The Taco Maker (TTM) reports a 21 percent same-stores sales increase in first quarter of 2009, crediting the success to a new mobile marketing strategy that spotlights its new flagship product, “The Maker” burrito, the mouth-watering, one pound burrito stuffed with up to three kinds of meat, beans, enchilada sauce and Monterey Jack Cheese in a warm home-style tortilla.
“We knew in a slowing economy that our marketing approach had to be focused on value for the customer,” says Carlos Budet, president and CEO of The Taco Maker. “Our goal is to help the customer stretch their dollar while offering fresh, authentic Mexican quick service food. That’s why we’re showcasing our new one pound flagship burrito “The Maker” through an innovative marketing approach. This allows customers to satisfy their hunger without the premium costs.”
The Taco Maker is implementing this strategy developed by BxP Marketing in Florida that allows the company to track customer trends and preferences while also interacting with customers.
“The process is pretty elaborate and detailed,” says Gary Bentz, chief creative officer of BxP Marketing. “First, consumers opt-in by sending a text to our SMS platform and in return they receive an offer for a free burrito via their mobile phones. Once a customer redeems the text message offer, the software provides TTM with a report that details what radio station that customer was listening to, the daypart, and which program they were listening to that prompted the customer to respond to the offer. The trained staff at each TTM location has been key in assisting customers with the promotion and up-selling.”
TTM is targeting English and Spanish language radio stations in central Florida for the first stage of this innovative marketing campaign. They have also introduced a Mexican American character called, Juan Maker, to help with product identity that will also become the basis for the “Juan Peso Value Menu” in the campaign’s second phase. In unscripted radio spots, Juan Maker is interviewed with a major DJ personality in the Orlando area and asked to text a particular number to get the free food offers.
“We really poured all of our creative juices into this exciting product launch and developed a strategic program to introduce The Maker, generate traffic to the stores and create demand for this new flagship product,” Bentz says. “Our goal was to combine both traditional and cutting edge media strategies to reach out to a specific demographic and motivate them to visit the stores. The results, I’m proud to say, are nothing short of spectacular.”
In terms of the importance of targeting a younger segment to expand TTM’s customer base, Budet says, “We realize how important it is to tap into a younger tech savvy segment of the market for growing our brand in the coming years. We’ve seen in just a few months, in fact, the impact this strategy can have on our total revenue gains. In the first quarter alone, over 2,200 customers have responded positively via their mobile phones for our free burrito promotion with an overwhelming 50 percent redeem ratio.”