Best use of marketing dollars?

All right everybody! It’s a post-COVID and inflationary world and it seems like everything is on the table for change, including marketing. What do you consider to be your best use of marketing dollars?

Since I’m asking, it’s only fair that I spill what I’m doing. The bulk of my money is spent on highly targeted Google Ads, followed by facebook ads. I also do a weekly mailer (menu, postcard, etc.) and spend a smidge on nextdoor.com.

Now I’m considering changing my mix. What say you? What works for you?

The majority of our marketing dollars are spent on weekly EDDM menu mailings. Usually 2 routes (appx 1400 pcs total) per week per store. This has been the bulk of our advertising dollars for 12+ years and it has been working every year.
We also send a little on boxtoppers, texting and emailing. But the texting and emailing have not been used much recently so that is wasted money currently.
Targeted google and facebook ads are something I have considered in the past, but have not gotten into them. We occasionally boost posts on FB, but nothing with regularity. Is there a steep learning curve? Do you do these yourself? What have you found works the best? PM me if you want.

I do it myself. There is a steep learning curve if you care to get into it, but if it’s not your cup of tea, you can do 20% of the work to get 80% of the results. Have some good advertising images without your logo on them and setup a “Smart Campaign” on Google Ads for the radius or ZIP codes you service. Just answer the questions and upload images when prompted. Set it to $5 per day and let it rip.

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Our best ongoing marketing efforts, in order:

  1. Our loyalty program. We do not discount, value-added offers only. ($200 a month)

  2. Travel amenities signs on the Interstate. ($2000 annually)

  3. Google and Facebook ads, and retargeting ads. ($800 a month)

  4. Annual (for 13 years) bounce back scratch card (distribute 11/15-12/31; redeem 1/1-2/15), which has made January/February equal with other non-busy season months, instead of the significant fall off they once were. (Card price plus prize values; we distribute about 5000 cards.)

We also do radio, minimal TV, some print, some outdoor, car wraps, etc., but they are expendable. The top four are where it’s at, and what we couldn’t stop without harm. We offer no discounts; we do a lot of giveaways (radio, non-profits, etc.).

We haven’t spent a penny on advertising, specials, coupons, reward programs, etc, and cannot keep up with demand, selling out of dough every day before we open our doors - start taking phone orders at 3 and schedule pickups every 15 minutes on the hour when we open at 5. Media coverage continues to be steady since we opened and word of mouth thankfully makes it so we don’t need to with deal advertising, 3rd party services, etc. Running an owner’s hands on all hours of operation keeps us at a 50% profit rate. This is the model that made pizza what it is today. Less hassles than big shops with tons of locations, employees, and headaches. Simply make a consistently great pizza with great customer service and you can’t lose.

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  1. Where do you do have these made printed? What type of offers do you include on them?

Try: https://scratchoff.com/

We give away 3, 6, and 12-month Pizza of the Month Club subscriptions, full meal free, free knots, free coffee/scones, free slices, etc. The grand prize this year is a $1000 gift card. Order is placed, and then their card is scratched by staff. The card is good immediately or can be saved for later (we sign them to verify; no expiration). The scratch cards themselves have a tight expiration.