How Ad Agency Think Idea Studio Helped the Small Town of Searcy Win $500,000
The Challenge: Driving Nationwide Engagement
When Mat Faulkner, President of local marketing agency Think Idea Studio in Searcy, Arkansas, heard about casting for the Hulu show Small Business Revolution, 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 $500,000 – Searcy had to win a nationwide vote. With just over 20,000 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 of Think Idea Studio
The Solution: Bulk Texting Daily Reminders
Mat and the rest of Team Searcy decided that the best way to make sure that the city’s biggest fans were able to vote for them was to use bulk text messaging. The EZ Texting platform offered Searcy a customizable way to reach its voters and remind them to participate in the contest.
According to the rules, fans were able to vote once per day each day for a week. To get as many votes as possible, Searcy knew these fans would need to be reminded regularly and voting would need to be as easy as possible.
Using EZ Texting’s text communication platform, Searcy set up daily text reminders that sent a direct link to the voting page every single day while the competition was open. Text reminders boosted engagement and ultimately helped to push Searcy over the top.
“[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.”
– Mat Faulkner, Owner of Think Idea Studio and Searcy Resident
The Results: A Revitalized Main Street and a Reinvigorated Community
As a result of their EZ Texting campaign, the city of Searcy won the coveted spot on Season 4 of Hulu’s Small Business Revolution. In addition to a $500,000 investment, marketing maven Amanda Brinkman and renovation icon Ty Pennington brought a team of experts to help revitalize Searcy’s main street and breathe new life into its business community.
Faulker and co. bolstered social and email campaigns with bulk text messaging. “Text marketing allowed for an instant notification on the user’s mobile device and a link to the voting site,” Faulker says, “so it served as a reminder and a direct path to the action," adding that “other forms of digital marketing are not as direct.” Faulkner also says that "while traditional marketing and PR efforts were also used and valuable" they proved "not nearly as trackable with analytics."
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