‘We never know’
Doug Reifschneider, an independent marketing consultant at Chief Outsiders and former marketing officer for restaurant chains Firehouse Subs, Pita Pit USA and Fazoli’s Italian Restaurants, said he was surprised Taco Bell miscalculated demand, given its loyalty data and his sophisticated understanding of his customer.
“In today’s world, with all the data we have, marketers and their business intelligence counterparts should be able to model and predict the sales speed of promoted menu items,” did he declare. “Small chains and independents don’t have the resources to model promotions and speed menu items, but Taco Bell does.
“I’m sure supply chain issues didn’t help, but maybe marketing, supply chain and operations weren’t hip-aligned to accurately forecast and deliver what they needed. ‘they knew what their customers wanted,’ he continued. “That said, even with the data that Taco Bell has, I’ve learned over the past 25 years that you never really know how customers will react.”
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Denise Lee Yohn, author and brand leadership expert, said the Mexican Pizza episode “shows how companies need to make sure they can deliver on their promises if they want their campaigns to drive sales and business results.” . She still praised Taco Bell, predicting that the supply disruption on top of the creative approach to the promotion will only increase consumer awareness and hype once the supply chain stabilizes. .
“Taco Bell has been a true innovator in social media and the creativity of this campaign is yet another game-changing effort, but in today’s business environment, supply chain, not marketing, has become the key driver of customer experience,” she said. adding, “The social media notoriety and hype that the company has enjoyed could be more valuable in the long run. The disappointment that customers might feel and then choose to express on social media will only make the product even cooler.
Some Taco Bell locations have been selling 500 or more Mexican pizzas a day since the reintroduction, according to a report released this week by restaurant analyst Mark Kalinowski of Kalinowski Equity Research. “Many of these same stores apparently tended to sell 20 to 30 Mexican pizzas a day on average before the item was discontinued in 2020,” he said.
That prompted his company to revise its Taco Bell same-store sales forecast for the current second quarter by 4% to 5%.