2011 November: Marketing Matters

‘There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap.’ — Comedian Kevin James

I concur with Mr. James. So, how do I make sure my pizza is the one on his lap?

Restaurant Consultant Carolyn Stewart tells us that: “Getting a new customer in the door demands marketing, and turning them into a return customer demands quality food and service. Consumers are being bombarded with the fast-paced world of direct digital marketing and daily deals, which are purchased by consumers that are labeled as the economical buyer. The ‘economical buyer’ is very unlikely to provide repeat business unless you are going to continue these drastic discounts off your products/services. Operators have reared away from a very effective form of marketing known as direct mail — ‘the silent salesperson.’”

Everybody eats and everyone gets mail, so it sounds like using ‘the silent salesperson’ is a no-brainer. The truth, however, is that without following some basic guidelines you could be wasting your marketing dollars. Consumers callously trash mail as they scan through the headlines and photos without any thought of the cost to you.

Use the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) method to craft and convey a simple and direct marketing message.

There are many DIY Web sites that can guide you in building a direct mail piece, but nothing beats the wisdom that comes from experience. Use professionals to create the mailer. Professional graphic designers and copywriters bring expertise and provide a fresh perspective to make your mailer more effective. They can also provide a library of stock photos that will entice consumers. Communicate your goals to a professional. Their working knowledge can aid you in deciding key factors that weigh on your ROI. Whether to mail a letter or postcard? Should you use a mailing house or the USPS’s Every Door Direct Mail program?

Seize your prospective customer’s attention. Stewart adds that “Design and layout are essential to complete your piece. The average consumer spends an average of 109 seconds scanning an ad or a menu, which is why it is crucial that your goal is stated clearly and positioned properly. It is also known that customer’s eyes veer to the top right when reading, which is great for placement of your goal.”

Create instant interest in your product and focus them on the unique benefits that taking the action you promote will bring. Answer the question, ‘What’s in it for me?’ immediately. This can be accomplished through highlighted words like FREE or PLUS. It can also be done visually through professional photos of your pizza. All the while you build a desire for your product. Equally important is communicating specific benefits to the consumer. Think of it as: “Weekend Special” versus “No. 1 Seller” or “Family Favorite.” These key words build a desire to please the family and distinguishes you as being No. 1 versus offering the
ho-hum special everyone has.

Stewart reminds us that “Being consistent within your logo and colors you utilize will train the consumer to know who you are, and over time (you’ll) be branded into the consumer’s mind. Branding should be congruent with the concept and image of the restaurant.” That brand needs to run throughout all of our marketing materials as it helps capture the attention and subtly conveys the benefits of our products.

Lastly, be sure to incorporate a simple and direct call to action. Provide your prospects with multiple ways to respond via phone, fax or online ordering. For example, use “Call 123-456-7890 Now!” or “Order Online at (your Web site).”

AIDA makes the silent salesperson speak volumes.

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.