In a View from the Trenches guest post today, we have Wayne Rempel, owner of JP’s Pizza in Alberta, Canada. SpeedLine POS user and all around marketing guru, Wayne shares marketing best practices, and how he uses his SpeedLine POS to build sales.
In my travels leading seminars for the pizza industry, I am often asked what my best marketing tools are. It’s not always an easy answer, as I have to evolve and change as my market changes. Having said that, there are a few things that will always be the base of my marketing—those things are what I always build on.
I look at my marketing as if I were constructing a building: you start from the bottom and work your way up. You make sure the foundation is stable and strong, and once you have that you can add to it. The base of my marketing is true and tested. I may have to tweak it slightly, but four core strategies make up the base of my marketing program.
The first essential is community marketing. These are campaigns that give back to my community. I have a fundraising coupon that different groups sell, and they keep half the money, gift certificates for door prizes or silent auctions, and free lunches for the schools to give away to 20 “quality citizen” winners each month.
My second core strategy is menu mailing. Every week, an area of my city gets my menu. They mail every Thursday, and each area receives a new menu once about every five weeks.
The third core strategy is school rewards. I have an incentive program that rewards schools for purchasing pizza for hot lunches from me. As a result, every school in the city uses my restaurant for their hot lunch programs.
My final core strategy is community involvement. I am personally at as many public events as possible: galas, grand openings, school plays, chamber of commerce mixers—you name it, I show up. Not only does it show people in the community that I am involved, but it gives me an opportunity to network and meet new people. That’s critical because I have found that people want to do business with people they know.
So how do I keep track of all these things I do? That’s where my SpeedLine POS system comes in. I can track all my coupons, any comped meals, donations, you name it. The thing I love about it is that when I need to evaluate what is working, I can just print off a report, and I have the info in my hand.
The reason I know which campaigns make the strongest base for my marketing program is because these are the ones that have always had the best return for me. Without my SpeedLine reporting, I wouldn’t be able to track all of those things as easily.
I was going to say I can’t imagine having to count every coupon or go through receipt slips each month trying to figure out what came in and the total of all those things, but that is exactly what I used to do. Before SpeedLine, it took me hours and hours to figure it out; now it takes me two minutes.
Even when I am networking and meet a new person, I try to get a business card and when I get back to the store, I will enter them into my system—first to see if they have ever ordered, and second so I have a record of them and can pull it up when I do a direct marketing campaign to new or lazy customers that haven’t ordered in a while.
Does everything I do for marketing work? Nope, sometimes things just don’t get the return I expect. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try new ideas. I still have to be creative and stay top of mind with my customers. The key is to make sure with whatever I do, I have a way to track it so I know when something’s paying off or when to pull the plug.