Best Group Marketing Campaign

09 January 2006
Best Group Marketing Campaign

Sponsored by Nestlé FoodServices

When the judges of the Group Marketing Campaign of the Year 2005 were looking for the most enterprising and effective campaign run by a multi-unit hospitality business, they were overwhelmed by the considerable results achieved by Wagamama, especially with a budget of just £25,000.

Wagamama's main objective for this particular campaign was to place the new Wagamama Cookbook into all major bookstores in the UK, with a copy on display in-store as well. A resulting objective was to raise awareness of the Wagamama brand through increased press coverage worldwide to achieve increased footfall in the restaurants.

The campaign started with an official book launch in Dublin, which generated more than £100,000-worth of publicity throughout the print and broadcast media. A UK press released followed and resulted in extensive reviews and features both in the UK and overseas. Simultaneously, an online promotion targeted regular customers and led to 199 books being sold within 24 hours. Meanwhile, a placemat advert used throughout the chain generated an incredible increase in book sales of 95% on previous book sale figures.

Further examples of Wagamama's inventive marketing include an in-store cooking demonstration at John Lewis, where audiences were shown how to cook dishes from the book - this brought in sales of 53 books in one hour - and at Borders bookstore, the cookbook's author Hugo Arnold and head chef Steve Mangelshot hosted a tasting night. The cookbook stayed in Borders's best-selling section for eight weeks.

From its initial financial investment, 78,000 books were sold with press coverage valued at £300,000.

As judge Keith Brown, vice-president marketing at Hilton UK & Ireland, the winner of the 2004 group marketing award, commented: "The variety of channels that was used was highly successful. It was an energetic campaign that created a lot of excitement."

Fellow judge Pamela Carvell, owner of Pampas Training and Marketing, concurred: "Wagamama has proved that it achieved what it set out to achieve. They really got it right. The campaign was very clever and absolutely the clear winner."

Nominations are now being sought for this year's Group Marketing Campaign of the Year Catey. The judges will be looking for the most innovative and efficient campaign run by a hospitality business over the previous 12 months.

Competition for the category will be fierce, as it is open to all sectors of the hospitality industry. But if your business has run an effective campaign over the past year, we want to hear from you.

Judges' criteria

  • Businesses enter themselves for the Group Marketing Campaign of the Year award rather than being put forward by a third party.
  • To qualify, the business must be a group operating more than one unit under central control but whose units are separated geographically.
  • Entries can be for a single unit in a group, the group as a whole, or any part of it.
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