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Score 14 - Future Possibility: Ruth's Chris Steak House taps PR AOR after CEO, marketing VP hire
Update: We received word from a client that Ruth's Chris Steak House (shout to clients who give us information - you guys are awesome!). We have confirmed that the account is now out of Moxie, though we are trying to determine which office. We'll let you know when we learn more.
Since we have confirmed a new media agency, sellers should now direct their pitches to Moxie. Agencies and martechs should expect to find Moxie among their competition for potential media work.
Below was originally published May 29.
Ruth's Chris Steak House promoted John Walker to brand marketing VP (brand CMO function), effective May 2018. He started with the company in 2015 as senior digital strategy, but most recently served as senior brand marketing director. He also brings experience from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.
A few months after his hire, in August, Ruth's Chris promoted Cheryl Henry to CEO. She most recently served as the company's president and COO, but also served as its chief marketing officer and chief business development officer in her nearly 12-year tenure.
This executive leadership will likely review agency relationships, so agencies and martechs should reach out. Keep in mind, however, you'll have to focus on securing digital (competition includes The Richards Group) and creative (no agency on file) because PR just switched.
The steakhouse hired reportedly build national awareness with a campaign promoting exclusive dinners and special events. It will promote local awareness (and the steakhouse's expansion) with campaigns that leverage locations' unique characteristics.
We're unsure when these new campaigns will launch, but sellers should reach out to remain top-of-mind. Ruth's Chris typically spends the most prior to special events like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve. It usually targets millennial and Gen-X, but just made a play for Gen-Z with a college graduate special.
Adbeat reports digital display over the last 12 months has totaled $96.8k and been placed primarily via direct buy (33%), Google (32%) and other (31%) onto sites like whitepages.com, eventful.com, epicurious.com, cbslocal.com and thrillist.com. Ads over the last 24 months have totaled $753.8k and been placed primarily via Google (73%), direct buy (8%) and Sharethrough (7%) onto sites like shareably.net, eventful.com, youtube.com, whitepages.com and fashionbeans.com.
While this obviously marks a decrease, note that spend is actually slated to increase. Executives in the recent Q1 earnings call reported that revenue increased 2.8% for the quarter, and since marketing is slated to remain between 3.4% and 3.6% of revenue, spend increases will be imminent.
We expect a lot of these increases to go to helping Ruth's Chris stay top-of-mind amid competitors like Morton's The Steakhouse, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse Wine & Bar and The Capital Grille.