Pizza and technology – a combo 10 years ago we never would have guessed would take off as much as it has. The top pizza chains are embracing all the latest tech. Mobile ordering? They’re doing it. GPS tracking of pizza delivery orders? It’s happening. None of this is surprising to us in today’s digital-heavy economy. It’s all about convenience – which has always played an enormous role in the industry. Why else would pizza delivery be such a major part of our culture for so many years? Still, convenience is not something freely available to the masses. Some pizza chains have rules about delivery: the destination must be under a ten-minute drive – and of course this varies considering traffic and other factors. As you might imagine, this leaves some residents out.
For pizza lovers, living in a pizza delivery dead zone might mean that ordering convenience doesn’t exactly top the list when it comes to reasons why they might be loyal to a pizza restaurant. If they are going to make the long drive, why not indulge when it’s hot and fresh out of the oven? For dine-in pizza restaurants, large and small, fast-casual or not, this is an opportunity to take a closer look at how to promote loyalty with customers in new geographies. And for larger pizza chains that focus more on delivery but cannot deliver to far-flung addresses, there are approaches that could work for you also.
We’ll examine a couple ideas and investigate how restaurants can find stealthier ways to reach these pizza commuters living outside delivery zones.
Strategies for Sit-down Pizza Restaurants for Appealing to Consumers
In our experience sending direct mail offers to households all over the country, we know there are always vibrant communities on the outskirts of town that don’t enjoy the same level of convenience as their neighbors several miles away. They drive quite a bit – for work, school, social activities, you name it. In the graph below, we call them our Mspark Region. And when it comes to dining out, including dining out at pizza restaurants, the media that influences them the most involves an offer.
Not only are they influenced by offers, you’ll notice that when compared to the total adult population, they are a bit more influenced by direct mail and a bit less influenced by internet – including email. This doesn’t mean that digital promotions, ordering apps, etc. wouldn’t work for these consumers. What it does mean is that your promotions strategy should incorporate print media – and perhaps more so when targeting customers who live in these satellite communities.
Looking at the chart below, when dining out, these Mspark Region consumers are all about flavor, quality and selection. Location (convenience) is further down the list. This brings us back to the earlier point we made – if they must make the drive, they are going to choose the tastiest pizza they can find.
For pizza restaurants where you can build your own pizza or enjoy a variety of fun and funky flavors – this is your edge. We suggest promotions that appeal to taste, selection, and quality coupled with any offers you have for discounts or loyalty programs. Remember they have their pick of anyone in town. Stay top-of-mind so they consistently choose you.
Strategies for Pizza Delivery Restaurants
For pizza restaurants that do a lot of delivery, the pizza delivery dead zone requires a different approach. Again, print combined with digital makes a lot of sense for these consumers. They are 17% less likely than the adult population to have made a purchase online and 18% less likely to have made a mobile purchase. In general, they spend less time online and more time commuting back and forth to work, school, toting kids to games, etc.
There are a few ways to message these consumers. One way is to leverage your pizza delivery zones with a mailing profile. This enables you to cover very specific areas so you can direct your focused messaging where you want it and exclude areas of your choosing. If you wanted to promote carry-out specials to certain geographies, but not others, a tailored mailing profile is a good way to achieve this.
Another creative way to leverage using your delivery zones with a mailing profile is to send targeted messages that emphasize alternative delivery options. Because these types of residents spend so much time zipping back and forth between home and spots that are likely within in your delivery zone, it would be a good idea to send promotions that remind them of delivery options to non-resident locations such as parks, gyms, swim clubs, offices, and other locations they might frequent. Having that option to enjoy their favorite delivery pizza hot and wherever they happen to be is a great way to offer them convenience – when convenience is not something they often get a chance to enjoy. Using our data services, you can easily customize the households you’d like to target. So, if you want to target a specific geography with very specific messaging, that’s a great option for this type of strategy.
Direct mail works for all scenarios
We mentioned earlier that direct mail is a great solution for satellite towns they may not be able to get pizza delivered to their homes. We showed that these residents are less likely to be spending as much time online. And how using print combined with digital is the way to go. What we haven’t mentioned is that direct mail, is highly effective in most cases in general. In fact, in the last year, 73% of pizza lovers saw an ad or coupon in their mailbox that led them to take action. And average direct mail response rates are currently at 5% for a prospect list and 9% for a house list. Email, paid search, online display, and social media were 1% or less. That’s not to say digital media isn’t effective – it has its own advantages. But the best strategies use a mix of direct mail and digital – where they complement each other to get the job done. Don’t let an all-digital approach create message delivery dead zones for your pizza restaurant. Let us help fill in the gaps and use a data-powered precision targeting to reach more customers in more areas. To see examples of the work we have done for pizza restaurants, check out our success stories below.