Chick-fil-A has a comprehensive marketing strategy, reaching consumers via traditional advertising, social media, local community activities, and the Chick-fil-A One App.
Chick-fil-A does the occasional print ad or coupon mailer, but the most common traditional advertising methods used to market to its target audience are billboards, television ads and sponsorships. In total, Chick-fil-A spent approximately $63 Million in advertising in 2016, the same amount as Starbucks.
Whether driving along I-40 in the Carolinas, I-10 in Texas or any other major roadway with a Chick-fil-A nearby, eventually you’ll come across a Chick-fil-A billboard and those ubiquitous cows. These billboards are friendly reminders that there is a Chick-fil-A nearby for hungry travelers.
Chick-fil-A runs television ads during the holidays, for new product launches, during televised sporting events, or whenever the target market would likely be watching. The company spends Millions on tv ads each year.
Chick-fil-A sponsors major sporting events like the Peach Bowl each year.
Social Media allows the company to interact with customers. Chick-fil-A has a strong social media presence, receiving the second highest social ranking among all restaurants by Netbase.
As of the initial publication of this page in April 2018, Chick-fil-A has over 8 Million likes on its Facebook page and over 7.5 Million Facebook Followers. On the site Chick-fil-A provides links to local store pages and events, photos and videos about its products and other information. The Facebook community is active with Chick-Fil-A posting regularly and many fans/customers posting to the page often as well.
Chick-fil-A’s Instagram page has over 970,000 followers. On Instagram Chick-fil-A posts a new photo almost daily (excluding Sundays of course). The page currently has 801 posts in total.
Chick-fil-A has sent approximately 105,000 tweets and has almost 920,000 Twitter followers. Like Instagram posts, Chick-fil-A appears to create one new tweet every day, but the company is also active responding to other Twitter users and following fans or liking fan tweets. On Twitter the brand has shared over 19,000 photos and videos. Chick-fil-A has been active on Twitter since 2008.
Chick-fil-A’s YouTube Channel has over 38,000 subscribers with multiple videos and Millions of views. The videos on the channel cover a variety of topics; from recipes to local store activities, dancing cows, fan experiences, tv commercials and more. Consistent with the brand, many of the videos are less about the food and more about the customers or serving the community. Visiting the site will give access to Chick-fil-A created videos and other consumer-generated content.
A Mini on the way.
Here Comes the Sunrise
Chick-fil-A’s LinkedIn page introduces visitors to some IT jobs and other careers at Chick-fil-A and showcases the company philosophy. There are over 86,500 followers of Chick-fil-A on LinkedIn.
Chick-fil-A’s Tumbler page takes on a decidedly different look than its other sites. Its a little more humorous and is currently focused on the idea that chicken for breakfast is “not as crazy as you think.” The Tumbler page may be sponsored in part by Simply Orange, which is prominently displayed on the site.
COWZ ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Not to be left out, the Chick-fil-A Cows also have their own social media presence on Facebook and some videos on YouTube..
Cowz on Facebook.
Cowz on YouTube.
LOCAL COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
Each Chick-fil-A location works hard to connect to the local community. They decorate with local/regional specific marketing pieces, provide in-store promotions and activities, and get involved in community customs and events. These locally-themed decorations and location-specific activities provide good potential for word-of-mouth advertising as consumers discuss these items unique to Chick-fil-A within their peer group.
Local/Region Specific Store Decorations.
This picture is on the wall at a local San Antonio area Chick-fil-A location.
In Store Promotions.
Many locations offer free breakfast items or other offers for their local customers that are not advertised anywhere other than in-store or on the store’s own facebook page.
Community Specific Customs and Events.
As it is core to the Chick-fil-A brand to be involved in the local community, most stores be engaged in local customs and events. Fiesta in San Antonio is just one of many examples. Fiesta is a ten day party in San Antonio that dates back to 1891. One of the local customs is to collect and trade Fiesta medals. Being an active member of the community, Chick-fil-A not only celebrates, but they have their own collectible Fiesta medal each year.
Cow Appreciation Day.
Cow Appreciation Day is an annual event that encourages fans to come to their favorite restaurant dressed as a Cow. There are games for kids, contests, and of course free food.
Many locations host Stuffed Animal Sleepovers, School Spirit Nights or Kid’s Nights.
CHICK-FIL-A ONE APP
The Chick-fil-A One mobile app is another way that the restaurant chain stays engaged with its customers. The app provides a customized experience, interactive menu, store locator and information about local operators. It also supports online ordering and a customer loyalty program that provides free menu items after a certain volume of food purchases.
Effectively Reaching The Target Market
The traditional advertising reaches sports fans, young adults, families and moms. The social media activities reach moms, younger demographics. The mobile app connects consumers on the go with the brand and provides shopping convenience and a loyalty program. The local events help build a sense of community with families. The kid’s activities help encourage brand preference among families and youth, marketing to parents and to the children (to encourage parental yielding).
Through all these activities and communication channels, Chick-fil-A is very successful at reaching their target market.