While pizzerias are wildly popular around the world, they face a myriad of challenges decreased foot traffic, to hits to margin due to third-party delivery dependencies. But you can face these challenges head-on and use them to get a bigger slice of the revenue pie as the more you know who your customers are, the better you are able to serve them and grow your business.
In this post, we’ll review 7 ingredients to pizza marketing success that can positively impact your growth.
Know who your customers are
Using a customer engagement platform enables you to capture customer insights that help you understand who your customers are. This data will reveal behavioral and purchase patterns, like how often a customer visits your restaurant, what their average spend is, and which menu items they enjoy the most. This data also helps you go from unknown customers to personal relationships.
Data is key as it provides you with the information you need to engage the right customer at the right time and make a meaningful impact. Once you have these insights, you will be able to identify who your best customers are based on their purchase and visit behavior.
Your VIP customers are those who visit and spend the most — they are the ones who drive your business and are the most loyal. The more loyal a customer is to your business, the more likely they are to drive revenue and spread the word about your business. In fact, according to Thanx, customers who are willing to promote your business, spend at least 21% more each year, are 8% less likely to churn and account for 80- 90% of all referrals.
Engage with your customers in a personalized and targeted way
It doesn’t stop at knowing who your customers are — the next step is to engage with your best customers in personalized ways, that encourage them to visit more often and increase their spend. For example, if your customer Susan only visits your pizzeria during the week for her lunch break, you can send her a 20% offer valid only on weekends in order to encourage her to visit your pizzeria during hours she normally wouldn’t.
Customer insights can also help you win back customers if they’ve stopped visiting your pizza restaurant. Your customer engagement software can automatically identify which customers haven’t been to your pizza restaurant recently and can send them targeted messages and/or offers to bring them back in the door.
Most pizza restaurants have several locations and it’s important to identify who your best customers by location and send them targeted offers to incentivize them to come in more often. You can even send targeted campaigns that change customer behavior like getting them to visit a different location, or visit during a different day of the week or time as in the example we discussed before.
The most effective way to send personalized offers is through targeted marketing campaigns. When using a customer engagement platform campaign success is measured in revenue and ROI, as opposed to vanity metrics (like opens and clicks) or offline marketing where you can’t really measure the impact.
That same customer engagement and loyalty platform should be able to measure the effectiveness of every campaign you send in real revenue. For example, you will be able to see how many of your customers opened offers and claimed them across all of your locations.
Create multi-channel pizza marketing campaigns
Social media is one of the top ways customers interact with the brands they love. Having a strong social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn can help you engage with your customers, as well as attract new ones.
Share images of delicious menu items, the inside of your pizzeria locations, customers and employees enjoying the atmosphere, and more. You can also host social media contests, like giving away a free pizza pie to the follower with the most creative name for your newest menu item.
Make sure to share content around special deals, local events, new store openings, and more to your fans. You can also send targeted email marketing campaigns to all customers, as well as SMS/text messages to capture their attention at exactly the right time.
Having a strong multi-channel strategy helps you keep your customers engaged when they aren’t at your pizzeria. It also makes it easier for them to share content about your pizza restaurant with friends and family and helps you build a larger online presence and reach to attract new customers.
Get on local listings
Being easy to find online is very important for pizzerias, especially because customers tend to dine at local restaurants. When looking for a new place to eat, customers tend to search on local online directories like Yelp, or Google Maps, to see which pizzerias are nearby.
Make sure that your online listings include your name, address, phone number, and hours of operation. It’s important to keep these listings up-to-date so that all customers are informed. Include images and videos of your pizzeria to paint a picture of the positive experience you offer to your customers. You can also include an order online option within these sites to make the entire process seamless.
Another excellent way to drive foot traffic to your pizza restaurant is by having positive reviews on Google as it is the most used search engine on the planet. When customers provide positive feedback, encourage them to leave a review on Google. Your customer engagement platform should be able to help you do this automatically making it nearly effortless.
Reward your most loyal customers
Building customer loyalty should be a focus for every business looking to grow and prosper. Loyal customers spend more per purchase, visit more frequently, and are the number one source of new referrals. Having mobile loyalty programs are especially important for pizzerias since most customers are on-the-go and look for convenient experiences. When using mobile, you can engage with your candidates through text messages, push notifications, email, and more.
Customer loyalty is especially important when it comes to pizza restaurants because they directly grow your business. Many pizzerias have loyal locals who visit often when engaged. For example, Pinthouse Pizza refers to their dedicated fans as their “high top crew” since they always sit at the high top tables near the bar. Pinthouse Pizza recognized how crucial the high top crew was to grow their business and decided to implement a formal customer loyalty program. Pinthouse increased its revenue by 18% just by rewarding their best customers.
Having a loyalty program with the right platform can also enable you to capture customer data more easily. After implementing Thanx, Lou Malnati’s enrolled more users in 6 months, than they did in the previous 10 years. Within less than a year, they grew their loyalty program by nearly 2x. They were able to track that their customers who used Thanx visited 24% more often per month than they did before, and spent 26% more than their customers who didn’t use Thanx.
Reply to customer feedback and improve your online reputation
NPS and customer feedback can reveal a lot about how customers perceive your pizzeria locations. It can reveal where you are succeeding as a business, and where you may need to improve. It also lets you tackle challenges in real-time so that you can make sure unhappy customers will be satisfied and feel heard right away.
This communication strategy deters unhappy customers from leaving negative reviews of your pizzeria on third-party sites. How you respond can impact whether they remain loyal to your business, or choose to walk away. Every customer experience counts and replying to feedback actually grows sales by +22%.
A customer engagement platform will enable you to respond to customer feedback and capture real-time sentiment and satisfaction. You can engage all of your customers with a private communication channel while identifying trends and opportunities for improvement.
For example, if a customer is unhappy because their pizza was served cold, they can rate their visit and leave feedback after a visit. Not only can you respond to them quickly, but you can also make necessary adjustments in your kitchen and send them an apology and perhaps an offer to get them to visit again.
Measure impact and revenue
With a customer engagement platform, you can measure revenue increases and engagement metrics to see the success of your campaigns. When done right, customer engagement grows your pizza business, but you have to be able to capture the right data.
Go beyond vanity metrics. You want to know how much money you made as a result of an offer you sent to your VIPs or the profits generated from a well-timed push notification to lunch-goers.
For example, Dewey’s pizza increased its revenue by 20% by engaging customers with the right campaign at the right time. This popular pizza restaurant has 25 locations and wanted to test an offer to their entire customer-base around an event for National Cheese Pizza Day. They drove traffic to all 25 of their locations with a personalized offer sent to their Thanx loyalty customers. With just one email, they increased their sales by 20%.
Customer engagement coupled with targeted campaigns and robust customer data can dramatically increase your revenue while also building the loyalty you have with your customers.
Pizza restaurants with loyal customers and high customer engagement rates are more likely to drive repeat-sales, retain customers, and increase same-store sales and revenue. To be successful, you will need the right customer engagement platform in place to grow your business and marketing success.
Focus on knowing who your customers are, engaging with them in a personalized way, designing a loyalty program, responding to customer feedback in real-time, and measuring campaign success in order to increase your overall ROI and brand perception.