Case Study: Mindy B’s Deli Sandwich Throwdown

February 13, 2013
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Taste How Good Creative Marketing Can Be

Opening a new business can be both thrilling and exhausting. Opening a new restaurant is just down right crazy (so we hear) in terms of the advance preparation required before opening day. Just think about all that goes into the opening of a new eatery. There’s the build out of the space, the kitchen setup, setting the menu, pricing, employee training, decor, choosing suppliers, oh and let’s not forget the marketing.

MMLabs was tapped by the owner of a new deli opening in downtown Chattanooga to help get her online marketing off the ground. She wanted a creative and non-traditional way to stand out among the sea of eating establishments in the downtown area. Our goal was to increase foot traffic by creating an online presence via Facebook with an online marketing campaign or contest, and utilize email marketing for the deli to communicate daily/weekly specials to customers.

We unleashed our creative staff to hatch up some fun and frolic at the deli which resulted in a three month campaign consisting of:

  • Online community building and outreach
  • Sandwich Throwdown (promotional contest) via Facebook Page
  • Professional food photography
  • Conversion, and post-conversion support
  • Built out Facebook page with navigation points to engage audience in conversion into customers
  • Create online citations to build online presence to further drive traffic online and on site
  • Analyze and observe audience
  • Identify brand advocates to build Facebook community to provide lasting solutions
  • Pioneer, posture and grow the Facebook fan base utilizing social media tactics
  • Deploy Sandwich Throwdown Contest via Facebook
  • Create media “buzz” through traditional and online channels
  • Consulting on social media, email marketing and content creation
  • Video campaign and custom graphic design
Our promotional concept was simple – have people submit their favorite sandwich recipe using a list of ingredients in the store, next have people vote for their favorite and then crown a winner. Top prize? Getting your creation on the menu for a year and total bragging rights. Participants were encouraged to name their creations and have family and friends vote for their favorite. This encouraged cross-sharing, and more ‘likes’ to the page since you could not vote without becoming a fan.
Phase one ended with the top three voted sandwiches moving into phase two. The contestants were invited into the shop where we videotaped them making and talking about their creation. These videos in turn were used to promote each of the three finalists and their special sandwiches. We were fortunate the three finalists were very dynamic on camera.

Phase 3 began with the public being invited to vote for their favorite sandwich. Rather than setup an online voting system, we drove cash register sales by having people cast their vote by actually ordering the sandwich to cast their vote. At the end of every day, the store would tally the number of orders for each sandwich where they would be posted to the Facebook page.
During the course of each phase the three contestants leveraged their own personal social networks to drive more traffic to the page. Did it work? The proof is in the pudding as they say, or in this case between the bread slices.

The Results Were Golden Delicious

  • 63% increase in sales during run of contest

  • 86.5% increase in Facebook fans

  • Increased brand awareness

  • Mentions in local press (including a 10-minute local TV segment)

  • Exposure to a new audience through online marketing tactics

The local press were made aware of the contest, and created even more buzz:


In order to achieve this kind of success though, we needed to first build up the audience. We did this through Facebook targeting and ad placement along with a concerted effort to get people who work in the downtown area and lunch out often to “like” the Facebook Page. The process seemed slow at first, but was necessary before launching the contest. No matter how good the show if there’s no audience, the effort would fall flat with minimal results.

The campaign was such a success Mindy B’s Deli plans to make the contest an annual event. Oh, and in case you’re wondering The Rockefeller was crowned supreme sandwich. If you’re in the area, swing by Mindy B’s and order one yourself. Like this marketing campaign, it’s a pretty meaty morsel.



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