Strategic Marketing In The Digital Economy: Digital Marketing

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Executive Summary

The overarching purpose of this assignment is to critically evaluate the use different marketing tools used by a KFC for their marketing purpose and to demonstrate their ability to recruit and retain customers in digital and non-digital marketing spaces and the effectiveness of their strategies


Kentucky Fried chicken most commonly knows as KFC. Is an American fast food restaurant chain that specializes in fried chicken. KFC is the second largest chain restaurant in the world after MC Donald’s. With almost 20,000 locations globally in 123 countries and territories according to December 2015.KFC is the subsidiary brand of Yum! Brands a restaurant which owns Pizza Hut, Wing Street, Taco Bell (YUM BRAND ANNUAL REPORT 2018). KFC was founded by Colonel Sander. He began selling fried chicken at his restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky. Sander identified the importance of franchising concept and the first branch opened in Utah in 1952. Colonel used himself as branding KFC and he became popular in American cultural history and his image was used for branding KFC.

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KFC was introduced to Britain in1965 when KFC’s restaurant was opened in Preston. There are now around 850 KFC’s in the UK and Ireland and over 25000 team members employed by KFC and its franchise. (KFC 2018)

Digital marketing has a major role in today’s business era. Because the world is rapidly shifting from analogue to digital. Nowadays people are getting more information from digital content by using laptops, mobile phones, desktop computer and so on. The companies are forced to concentrate more on digital marketing tools rather than traditional marketing tools for marketing purposes. While older generations will no doubt lament the demise of the newspaper, Books, and traditional TV and radio broadcast. Those who have born with the internet and mobile phones as a god given right are already embracing the brave new world of digital consumption. The importance of digital consumption is faster versatile than traditional methods. Once the digital technology experienced we started moving into the digital era. The important thing is that it makes potential marketers it also does to consumers. (Vijay Hanj 27 DEC 2015)

Digital Marketing Tools Used By KFC

1. Social Media

KFC using all popular Social Media for their advertising purpose. Like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. By using social media, they can reach the youth minds easily and they also giving many gift certificates to follower and fans. That makes them to always stay alert to tweets and Facebook posts.

There was a one-month long KFC campaign, distributes 20 tweets at KFC colonel twitter and Facebook post at different times which contain a link to a secret page on the KFC website. The first fifty people who have a valid email address will receive $5 gift card for a meal at KFC. The promotion is just one way which KFC get its huge fan base. The promotions activities of KFC are entertaining and encourage their customers to participate in it and make them buy it. Socail media had a huge role in KFC marketing. KFC also using social media for updating their customer.KFC also using paid media for customers to find nearset open store.

By using social media KFC interacting with customer and engaging in conversation with them,it makes KFC strengthen their brand.

2. Mobile Advertising

The world second largest fast food restaurant has focused on mobile advertising heavily in past to promote its new product and brand developing. KFC makes sure that their consumer knows about its new product and make sure their customers able to find out the nearest location to try the new product via a targeted mobile advertising effort.

Once the user taps in the KFC advertisement the page redirected to the page which contains the nearest KFC store address, location and contact details. The landing page is extremely well structured it provides the most useful information customer and it makes one last incentive to come to the shop. As mobile advertising continues to grow the companies are scrambling to consumers via smartphones

3. Electronic Billboard

KFC also using electronic billboard for their advertising purpose. An electronic billboard is one of the best adverting methods which can be used by companies because it is more flexible the firms don’t want spend money for putting colour poster around the cities, create the copies digitally send as many copies they want. Electronic billboard is fast once the ad created, it can have sent electronically to billboard upload within minutes and they are changeable if the business gives any offer or discount.

Traditional marketing tools used by KFC

1. Television

KFC started advertising in television in1996 with a budget of 4million us dollars (Rood, George JAN-5-1969). To fund nationwide advertising campaigns; KFC advertising co-op was established. By giving ten votes to the franchise and three votes for the company. KFC hired its first advertising agency, Leo Burnett. The campaign in 1972 was the ‘get a bucket of chicken, have a barrel of fun ‘jingle performed by Barry Manilow. At that time KFC was the largest advertiser in the US.

KFC’s TV commercials focus more on brand building and strengthening an emotional bond with our customers. KFC Hong Kong’s new ad video featuring a string of insight into our daily lives aims to encourage teens to break free from peer pressure the 30second video shed light on what seems to be an increasingly prominent issue among Hong Kong’s youth.

KFC’s First Tv Commercial –

The success of every enterprise depends on the marketing and advertising campaigning (Davis2010). The most influential advertisement of KFC is one featured Sanders. He is shown licking his fingers while conversing with the viewers regarding the secret recipe. The advert shows a bucket of the products and features a happy family enjoying the chicken from KFC on Sunday. The most attractive feature of the ad is the well designed and colourful packing of the products, and the colour of the chicken. KFC chicken has been made from the best recipes. The ad makes the viewers buy chicken, as it creates an appetite. Thus, KFC sells significantly through their advertising.

2. Newspaper

The newspaper is the traditional marketing tools. But in this digital marketing era newspaper has its own promotional value. KFC used newspaper as marketing tools for apologising about its recent chicken shortage. It has taken out a full page on a newspaper The sun and metro on Feb 23. The ad shows empty KFC bucket which letter switched to spell FCK. The advertisement created by Mother Advertising agency (Molly Flemming23Feb 2018).

KFC made the advertisement on offline media. But advertisement goes viral on social media by sharing images across online medias.KFC was surprised by their fans and competitiors by this advertisement.

3. Billboard

KFC billboards are visible from space(The guardians 2016). We can find KFC advertisement everywhere on town ,highways, streets, shopping malls and so on. Billboard advertising makes instant impression among people. Billboard advertisement can reach huge number of people everyday. The other advantage of billboard advertisement is that it is low cost and more effective. Billboards are a great way to reach the masses-to reach where they live, commute, work and a socialise. Unlike other mass advertising media such as TV or radio, Billboard advertisement cant be switched off. Or with magazine print advertising it cant be put down. Or with internet advertising, it doesn’t disappear as quickly as it arrives(Cestrain 2014)


In summary, the effectiveness of digital marketing in this digital era is very important especially use of social media. Social media is the best advertising tool used by KFC and it is the most influential one. The best part is advertising in social media has no cost and its influence among people is very high. Social media help company to build a good relationship with consumers(Di Pietro, et al 2012).

It point out that by using digital marketing tools KFC achieved many great benefits. It enable the company to interact with their audience and their needs. The digital marketing has taken the market industry slowly by overtaking traditional methods.


  1. Yum, brand form10 k, annual report filling 22-2-2018
  2. Rood, George (January 5, 1969).’ Accidental Competitor in Chicken Game Is Winner’. New York Times.
  3. KFC Website 2018
  4. Vijay Hanj 27 DEC 2015
  5. KFC Add hope campaign case study by Michael organ2017
  6. Molly Flemming 23 Feb 2018
  7. (Cestrain 2014)
  8. DiPietro, R., Gustafson, C., Strick, S. & Crews, T., 2012. “The use of Social Networking Sites in the Restaurant Industry: Best Practices”, Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 15, 3, pp. 265-284.


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