In 1996, a friend opened fast casual restaurants in Kansas and let us know he was going to hire a local-to-Kansas agency. We wished him well knowing that we knew nothing about that market. Six month later, he came to us in a panic after spending $80,000 in local radio and losing market share and sales. He asked us to review his buy, which we did. Using industry standard measurement tools, we learned he was buying the top three stations in the market but it wasn’t working. We knew we needed to dig in. So, armed with paper and pencil surveys, we conducted 500 customer surveys at each of his five of his restaurant locations. The surveys consisted of 12 questions that delved into the customers’ media preferences and habits. From this information, we were able to profile his existing customer and discovered the top three stations in the market didn’t index at all with his current customer based. Using this information, we placed a buy with half the original dollars and the same creative and watched his sales grow past his opening benchmarks.
We have been conducting these paper and pencil surveys ever since, for any client willing to invest in the research to make their media buys more efficient. However, no matter how we priced it, the surveys were a losing proposition due to the labor required to input and analyze the data. About a year and a half ago, Jane realized huge strides in technology have lent a better way to tabulate and gather data, and MMAPS™ was born. Our proprietary research service is built on the theory that if you can profile an existing customer, then you have the profile of potential customers as well. The result is smarter message development and more efficient media buying. We send iPads to a business, teach employees to use the MMAPS™ survey technology, collect data, and then make recommendations to the business based on our analysis of the survey results.
Since March, we have been working with Hooters in Sacramento to hone its marketing messages and media placement in its three locations. All three locations have significantly different customer bases and demographic, and Hooters needed to better reach all customers.
During March, about 200 customer surveys were conducted in each location while customers were in the restaurant. Though the customer bases varied greatly from store to store, we found many strong similarities that gave huge insight into how to guide Hooters’ marketing efforts.
Our survey found that 80% of its customers didn’t subscribe to or read the paper. Also, all three locations revealed huge radio market similarities. So Hooters is now spending more dollars in radio and television and less in print than in recent months. The heavily male demographic was asked what keeps them coming back to Hooters. The answer was no surprise: the girls. Because of this research, the Hooters girls have increased promotional activity, are recording radio commercials at local stations, and are promoting their station visits with social media and pictures.
We are excited to report Hooters sales increased since our MMAPS™ campaign. We can’t wait to see what success it will yield in the future for Hooters and for our other clients!