September 4, 2018 |

Mike’s Monthly Tip: Guerilla Gifting

By Pizza Today


guerilla gifting, marketing, restaurant

Personalized gifts can go a long way

What birthday gift did you get as a kid that you still remember to this day? Really look back to that moment and the feeling it elicited from you. Think of the joy and happiness of that moment, whether it was something you asked for or something you didn’t even know you wanted. Either way, something I can 100-percent guarantee without knowing you is that it wasn’t a gift card. I know it wasn’t a greeting card, and I know it wasn’t a gift basket.

Mike Bausch
Owner, Andolini’s Pizzeria, Tulsa, OK

A gift card or basket has no personal touch. Twenty years ago, personal touch was resigned to people with assistants who could perform research and keep a rolodex of who likes what and their kids’ names, etc. Now knowing someone’s likes and interests is as easy as a Google search and looking at their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile. Even on a regular old LinkedIn profile you can find out where someone went to school or at least some random background info.

Privacy is dead, and no one cares. People say they care, but no one is really acting on it. Facebook got hit hard in the press a few months back for selling personal data. What should have been a PR nightmare resulted in very little fallout. Facebook users might have been miffed, but the droves of people that swore they would delete their Facebook account just didn’t do it. That’s because people have shown that privacy isn’t something they value as much as previous generations. Online profiles provide personal info, right there for anyone to see. Large corporations have been seeking macro data trends for years (example: our demo is male, median income, tends to like beer and comedy films), but small companies like yours and mine barely touch macro data and no one seems to think to touch micro data. That’s right, I am suggesting marketing to just one person at a time.

What I am suggesting goes beyond just paid Facebook ads that target your demo (which you should totally do, but that’s not anything new). No, what I am suggesting is incredibly simple. Find out the background info of certain individuals you’d like to impress and get them a personalized gift based off that information.

Let’s split it into two categories:

  • Sharks. These are your top-level talents, the people who make your business run: your highest selling servers; your fastest dish machine worker or your best customer who always tells everyone else about your store. Find out about their fringe interests, go to eBay or somewhere that you can find a rare item that relates to that interest (example: any Red Sox fan already has a Red Sox Hat, but they might not have one from the 2004 World Series win) and send it to them or have it ready for them next time they work or come by your store. This will not go un-noticed in providing jet fuel to their existing motivations and devotion.
  • Whales. Use the same technique for the people who you WANT to have as fanatical customers. The people building up your city or town. Get them a truly amazing and personal gift thanking them for all they do for your community. Don’t be surprised when that builds trust and endears them to only order from you and their staff to do the same. The airline parts industry is massive in Oklahoma. When I got a local doctor a signed Who record after I saw his posted pics from the concert he went to, he couldn’t stop sending business my way and making his office an Andolini’s only office. Cost was $85 bucks, including shipping. A thousand bucks in radio won’t get one-fourth the return I’ll see from this investment in a single person.

The pizza industry is extremely competitive, and it is only going to get even more competitive. The small size of your business is not your handicap, it’s your asset when you make guerilla gifting with a personal touch part of your marketing strategy.

Mike Bausch is the owner of Andolini’s Pizzeria in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a frequent speaker at the International Pizza Expo family of tradeshows.

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