Extensive Marketing Strategy of Delta – Detailed Explanation

Updated on: Oct 2, 2023
Marketing Strategy Of Delta - Featured Image

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

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In a previous article, we learned about the detailed Marketing Strategy of Air India, the flag carrier airline of India. In this blog, we are going to elaborate on the marketing strategy of Delta – one of the major airlines in the United States and a legacy carrier. 

The objective is to help you gain insights into Delta’s transition from being the world’s first aerial crop-dusting company to becoming one of the most recognized airlines in the United States.

Time has changed, and so has the way businesses interact with their consumers. Traditional marketing has taken a backseat to Digital Marketing, which has emerged as the industry’s new face. The internet has created a whole new market, and digital marketing has become the standard for a successful company. If you want to learn more about digital marketing, attend our Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing.

This blog will go through the marketing strategy of Delta in detail. Let’s start by learning about the company’s history, target audience, and digital presence before we delve in.

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About Delta

Marketing Strategy of Delta - Delta Airplane

Delta Air Lines was founded 96 years ago by Collett Everman Woolman on 2nd March 1925. Under the name of Huff Daland Dusters, and started operations on 17 June 1929. The company originated in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Delta Air Lines is one of the world’s leading airlines in the United States for products, service, innovation, reliability, and customer experience.

Every day, more than 4,000 Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) flights take off, connecting people from all over the world to over 275 destinations on six continents via award-winning operational excellence, customer service, safety, and innovation. Delta’s objective as the world’s largest airline is to link individuals and communities to each other and their potential to generate opportunities, encourage understanding, and broaden perspectives.

Delta has served up to 200 million passengers every year. Delta has large hubs and key markets in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Seoul-Incheon, and Tokyo, with its headquarters in Atlanta.


Quick Stats on Delta
CEO Ed Bastian
CMO Tim Mapes
Area Served 325 destinations in 52 countries on 6 continents
Industry Airline Industry
Market Share/ Revenue $35.097B per year
Vision To be the World’s Most Trusted Airline
Tagline Keep Climbing

Before moving further to the marketing strategy of Delta. Let us have a look at some more insights about Delta.

What’s new with Delta

check out some current news about Delta:

  • Delta Airlines recently provided information about the White House statement on the federal shielded requirement with its employees via a tweet. This shows that Delta Air Lines actively communicates critical data with its employees and keeps them up to date on governmental laws and procedures.
  • Delta Airlines canceled more than 100 flights, possibly owing to maintenance issues, and has begun to open some middle seats, signaling a change in COVID-19 seating policies.
  • Delta Cuts SkyMiles Earnings For Partner Airlines As Part Of Changes.
  • With AI and SAP, Delta Air Lines provides a positive, personalized employee experience that motivates people to go above and beyond.

Target Audience of Delta

Now moving further let us know who are the target customers of Delta. These include:

  1. Business and Leisure Travelers
  2. Frequent Flyers
  3. International and Domestic Passengers
  4. Premium and Budget Travelers
  5. Travel Enthusiasts
  6. Cargo Customers

Check out the Buyer persona below to get a clear understanding:

Buyer’s Persona






30 years


Managing Consultant


  • Values efficient and reliable travel.
  • Seeks frequent flyer perks and comfort.
  • Punctuality

Interest & Hobbies

  • exploring new destinations.
  • Loves fine dining.
  • Travelling

Pain Points

  • Dislikes flight delays
  • Disruptions
  • Hassles at security and baggage claim.

Social Media Presence

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Marketing Strategy of Delta

Let’s now take a look at the marketing Strategy of Delta! And how Delta executes its marketing initiatives.

Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

Airlines have traditionally divided passengers into two distinct categories based on their trip purpose: business and leisure. Leisure travelers come to relax, have fun, and have a good time. Business tourists, on the other hand, travel to promote their company.

Delta Airlines is using a single-segment strategy. It is currently focusing on business class passengers. Delta Airlines is attempting to engage its target audience by emphasizing that it provides everything that business travelers want. They accomplish this by placing advertisements in broadcast and other national media.

Sky Miles, a renowned frequent flyer program offered by Delta Airlines, is a large and well-known reward program. Customers can earn miles by traveling with Delta or one of its affiliates, or by utilizing partner firms such as credit cards, hotels, and auto rentals. The mileage credit may be used to book flights or join one of Delta’s Sky Clubs.

