Kwik Fill Details Summer Marketing Campaigns

Retailer working to increase customer, employee involvement each year

Kwik Fill Jody and Leigh Iannone

Jody and Leigh Iannon

WARREN, Pa. -- Jody and Leigh Iannone from Maine, N.Y., are among the latest winners in the 2013 Kwik Fill Free Ride Tour & Sweepstakes, the summer marketing campaign for United Refining Co.'s Kwik Fill/Red Apple convenience store chain. Looking back on the five annual programs Kwik Fill has executed thus far, advertising director Lance Pangborn said that he is pleased with how his campaigns have progressed, but he is also always looking for ways to improve.

Each campaign runs from late May through early September and contains two main elements: an enter-to-win sweepstakes and a supporting mobile marketing event schedule. Vendor sponsorships help provide the prizes for the sweepstakes, and the purchase of those vendors' products become an entry method for consumers.

"Our vendors are eager to participate each year," said Cliff Brazie, director of merchandising for Kwik Fill. The chain uses the mobile marketing events to promote the vendor partners as well as the sweepstakes and to engage customers in the campaign.

"While the basic components of our summer marketing campaigns have remained the same, we've been working to increase customer--and employee--involvement each year," Pangborn said. "We hoped that increasing the value and appeal of the prize pool as well as adding enticing employee incentives would help with that effort."

It appears to have worked, he said. Customer entries more than doubled from 2012. An improved web presence, increased use of social media and an expanded event marketing schedule also played a role in improving customer involvement.

"Our mobile event team was on the road all summer displaying at two events in each of our major markets: Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Binghamton, N.Y., and Erie and west central Pennsylvania," said Pangborn.