Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

How El Pollo Loco tripled digital sales in 2020 by modernizing its marketing


When Bernard Acoca was named CEO of El Pollo Loco in 2018, the restaurant chain was still spending 98% of its media budget on TV and print media — years after digital media had disrupted the marketing landscape. With a strong marketing background, including years at Starbucks, Pizza Hut and a stint as CMO for the Americas at L’Oréal, Acoca knew that way of doing business had to change, as it was becoming a liability for a brand whose bread-and-butter remains customers over 40.

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Questions for Classroom Discussion

  1. What are demographics?
  2. According to this news story, what age group represents El Pollo Loco’s core customer?
  3. What is a target market?
  4. What is the difference between El Pollo Loco’s core customer and its target market?
  5. According to this story, how did the company adjust its marketing strategy based on its target market? Were they successful in reaching the new demographic?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.