Feb 16, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Duane J. Bowen is the president and co-owner of Las Margaritas, two Mexican restaurants in central Denver. His advertising budget had traditionally been allocated to the two local newspapers, but when they merged in 2000 the cost of advertising rose and he began to consider television instead.
Marketing just to his area through local cable made sense, as did the variety of the exposure he could get on cable, Mr. Bowen said. “The broadcast channels seemed limited in that it’s just one channel, whereas with Comcast I’m on 12 channels,” he said. Those include ESPN, Discovery, MTV, Fox News Channel, TLC and CNBC, among others.
In 2003 sales rose for the first time in three years-by 17 percent-at Mr. Bowen’s two eateries. That rise parallels the shift he made in his ad budget to focus on local cable, though some of the increase may also be attributable to the improving economy.
Mr. Bowen is one of several local advertisers in Denver who have seen sales increases since they began using the targeted sales approach. Another is Johnson & Wales University, which has fine-tuned its advertising approach during the past few years to rely largely on local cable.
Dave McKlveen, director of admissions, initially spread the wealth, putting money in cable, broadcast, newspaper and radio. But he quickly learned that new and prospective students were saying they had heard about the school from the Food Network, MTV or another cable channel. The school also conducted focus groups and found students were watching cable more than broadcast.
Mr. McKlveen pulled money out of broadcast, decreased radio and newspaper ads and increased local cable buys. The school saw a 10 percent increase in enrollment from Colorado between 2002 and 2003 when the ad approach changed.