Digital Marketing Strategy of Delta

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is really important when it comes to gathering the audience at large and no wonder a brand like Hyundai uses it to its full advantage.

Delta Airlines is optimizing the use of social media by offering its services not only in the air but also through various social media platforms. Delta is on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Facebook, among other social media platforms.

Their Facebook handle has the most followers (3.3 million), followed by Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and finally Youtube. Their Instagram and Twitter accounts each have over a million followers. The airline program @DeltaAssist was the first in the United States to use Twitter for customer service.

Hey, If you want your business to be successful on social media platforms or have a curiosity about how marketing works on these channels, then you must check out the short-term SEM course offered by IIDE in which you will get everything you are looking for to know-how marketing works on social media.

SEO Strategies

Marketing Strategy of Delta - SEO insights by Ubersuggest for Delta’s website

Number of organic keywords – 1,028,642
Organic monthly traffic – 6,043,831

According to SEO rankings, a low number of keywords (under 500) is poor, a high number of keywords (over 1000) is excellent, and a higher number of keywords (10,000+) is exceptional. As can be seen, https://www.delta.com/  has 1,028,642 organic keywords, which is incredible. That means that the digital marketing strategy of Delta is acquiring an enormous amount of insight.

Also, the monthly traffic is approximately 6 million, which is again incredible. This demonstrates that Delta has a flawless SEO plan in place, as well as a willingness to work hard enough to maintain the brand flying in the Google organic SERP rankings.

Influencer Marketing

Delta engaged its Los Angeles clients in a location-based treasure hunt on the famous app Snapchat in 2016, marking the first time the platform’s geo-filter features were used.

“Delta DreamHunt” encouraged young, aspiring Angelenos to uncover Delta’s Snapchat filters carefully hidden across the city and bring their aspirations into reality.

The airline chose a group of five Angelenos who are important throughout major businesses and who embody the city and its many areas, including music group and YouTube sensations KARMIN and Chef Ray Garcia. The ad included a fresh theme each week that corresponded to a certain influencer and their location, and then dropped hints to reveal the secret custom Snapchat filter.

E-commerce Strategies

You may book a Delta Air flight online by going to the official website and selecting ‘book.’ Then input the destination and arrival airports, as well as the kind of travel (one-way, round, or multi-city), departure date, and passenger number. 

Options such as refundable fares, which reimburse a portion of your fare in the event of cancellation, ‘shop with miles’ which allows you to buy your flight using points earned, and ‘my dates are flexible’ which finds you the cheapest deals, may be used to narrow down your search.

You may also save money by booking your Delta Airlines travel via Yatra.com.

Mobile Apps

Marketing Strategy of Delta - FlyDelta App Interface

The “FlyDelta App,” Delta’s mobile platform, was created with the consumer in mind to improve the travel experience at every stage. Customers can use it as a travel companion, finding, booking, and comparing flights, paying with digital wallets, checking in, receiving live notifications, and even tracking their baggage. 

Most significantly, the platform is built for flexibility and responsiveness: owing to a hybrid strategy of cross-platform and native development, Delta can swiftly adapt to market changes and introduce new features.

Content Marketing Strategies

Delta Airlines’ social media accounts, which include Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Instagram, all feature regular updates and are operated daily.

On YouTube, they regularly upload videos related to different Delta job previews, promoting various ad campaigns and advertising several collaborations that they have.

Delta has created a separate website to update us with all the news in the form of online articles. The news is categorized into 4 types – “Travel Well”, “Routers & Waivers”, “Community” and “Business”.

Marketing and Advertising Campaigns of Delta

Following are some of the campaigns of Delta airlines:

Marketing Strategy of Delta - Delta’s ad campaign

The commercial advertises the integrated Delta/Aeromexico network from LAX to Mexico, with the phrase “Go where everyone agrees on how to pronounce ‘Los Feliz.'” Many of Los Angeles’ neighborhoods have Spanish names (e.g., El Segundo, Los Feliz), but Angelenos pronounce them with an Americanized pronunciation rather than the more well-recognized Spanish pronunciation.

Marketing Strategy of Delta - Delta’s billboard campaign

These smart billboards target passengers arriving on certain Delta Air Lines aircraft using real-time data. The content of billboards changes immediately after the selected aircraft lands, as per the data, to target travelers as they exit the LAX airport.

