Late last year The Taco Maker, a quick-service Mexican chain based in Puerto Rico and Orlando, FL, decided the economic time was right to start selling its value message to its two core constituencies, Hispanic families and young adults. And they chose to do so with a media strategy that bridged two of the channels which both groups, according to research, use heavily: radio and mobile.
The chain had just recently introduced a new product, the “Maker” burrito, a pound of meat, beans and cheese in a tortilla wrapper. Billboards in its service areas were inviting customers to “Come in and meet your Maker.” So early this year Taco Maker and its agency BxP Marketing launched an integrated campaign to get those target groups into the stores and sampling.
They identified English- and Spanish-language radio stations in central Florida that drew the right demographics and arranged an on-air “visit” to the stations by a cheeky spokes-character, Juan Maker, who challenged listeners to text in to a short code for a coupon for a free Maker burrito.
In the stores, software applied to the coded coupons track what radio station that customer had been listening to, the time of day the customer was listening, and the program that prompted him or her to pick up the phone and text in.
“We mapped out that data, and it let us know how effectively each and every dollar we spent with our media partners was performing,” says Gary Bentz, BxP’s chief creative officer.
The mobile coupons got 2,200 listeners to text in, and the coupons themselves earned a strong 50% redemption rate, making them one large factor in a 21% same-store sales increase in the chain’s first quarter of ’09.