Ruby Tuesday shifts budget to precise-and-efficient social mediaOctober 13, 2015 | By Fluent
Publication date 10/14/15
Ruby Tuesday is ramping up its investment in social and digital media in the last months of 2015 following successful initial testing helped the casual dining restaurant chain more precisely and efficiently target families with children.
Executives discussed how the chain is making a bigger push during the last three months of the year on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as it increases its focus on reaching families with children. The goal is to drive awareness of the chain as well as more business in the chain’s locations.
“We’ve increased our focus on reaching families with kids using a wider range of digital and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,” said JJ Buettgen, president and CEO ofRuby Tuesday, during a conference call with analysts last week to discuss the company’s financial results for the fiscal first quarter.
“The intent to this partnership is to leverage social and digital media to build awareness and drive incremental guest counts amongst families with kids,” he said. “We are also increasing our investment in digital and social platforms in the second quarter.”
The shift is in line with the restaurant chain’s efforts to refine its marketing strategies and how its allocates its budget with an eye toward balancing efficiency with effectiveness.
Ruby Tuesday hired digital social media agency VaynerMedia in the spring to help it ramp up its strategy.
To date, Ruby Tuesday has been a national cable-driven advertiser.
This summer, with VaynerMedia’s help, Ruby Tuesday began testing digital and social media, and it has been pleased with the results so far.
In particular, Ruby Tuesday reports that it can be more precise in its testing compared to what is possible with local cable.
Additionally, the chain is making its media spend count more by more precisely targeting families with children, which is an area of strategic focus for the brand.
Targeting families on mobile is an increasingly popular strategy that has been embraced by brands such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Hasbro and other others.
For example, Kraft similarly found success on social as well as mobile this summer, encouraging it to shift more of its budget from desktop. The campaign focused on a fun, family-friendly community on mobile and social for consumers to celebrate summer (see story).
Moms often choose where and what the family is going to eat for dinner. At the same time, they are heavy users of mobile and social, especially younger moms.
Digital customer acquisition agency Fluent recently released its Marketing to Moms report, which reveals that 59 percent of Moms said Facebook is their favorite social media network for learning about children’s products while 33 percent of young mothers follow brands on social media to learn about children’s products.
Ruby Tuesday’s social push is one way that the brand is becoming more friendly.
It is also getting ready to begin a test of Ziosk tablets for at-table ordering and payments later this month.
“We hired our digital agency in May and started our testing efforts in the summer, and we are happy about the results we’ve seen so far which is why we would expect to continue to increase investment in that area in the second quarter,” Mr. Buettgen said. “It has allowed us to do a couple of different things.
“One of which is to be more precise in our testing, which is something you can’t do with local cable, but it’s also allowing us more to target the families with kids in a much more pinpoint way with a lot less waste on the media,” he said. “So we are excited about it. It is early, but we are going to increase our efforts and I would expect to see a shift more in that direction over time.”