Marketing Strategy of Delta - Delta’s regional ad campaign

This focused regional campaign raises awareness about how Delta is the true entertainment airline throughout L.A. which is the entertainment capital of the globe. The campaign focuses on four essential themes that demonstrate how Delta’s entertainment operations improve the flying experience for all Angelenos:

  1. In LAX, Delta has the most seatback displays.
  2. They have more seatback displays than any other airline in the world.
  3. All entertainment is provided free of charge.
  4. Customers never have to choose between one kind of entertainment and another on board thanks to free in-flight entertainment, texting, and Wi-Fi packages.

This brings us to the end of the case study on the Marketing strategy of Delta but before we conclude let us check out the competitors and a controversial strategy of Delta.

 Top 5 Competitors of Delta Airlines

  • American Airlines: American Airlines, founded in 1930, is one of the biggest and most established airlines in the country of America. It has a large national and global network and serves millions of passengers each year. The airline is part of the Oneworld partnership and has its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • United Airlines: United Airlines is a large American airline based in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the world’s major airlines, with a broad network of routes across the globe. It was founded in 1926. United is well-known for its large fleet and extensive Star Alliance participation. 
  • JetBlue Airlines: JetBlue Airways is a well-known American inexpensive airline based in Long Island City, New York. It was founded in 1998 and is recognized for its low rates, airline entertainment selections, and outstanding client service. JetBlue primarily serves the Americas region with international as well as domestic flights.
  • Virgin Atlantic: Virgin Atlantic is a British airline recognized for its fashionable and forward-thinking strategy for air transportation. Richard Branson founded it in 1984, and it primarily provides long-range flights connecting the United Kingdom and North America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The airline is well-known for its striking red livery and excellent customer service.
  • Continental Airlines: Continental Airlines, headquartered in Houston, Texas, was a major American airline. It was in operation from 1934 until 2012, when it combined with American Airlines to become another of the world’s major carriers. Continental was well-known for its broad local and international routes, especially to the United States and Mexico, Europe, as well as Asia.

Example of a campaign that faced backlash from customers

Following is an example of a strategy of Delta that caused controversy as it faced backlash from customers.

What was the issue?

The problem lies in the fact that Delta made the process of achieving status extremely simple by basing it just on the amount you spend on co-branded credit cards and flight, hotel, or rental car reservations made through the airline. It also significantly increased the bar at which you had to reach each level.

What Backlash did they face?

However, many clients were already dissatisfied. For a while, many of Delta’s best clients had been dissatisfied. Simply put, there have been too many high-ranking individuals for any of them to feel appreciated.

You’re probably feeling pretty good right now if you’re one of the customers that Delta believes deserves to be Diamond status holders. Your loyalty has just increased in value with Delta because you are no longer in competition with those who spend significantly less.

What did Delta do?

At first, they did not seem concerned but later following a previously announced makeover, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian stated that the airline will be making “modifications” to its reward program in the coming weeks.

This ends the elaborative marketing strategy of Delta. Let us conclude our learning below from the marketing strategy of Delta.

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Conclusion – What’s Unique in Delta’s Marketing?

Delta’s marketing strategy is known as customer-oriented marketing. Aside from internet marketing, the organization employs various methods to get exposure, such as fashion shows and creative initiatives.

In the last several years, the relevance of digital marketing has shifted dramatically. It’s become ingrained in what a company represents to its customers. It’s no longer sufficient to have a website or conduct a haphazard Ads campaign. Every company needs a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy. The influence of digital marketing is becoming increasingly evident as the Internet is becoming more embedded into our daily lives.

Digital marketing is crucial since it links a company with its clients when they are online and is effective across all sectors. It links businesses with ideal consumers through SEO and PPC on Google, social media marketing, and email marketing. If you would like to learn more and develop skills, check out IIDE’s 4-Month Digital Marketing Course to learn more.

Alternatively, you can enrol in one of our free online masterclasses led by IIDE’s CEO, Karan Shah, to gain insight into the field of digital marketing. 

We hope this blog on the marketing strategy of Delta has given you a good insight into the company’s marketing strategies.

If you like such in-depth analysis of companies just like the marketing strategy of Delta check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

Thank you for taking the time to read the marketing strategy of Delta, and do share your thoughts on this case study marketing strategy of Delta in the comments section below.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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