By: Chuck Hammers, CEO, Pizza My Heart | March 17th, 2017
As CEO of Pizza My Heart (PMH), a 24-location pizza chain in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am always seeking new ways to build my brand and grow my business. The challenge is making customer engagement measurable as well as driving trackable sales. Many of our customers are Stanford students, alumni and their families, so we knew we had an opportunity to advertise to this group during the Stanford football games. However, it was impossible to determine if game-time advertising was being noticed, let alone if it was driving sales. Plus, regardless of how clever an advertisement is, it’s rarely entertaining for viewers to watch, and I don’t like coupons because I feel they devalue a brand. Our goal as a local favorite was to reinforce the fun of PMH while driving sales, awareness and value.
With Yiftee, a data-driven mobile promotions and gifting company, PMH was able to “gamify” our marketing with an in-venue promotion called the Pizza My Heart Kickoff Challenge. Working with Yiftee, we created a measurable social engagement campaign. Fans were prompted to participate in the Pizza My Heart Kickoff Challenge on the scoreboard at the beginning of the game and at halftime. Using their mobile phones they could guess the yard line the kickoff returner would get to after kickoff. Fans who texted in the correct kickoff result received a $4 or $20 Pizza My Heart mobile eGift Card delivered by Yiftee via text message. Each fan response demonstrated measurable engagement and the redemption data proved the powerful value of this innovative campaign.
Because of the benefit to my business, we have continued to run the PMH Kickoff Challenge and other interactive games, expanded to new sports (men’s and women’s basketball) and to other stadiums, exposing hundreds of thousands of attendees to Pizza My Heart’s messaging.
A Bigger slice of the (Pizza) Pie for Pizza My Heart
Even more important is that this promotion works as a traffic driver and sales driver for PMH. Of the thousands of fans who win, redemption is off the charts.
Redemption rate for the $4 slice is typically 14%, while redemption is 35% for the $20 pie. These numbers far exceed typical redemption stats from coupons, which rarely generate more than a 2% return. What’s more impressive is that redeemers almost always purchase more than the value of their gift. Those with a $4 gift have an average check of $21 — a 400% upsell — and those with a $20 gift have an average check of $29.50 – nearly a 50% upsell. This more than pays for the cost of the promotion, while exposing new guests to our restaurant.
One reason that redemption is so high is that these gifts have automated reminders that reinforce the Pizza My Heart brand while informing winners how long before their gift expires. Rewards are typically valid for 90-120 days, and because they disappear from guests’ mobile phones when they’re expired and after they are used, there is no issue with fraud.
Beyond the Pizza My Heart Kickoff Challenge, we offer Yiftee eGifts on our website for anyone who wants to purchase a gift for a friend. I started doing this in response to parents who lived far away and wanted to gift a pizza to their children attending Stanford. Now I use them for guest appreciation and recovery, and employee rewards and incentives as well. What started as a convenience to Stanford parents has now grown into a revenue stream of its own as more customers are looking for a convenient way to send and receive gifts. Particularly around the holidays we sell a tremendous number of eGifts from our website enabling Pizza My Heart to mobilize our offerings year round.