cross media marketing with toolbox studios

Cross Media Marketing to High Value Targets: A Surlean Foods Case Study


Toolbox Studios partnered with a custom food manufacturer that national fast casual restaurant chains rely on to get more profits from their menus. This company provides inventive “back of house” solutions through unparalleled culinary R&D capabilities, and assured product supply through strategic sourcing.


As we know, 2020 deeply affected the restaurant industry. Our client quickly pivoted to help predict existing customers’ needs including delivery, curbside, and meal kits. They strategically wanted to use this downtime to help new clients reimagine their menus. They sought out Toolbox Studios to help them reach a very specific list of new targets.

Challenges included:

  • Connecting with the difficult to reach decision-makers and food scientists who may not be coming into the corporate office
  • A database of only five extremely high-value targets
  • No in-house marketing team


Toolbox Studios partnered with MindFire to create a highly personalized and creative cross media campaign to reach these five targets. The campaign consisted of two shipped packages, a series of emails, and a call-to-action that brought them to a landing page. We very intentionally did not include social media, retargeting ads, text, or voice messaging. We let the power of highly creative and well-thought out design pieces make the statement.

The Landing Page

The landing page featured an embedded video from the CEO, and a check-box response form of the type of product the target was interested in learning more about. Once they filled out that form, they saw a Thank You response page that tracked links to our client’s website, and received a thank you email confirming their choices. Once the response form was filled out, our client received that highly-coveted foot-in-the-door endorsement to send their best people to close the deal.

Touch 1: The Knife

The client purchased state-of-the-art chef’s knives that we boxed with a personalized letter, wrapped in custom-printed wrapping paper, and bound in a personalized sleeve with the target’s name.

First, we sent them a personalized email to let them know this unique gift was coming to their corporate office, and included the UPS tracking number. Once we knew the package was delivered, we sent a follow up email letting them know that the package had been signed for and was waiting for them.

Touch 2: The Box

The box was a 12×12 felt box wrapped with a large red felt bow. Inside was a customized menu for the target’s national restaurant chain, but re-imagined with profitable trending and classic items that our client could custom manufacture for them.

Beneath the menu were four large bowls. We custom printed photos of the items from the new menu and cut them out to fit inside the bowls. So as the client reached each layer, they could “see” how the re-imaged menu items would look. On the back side of these photo inserts, we listed the company’s attributes, products, services, and capabilities. We also included the same design from the wrapping paper to create cardboard packing layers for each bowl.

Once again, we sent them an email to let them know this custom gift was on its way, and this time we included a picture of the festive box along with the UPS tracking number. We also followed up once the package was delivered and signed for, so they knew it was waiting for them at the corporate office.


Our client wanted one lead. They knew they could close the deal and the return on investment would pay off for years to come. We gave them four leads.

The knife direct mail piece garnered one lead out of the five. The box direct mail piece garnered three leads out of the remaining four. The marketing strategy of sending high quality and highly personalized gifts to generate leads from a very small database was extremely effective.

But the real success here was how we were able to convey the intentionality of our client who had thoughtfully re-imagined their menus, and showed visual representations to walk them one step closer to realizing those new menu items. It also meant that they were highly prepared once they got into the face-to-face meeting with the potential new clients.

In addition, the campaign had a ripple effect through the industry for its thoughtfulness and creativity which gave our client a huge boost in name recognition.


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