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Male Gen-Z Opps: Red Robin shifts to digital-only strategy, significantly increases spend (Score 49)
Many restaurants experienced significant negative effects of the global pandemic, and burger chain Red Robin (RR) has been no exception. Despite this, its digital/social media spend has risen. Execs mentioned in their latest earning call that the company's Q4 2020 revenues dropped by 34% YOY. However, RR is beginning to further leverage digital marketing strategies "that are more effective and less expensive," especially when it comes to social media initiatives. Execs are particularly pleased with the digital-only marketing efforts with which the company has kicked off 2021.
RR's social media efforts have delivered increased engagement and a record follower number. The company also reached its best-ever loyalty email engagement; it now boasts more than 9m royalty members. Finally, it also invested minimally in TV initiatives during the past quarter. Remember, though, that RR is currently investing in a digital-only strategy.
This company also recently debuted three delivery-only brands, RR's newest effort toward providing off-premise dining. Readers able to bolster brand awareness of these brands - The Wing Dept (wings and sides), Fresh Set (fresh green salads, wraps and sandwiches) and Chicken Sammy's (chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and kettle chips) - should get in touch sooner rather than later.
The company hasn't yet invested in national TV in 2021. iSpot reports that last year, around $12.8m went toward national TV commercials, less than half of the approximately $33.5m that RR allocated toward this channel during 2019 . The company's 2020 commercials targeted Gen-Z and millennial men viewing programs such as American Dad, Bob's Burgers, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Office and Family Guy.
According to Pathmatics, RR has spent roughly $1.3m on digital ads so far this year, double the roughly $559.6k it spent within the same 2020 timeframe. The company's estimated full-year 2020 spend more than doubled to $5.5m from that of $2.5m in 2019. YTD, it has earned ~125.2m digital impressions via YouTube (47%), Facebook (38%), Instagram (14%) and desktop display (1%) ads.
As I'm sure you surmised from RR's digital-only strategy focused particularly on paid social channels, its historically male target demographic skews strongly toward Gen-Z. To reach this audience, I expect it will soon expand into additional digital channels such as OTT and/or podcast. Per Kantar data, RR also utilizes OOH, radio and local broadcast.
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