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More Flavor and More Ways to Measure Success with QDOBA Mexican Eats

Camille Huey - Media Planner + Buyer

As QDOBA introduced new flavors into a fast-casual market crowded with high-spending competitors, we turned strategy and planning into results-driven action.

The fast-casual category is an immensely competitive space, and we needed to make QDOBA stand out as a brand that truly celebrates flavor. By focusing on QDOBA’s unique selling points — hand-crafted, slow-cooked and flame-grilled flavors, free guac and queso on entrees, plus its brand-new toppings — we worked to craft a media plan that not only highlighted the flavorful food, but also celebrated people who live their life with flavor.

By leveraging competitive insights on our core audience and media consumption research, we were able to confidently focus on high-impact tactics that best highlighted our new positioning. We used geo-targeting around QDOBA locations to make sure investments were able to “move the needle” in terms of awareness.

Choosing video-first tactics over volume channels like display allowed us to deliver messaging that was as bold and fresh as QDOBA, showcasing our flavorful influencers, food shots and custom content with QDOBA’s Executive Chef Katy Velazquez. The content displayed on video-first tactics brought depth to QDOBA’s newly released flavors and left consumers eager to order, which was later reinforced by an increase in sales and above average benchmark KPIs.

On top of the task at hand, we also had to answer the question on many advertisers’ minds following industry-changing privacy & attribution updates: How do we measure success?

Working with QDOBA and our team of data scientists, we developed an econometric model designed to accurately assess media performance against the bottom line. The custom model factored in key variables, including account sales, media spend, test markets and control markets, all of which was controlled for myriad other variables that can impact the bottom line. Using this model allowed us to put our performance into a context that easily resonated throughout QDOBA, an organization built to analyze sales and net profits more than media metrics.

The proof was in the queso: a 2.53x incremental return on ad spend and 40% return on investment to QDOBA’s bottom line.

In an era of disappearing digital conversions and industry uncertainty, proving your media worth is more difficult — but also more relevant — than ever. If you have questions or want to talk business, reach out anytime at:

Let Us Help Your Brand Drive Growth This Year.

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