett, senior VP, who now will lead global alliances, technology and family business and will also have responsibility for marketing talent development. Ms. Dillon also shifted responsibilities for Kim Lloyd, senior director-technology and media innovations in charge of music, technology and media innovation; Cathy Nemeth, elevated to VP-moms and family business; and Jeff Carl, VP-global alliances, including sports and studio relationships. Those three executives will report to Mr. Barrett.

Following digital devices
The shifts reflect Ms. Dillon's recognition that the chain needs to better reach consumers increasingly migrating to wireless phones, personal digital assistants and similar devices. McDonald's hopes to leverage digital media and peer-to-peer networks better to communicate with consumers and key influencers.

In addition to evolving the chain's "I'm Lovin' It" advertising platform to emphasize the "it" over the "I," Ms. Dillon plans to evolve McDonald's women's marketing to more strongly appeal to them as mothers. The chain also has a strategic team evaluating ways to improve the presence of brand icon Ronald McDonald. Pointing to her own observations of children interacting with the clown prince of McDonaldland, Ms. Dillon contends that Ronald hasn't lost his relevance, but concedes he could have a larger presence.

Ms. Dillon will unveil some of these ideas to franchisees next week when the chain holds its global franchisee convention.
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