Advertising

I run a very small, mainly carry-out/delivery PJ and I’ve just recently committed to advertising every month. These last two months have proven to me the value of advertising extrememly well. Especially Super Bowl Sunday. We bought the business in April of last year, so we’ve had to do quite a bit of work restoring our image and SBS showed me that we’ve come a LONG way. We nearly quadrupled their SBS numbers from last year. I’m convinced that the last two months of advertising has A LOT to do with that.

So, now I’m looking at February. I can only afford to run two weeks of ads in our local paper, and I do the second half of the month. So, I won’t be able to do anything based on Valentine’s Day, and I’m not sure I’d be able to anyways. What I’m looking for then, is some ideas on what to do. I like having a theme for my ads, and I’m at a loss right now. What works for you in February? Should I even bother finding a theme, or just run a basic coupon?

Any input is greatly appreciated!

–Smitty

I am curious about how much an ad costs per home in your target market…So what is the circulation and how many of those papers are delivered in your target market?..Then how much is the ad?..Now you can figure out how much it will cost to reach each home…Then compare that cost with door hanging your menu…i have always been a huge believer that hand delivered menus offer the best return on you investment…Many times a newspapers circulation will include homes that do you no good at all (or very little)…

Our town only has about 5 or 6 thousand people, and the paper’s circulation is probably about 4 thousand. It doesn’t strech too far out of town, so pretty much my target market is everyone that lives here, and the paper covers most of that. Heckuva lot better than our radio station…I don’t know how they stay on the air.

I’ve always got menus on hand and I have put them in a couple places around town, as well as taped them on my boxes. I have to agree that it’s very effective advertising. I’ve also taped coupons on the boxes and placed flyers around town. I have been surprised by the immediate response from our newspaper ads. I couldn’t tell you the number of people who called SBS just because they’d seen the ad. Our POS tracks new customers and we had a lot that night.

I am in favor of doing anything and everything, if it works. So, thanks for the advice!

-Smitty

Are there any other pizza options in your town? Is their food any good?

A small item…

But don’t tape the menus. It is excrutiatingly slow. Get glue sticks from youor office supply store and use that to attach the menu to the box. Just be sure to glue down just a corner to keep it there rather than in the center.

I make the assumption you are located in a non-metropolitan market, rather in a stand alone community. Newspaper is a good option but be sure to negotiate the ad placement in the paper you want and look into using your menu as a insert to the paper. Door hanging has been extensively covered in this forum and is also a great avenue to reach people who don’t subscribe. Is there a “shopper” that is delivered to every household? In my opinion a consistent message presented in varying formats is the most successful way to spread the word. Be aware that overspending does have diminishing returns after the community is aware you are there… and that is will take a lot longer for everyone to know you are there serving great pizza than you think. A consistent message with great order execution everyday will win them over every time. Just be patient and keep a positive attitude, Rome wasn’t built in a day… rather brick by brick!

We have 6 other pizza joints in town, including the Hut. Ours and two others are Indiana only chains, and the remaining 3 are indies. So, plenty of choices for our town, but it works because we’re the home of Indiana Beach so we’re twice as busy in the summer.

Thanks for the glue tip. Taping is really slow and tedious, so I could see where that would be much, much easier.

And no, I don’t believe there is a “shopper” or anything delivered to everyone. I plan on continuing the newspaper ads for a while, but I do believe the biggest difference we’ve seen is just having better food and service than people had been getting from the previous owners. I’m all for diversifying my advertisments and reaching new people in whatever way I can.

Thanks for the pointers, everyone!

–Smitty