Jul 15, 2012

Roadrunner Markets’ text campaign drives summer sales increases

Tony Treadway

While everyone is focused on reaching smartphone users, Creative Energy pulled the old plow horse of digital marketing, text, to front and center for a convenience store chains’ summer sales promotion and it is rocking with success.

Roadrunner Markets operates a chain of about 100 convenience stores in TN, VA, KY, NC and SC. Like any other convenience store, the major challenge is to lure consumers from the gas pumps to inside their stores to pick up a snack, a beverage and more. That is were the profit lies and that was the focus of our vibrant campaign that is still underway.

Even with 60% of Americans now smartphone users, we didn’t want to exclude anyone from the reach of the campaign, thus we opted for text messaging to those opting in to receive weekly offers of free or discounted merchandise just for coming inside and showing their text message to the Roadrunner clerk. We launched the campaign in early June and we landed 10,000 consumers who have taken the time to text Roadrunner to receive their weekly specials and a chance to win $1,000 in gas at the end of the summer.

The campaign is relatively inexpensive. Using radio, five-second television spots with the text instructions and signage at their gas pumps, we “primed the pump” (sorry for the pun) for new sales. In one recent text, nearly one half of subscribed customers left the gas pump and came into a Roadrunner to claim a free 16 oz. can of AMP energy drink. About 1/4 of those consumers also purchased another item (chewing gum, a snack, a coffee) which more than pays for the campaign. Roadrunner Markets partners with food and beverage manufacturers to offer the free or marked down promotional items to build awareness and trial and consumers begin the habit of coming inside the stores on a more regular basis, even when text specials aren’t provided.

The convenience store chain is already discussing ways to expand the texting campaign beyond the summers as they have learned that the relatively old plow horse of digital marketing is delivering the best ROI. It is part of our integrated marketing for the growing chain that includes social media, a new web site, apps for improving their store operations and public relations.

Tony Treadway


President & CEO

Regarded in the advertising and PR industry as a top strategist, Tony is considered one of the most respected marketing minds in the business, especially in the $600 billion foodservice industry. As president, he leads Creative Energy in serving a variety of regional and national accounts in the textile, hardware, building materials, electronics, nuclear power and health care markets.