LONDON: European and American customers of McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food chain, are likely to see changes to its marketing strategy and restaurant formats in 2014, the company has indicated.

After reporting less-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings of $1.4bn, McDonald's chief executive Don Thompson told Marketing Week and other publications that its marketing strategy this year will rely more on improved insights, innovation and value-for-money messaging.

He said the restaurant chain needed to become more "relevant" for its customer base and improvements to its menu and store layout are aimed at reinvigorating that relationship.

Its marketing strategy in 2014 will aim to balance affordability with core products, new choices and limited time offers, he said.

Peter Bensen, chief financial officer at McDonald's, echoed this view, explaining that the company is "leveraging consumer insights to better understand how we can deliver on evolving consumer needs".

"This includes enhancing our value-based messaging and re-engaging with customers in more compelling ways from our marketing and promotions to the order points that are restaurants," he added.

Sales in the UK and the rest of Europe were better than in other markets, rising by 1% over the quarter, the BBC reported.

As McDonald's has been concentrating on value enhancements in Europe, it hopes to match that success in other struggling markets and it said it aimed to promote the brand as a kitchen/restaurant that cooks and prepares high-quality food.

Future campaigns, for example, might emphasise its ability to prepare customised sandwiches.

Data sourced from Marketing Week, BBC; additional content by Warc staff