Industry News | January 29, 2009

Sonic Pilot Deemed a Success

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Mobile marketing company GradeUs, LLC, announced successful completion of a text-based mobile marketing program at 10 Sonic stores located in southern Louisiana. The campaign comprised two components: a customer satisfaction program that encouraged customers to grade their dining experience via text messaging and a "blast" marketing campaign that provided participating customers with coupons for free and discounted food, also via text message.

"In an economic downtown, every guest touch point is critical," says GradeUs Vice President Bernard Stolberg. "Our application blends a very effective means to interact with the guest via a personal interface while collecting important operational data, as well as provide a marketing tool to stay connected to them."

"We have worked with many programs to attempt to gauge the satisfaction of our guests as this is the most important aspect of our business but have not seen equal response rates or had the opportunity to reach out to responding guests in the way we did with the mobile marketing program from GradeUs," says Vanessa Lewy, vice-president of Kergan Brothers Sonic, which owns the 10 restaurants that participated in the program.

Approximately 1,000 customers participated in the pilot program, which offered incentives like food discounts and a chance to win a year's worth of free food. Individual units received up to 14 responses a day and a marketing response rate of 3 percent. This outpaces direct mail and other traditional marketing methods and is consistent with industry research, which indicates that offers or coupons forwarded by text message are 10 to 20 times more effective than either email or direct mail.