By Tim Kirkland
When you start a pizzeria business or open a new location, you need new marketing strategies to effectively reach customers. You need local marketing tools for the 21st century.
Since the 1950s, traditional marketing has been conducted using the “4 Ps” that every marketer is taught in school — Product, Placement, Pricing and Promotion — a system that puts the product at the center and essentially wraps a marketing “process” around its surface in an effort to define it for the consumer. This dated, top-down marketing approach basically attempts to “tell” the consumer what to think about or how to value your brand and products.
In today’s instant-information, social-networked world, it’s no longer good enough (or possible) to “tell” a consumer how to feel about or connect with your brand. Even if your marketing message could reach most potential customers, they wouldn’t believe you. More and more, consumers understand that it is they who define a brand, and it is their friends, communities and social networks that inform them of a product’s value. Today’s smart operators and marketers know that they must “show” rather than “tell” the value of their products by building a unique customer experience around them.
As a top consultant to the restaurant industry, I specialize in service and marketing that appeals to today’s younger consumers. During my session on Monday at Pizza Expo, I’ll deliver real, immediately usable tactics to help new operators move their local marketing efforts into the new millennium.
Rather than the same old list of promotional gimmicks and discounts-of-the-day, I will share methods for independent operators to impact the very foundations of what customers value. You’ll learn how to influence their purchase decisions in a way that will help build an emerging brand. We’ll focus on the tools you need to effectively convert the awareness generated by these tactics into higher sales, loyalty and evangelism by focusing on the customer experience.
Some central takeaways will be:
- Market like a hunter, not like a “trapper” — by knowing your ideal loyal customers in microscopic detail, finding them and engaging them where they are rather than hoping they come to you.
- Engage prospective customers — not just through your branding and ads, but through their own networks and communities.
- Find out what’s important to each of your customers — and customize their experiences in a way that will take your competitors out of the game.
- Establish long-term relationships — following through with your customers while attracting new ones.
Tim Kirkland — author of “The Renegade Server” and other restaurant sales-building books — returns to Pizza Expo with a Monday, March 7, seminar for new operators and other early-arriving attendees. Tim will also address the role of managers in improving service and profits with a presentation titled “The Renegade Manager” at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
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