Why KFC worked with Google to develop a marketing strategy for its app – Digiday | Region & Cash

Grocery brand KFC developed a new marketing strategy for its app after taking advice from a major source: Google.

The new strategy for the app came into effect in 2020 after Google shared data insights to guide the brand.

Efforts to rethink the app, originally released in 2013, follow a shift in marketing leadership at KFC as the chain seeks to make its products more accessible to customers. The two companies have been working together since 2020, however Google and KFC each declined to disclose their financial arrangements for this partnership.

“The goal is to continue to provide a better experience over time so customers can enjoy KFC,” said Jeff Long, Director of Customer Journey Marketing. The brand aims to show how it aims to improve customers’ lives, a message the brand has incorporated into its app ads as well as on TV, including its famous Bucket ad.

With the KFC app, customers can re-order their previous orders, making it easier to save time. These features were created in light of data analyzed by Google, although this new strategy does not change KFC’s view of privacy. “We’re always looking for ways to make our guest experience more relevant and personalized, and collecting and enriching our first-party data is one way to deliver that enhanced customer experience,” Long said.

“With much of the consumer journey now happening digitally, it gave us a unique opportunity to truly partner with brands like KFC in new ways, helping them with these pivot points to meet changing consumer demand.” said Megan Danielson, Google’s head of industry, restaurants. Danielson found that searches for “takeaway restaurants” grew 400% year over year from 2020 to 2021, though she didn’t provide exact growth numbers.

It’s no secret that people are increasingly turning to online video and cable TV for entertainment, so platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok can be a powerful tool to reach both existing and new audiences. KFC’s recent campaign, starring Jack Harlow, capitalized on the popularity of these social platforms.

As part of a social media strategy, KFC used social media platforms organically to engage Millennials and Gen Z for the Jack Harlow campaign. “We figured out how to leverage the strengths and weaknesses of each platform to deliver a holistic campaign approach that makes customers understand what the offer has for them and why they should care about KFC and this Jack Harlow menu ‘ Long said.

It’s unclear how much of his advertising budget will be allocated to the KFC app, as Long declined to share details on the total budget. Long noted that KFC leveraged Facebook for organic growth and that ad spend was split between TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram, with TikTok being the preferred platform when it came to ad spend priority. According to Kantar data, KFC spent nearly $47 million on marketing efforts in 2022.

The pandemic has seen a surge in restaurant app downloads as restaurant owners seek to differentiate themselves from consumers and encourage loyalty in an age where cookies are no longer an issue. “Combined with a pandemic-driven surge in online fast food orders, it’s smart to invest in directing traffic to the chain’s mobile app,” said Margo Kahnrose, CMO at Skai, an omnichannel marketing platform, adding, that with authenticated relationships with consumers, KFC is able to customize and serve its relationships based on extensive first-party data. Statistical data shows that more than half of restaurant customers used their apps daily compared to third-party apps last fall.

The last few years has seen the digital market becoming more receptive to the idea of ​​personalized brand experiences thanks to the growth of apps, such as the fact that top brands like KFC want to invest in their most loyal customers and be ready for that, what comes next as consumer habits evolve over time. “Brands that experience the greatest success will leverage all the best-in-class resources at their disposal to create data-driven solutions aimed at driving results and growth, rather than solely relying on headlines,” said David Anderson, Partner, UTA and co-head of entertainment and cultural marketing at private equity firm MediaLink.

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