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Quiznos To Test Beacons With Roximity

With the completion of a geo-targeted video campaign powered by TubeMogul, the sandwich chain sees place-based ad programs as a permanent part of its marketing.

Quiznos' Tim Kraus
Quiznos’ Tim Kraus

Quiznos wrapped up work with video demand-side platform TubeMogul last week on a digital campaign that demonstrated the company’s growing reliance on programmatic advertising and geo-data to target audience demographics across devices.

As the sandwich chain’s marketing team prepares to examine the results of its Lobster & Seafood Salad Sub video ads, its first deep dive into online video advertising, Quiznos is looking to expand the role that location targeting plays with a planned beacon test by the second half of the year. Location ad platform Roximity has been tapped to run the beacon trial. Like Quiznos, Roximity is based in Denver.

A Cautious Start

The quick serve restaurant plans to kick off the beacon test sometime in Q2 or Q3 and in one or two markets, said Tim Kraus, Quiznos’ director of Interactive and Innovation. Kraus emphasizes that Quiznos wants to look long and hard at the efficacy and use cases of beacons.

Roximity's Model O beacon
Roximity’s Model O beacon

“Beacons definitely have some potential, but we’re still trying to see what that full potential is,” Kraus said. “The verdict on beacons is not close to being in yet. The interest we have is in whether it can help push store-specific messages to someone who’s using an application and wants to hear more information from us.”

The beacon test comes as other geomarketing methods and technologies are becoming an integral part of Quiznos’ overall marketing strategy, Kraus said, adding that the use of location as an attribute is something Quiznos has done since an October 2013 geo-fencing campaign with YP’s Sense Networks that yielded a 6 percent sales lift in sales over the national average.

Programmatic Consolidation

The Quiznos Lobster Roll
The Quiznos Lobster Roll

That YP campaign, along with others that followed represents a series of steps that Quiznos has taken in developing its digital discipline. The TubeMogul work, which ran from late February until March 13, may have been short, but since it was national in scope, the effort covered more ground than previous geo-targeting programs and encompassed most of the chain’s 1,500 US outlets.

TubeMogul first started preliminary trials with Quiznos ads in June 2014. The retailer became a full platform customer earlier this year, said TubeMogul CMO Keith Eadie. While most national brands have turned to marketing automation as a way to efficiently manage their digital media buys, Quiznos decided to go all in with TubeMogul by consolidating all its video advertising with the Emeryville, CA-based ad tech company.

Although programmatic is generally associated with real-time, direct response efforts designed to find only the most receptive audience, both Eadie and Kraus stressed the brand affinity benefits associated with the campaign the two companies planned.

TubeMogul's Keith Eadie
TubeMogul’s Keith Eadie

“For a brand like Quiznos that is primarily targeting young males on its latest Lobster & Seafood Salad Sub campaign, digital video — particularly on smartphones and tablets — is the ideal branding medium,” Eadie said. “As Quiznos rolls out its mobile app and begins to tie in-store visits back to mobile advertising, they are well-positioned to drive loyalty.”

Looking Back And Forward

The creative assets for the Quiznos video ad were all the same, no matter the exact location and region being geo-targeted. Styled like an old “B-Movie,” the ads promoted the return of the chain’s lobster rolls — an upscale menu item designed to highlight the difference between Quiznos and its larger rival, Subway. In a more subtle way, the lobster roll’s comeback was also meant as a signal to those who wrote the Quiznos brand off following its bankruptcy filing in February 2014.

Lobster Attack by Quiznos
Lobster Attack by Quiznos

In addition to looking at the metrics from its first major online video ad effort, Quiznos is also looking at ways to promote individual regions and locations through more locally-targeted campaigns.

“In the future, there’s definitely a possibility of serving different types of creative content to users in different regions,” Kraus said. If we have something we’re testing just in Cincinnati, we can tailor it to just to that market.”

In the meantime, as Kraus turns his focus to the forthcoming beacon test, he’s also watching what other companies do with mobile payments. But here too, Kraus doesn’t feel a need to rush in.

“Obviously, you have to think of all the technology and platforms that have been emerging, from social media to mobile,” Kraus said. “The most interesting part about mobile is that if you look at what was popular three years ago in terms of ad strategy and capabilities, those features are only really entering the mainstream right now. We’re not going to over-invest in any one area as we try to see what’s next on the horizon.

“For example, if enough consumers are saying, ‘Hey, we want to be able to pay you using our mobile device as a wallet,’ we’ll absolutely respond at that point,” Kraus continued. But we’re not going to just do it because it’s a ‘bright shiny object.’ We’re not going to do anything without a clear value to the customer experience and Quiznos as a brand.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.