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How a Marketing Agency Helped the Small Town of Searcy Win $500K

Hulu’s Small Business Revolution awards one small town $500K to boost its local economy and revitalize community life.

For season 4, a field of over 12K small towns across the country competed to be featured in the Hulu show, with the town considered to have the strongest community participation to be selected.


in Small Business Investment


Other Towns Competed


Population of Searcy, AK

Agency Wins Hometown a Hulu Show & $500K

The Challenge: Driving Nationwide Engagement to Win

When Mat Faulkner, president of local marketing agency Think Idea Studio in Searcy, AR, heard about the casting, he knew his own small town deserved a shot at the spotlight.

After a lot of work from Searcy citizens, the city was chosen as one of six finalists in the U.S. To earn their spot on the show – and an investment of $500K – Searcy had to win a nationwide vote. With 20K residents, that was a big ask.

With the help of EZ Texting, we reached so many more people than we otherwise would have and were able to give back to our community through this $500K win.

Mat Faulkner, Searcy Resident and Owner – Think Idea Studio

The Solution

"[Text] is a strategy I would recommend for any marketing effort that needs direct end-user, opt-in engagement with a protocol for a call to action," said Faulkner.

According to rules, fans could vote once a day. To score as many votes as possible, Faulkner decided bulk text messaging could help ensure their win. Using EZ Texting’s simple self-service platform, Searcy set up daily text reminders with direct links to the voting page. This boosted engagement and ultimately helped push Searcy over the top.

"While traditional marketing and PR efforts were also used and valuable [they proved] not nearly as trackable with analytics," said Faulkner.

The Results

Searcy won the coveted spot on Season 4 of Hulu’s Small Business Revolution. In addition to the $500K investment, renovation guru Ty Pennington and marketing maven Amanda Brinkman brought a team of experts to help revitalize Searcy’s main street and breathe new life into its business community.