2011 July: Marketing Matters

With today’s numerous choices, can a radio ad really help a pizzeria? Will it produce direct, measurable results, or is it simply useful for brand recognition?

According to radio executive David Pavlic of Renda Broadcasting, radio can accomplish both, but there are factors to consider, such as creativity, finding the right station and a good campaign based on frequency. Pavlic stresses that radio is part of a well rounded marketing plan. It serves as another way to make an impression and should harmonize with other media used.

The top station in nearly every market is usually not cost effective for the average operator. Information obtained from sources that track consumer’s habits such as Arbitron ratings or Scarborugh and media audits can be very helpful in making buying decisions with the right station. Remember the words of social ecologist Peter Drucker: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” It is imperative to find a station matching your demographic and budget.

Relationship: Build a mutually beneficial relationship with your sales rep. He should show a genuine interest in your business, goals and target audience. Radio ads are not one size fits all. Test his expertise. Listen to his expertise. If your ideas and theirs are not close, then it is not a good fit. Your success is his success.

Goal: The suggested use of radio is promoting through event marketing and/or couponing. Pavlic recommends that an operator and the sales rep be in touch with the community and look for ways a pizzeria can sponsor community events. These events attract people to whom you can distribute bounce back offers.

Create your own event using the driving force of radio. Thearon Miller of T-Dub’s Pizzeria in Muncie, Indiana, did that. Working with his sales rep, also a loyal customer, he promoted the pizzerias anniversary via a live remote. In two hours Miller sold 70 pizzas and saw many measurable results — new customers, a sharp rise in his loyalty program enrollment, positive feedback and quadruple the number of unique visitors to his Web site.

Budget: You want the best ROI. Good sales people up-sell. Decide a dollar amount you can live with and have your sales rep adhere to it.

Creative: You create pizza. Ad copy, ways to reach the audience, radio announcements, distributing coupons or promotional items at a game, etc. are the sales rep’s job. He is your resource. Branding can be accomplished by simply tagging each ad with your USP.

Frequency: Regularity is the key. ‘Own’ a day part. This will make impressions on listeners, calling them to action. Once you accomplish that you can expand into other time slots.
‘Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.’ – Mark Twain

Scott Anthony is a Fox’s Pizza Den franchisee in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He is a monthly contributor to Pizza Today and a frequent guest speaker at Pizza Expo.