What’s the Best Way to Reach Pizza Customers in Rural America?

There is no question that technology, more specifically smart phone applications, has played a large role in enhancing the online ordering experience. But what if technology is not the only answer? What if your customers prefer other ways to order/acquire their pizza? Convenience is a large factor for both rural and urban pizza customers, but that word means something different to those audiences.

What Does Convenience Look Like to the Pizza Customer in Rural America?

The concept of convenience takes on new meaning when geography factors into the equation. Convenience in the suburbs looks a lot like tapping a button on a smartphone app and automatically having your favorite pizza delivered. In rural America, with its limited options, convenience might look like grabbing pizza at the local convenience store. Hunt Brothers, a popular pizza brand found in many rural convenience stores, reportedly has more locations than either Domino’s or Pizza Hut[1]. So if convenience in rural America looks like grab-and-go, it might explain why Little Caesar’s is a popular choice for rural millennials (survey respondents indicate they are 41% more likely to eat there than their urban counterparts)[2]. And perhaps why both Domino’s and Pizza Hut are either moving away from dine-in units or emphasizing carryout over dine-in[3]. With grab-and-go convenience right around the corner, pizza restaurants with slick mobile ordering apps or voice-enabled ordering systems might also need to consider traditional media to reach rural consumers.

Opportunities for Pizza Restaurants

Never underestimate the power of convenience paired with low prices. Rural residents strive to be thrifty, which might be why so many are using coupons these days to save money. In fact our research found that:

  • 55% of rural millennials (ages 25-34) say they redeem coupons they cut out from advertising inserts found in the mail[4].
  • 78% of older baby boomers (65+) redeem coupons they find in the mail[4].

Direct Mail Drives Digital Traffic (and Sales)

Direct mail is still very relevant, even in this digital age. Ordering your pizza via phone apps or with voice technology is on the rise, but the question still remains: how do you drive your customers to those apps? Direct mail is the most reliable way to reach those customers, especially in rural markets.

In 2015, a Canadian neuromarketing firm conducted a study that compared the effects of direct mail pieces to digital media. The study found that:

  • Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media[4], suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable.
  • Those who received direct mail offers were able to recall the brand 75% of the time[4]. Those who received digital-only versions, the brand was remembered 44% of the time.

Sell More Pizza With Direct Mail

As Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed once said… “Easy beats better”. How easy is it to fold up a coupon and hand it to someone when picking up pizza if it means saving a few dollars at your favorite pizza place? The pizza ordering app will always be there, but so will the grab-and-go pizza around the corner. If easy beats better, then make it easy for either pizza purchasing scenario.

Mspark understands how to advertise your pizza business to the rural customer. Want proof? Download the pizza success stories below for detailed direct mail campaign results.

Interested in learning more about how Mspark can help you grow your pizza business and increase return on your advertising spend? Fill out the form to get started today!


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