Beyond the Make Bench in Australia

With the growing expansion of the major players in the American food chains, especially McDonald’s, Burger King (Hungry Jack’s down under),KFC and Domino’s, you would have to excuse me for wondering if Australia was on the way to becoming the 52nd state of the U.S.

Over the last two years the chains consolidated their dominance with heavy marketing dollars on TV, Direct Mail, support of sporting clubs and charity-run events. Domino’s has been rumoured to be spending around $5 million to become the number one pizza supplier over Pizza Hut, whose 10 year dominance seems to have led to an arrogant attitude as they ignore their competitors.

Domino’s took over an established, but fairly run down and tired franchise, Silvio’s Dial A Pizza, two years ago and converted them to their flagship decal, colours and system, restating their service ethics and policy to the customer, and the 30 minute policy. The chants, yells and hype during the retraining of their staff to the Domino’s standards were justified by the resulting sales increases. Domino’s direct mailing campaigns to retain their customer strength is coordinated throughout their shops by heir head office rather than the individual franchisees. This can only be regarded as a well-planned strategy to complement a well-orchestrated market plan.

Domino’s sales have risen sharply since the inception of a complete marketing plan and given direction to their franchisees on achievable goals. Domino’s has given the tree a bloody GOOD shake, and made everyone else sharper to survive.

The main players in the Australian pizza market at present are Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Pizza Haven with around 150 stores Australia-wide and Eagle Boys Pizza (Australian Franchise Chain) with 98 stores in Australia and 15 in New Zealand and more pending in China and South Africa.

Australians have yet to adopt pizza as the staple of their diet that it is to Americans, but demand is rapidly growing. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has indicated the pizza market has tripled in the last 15 months. This could only be put down to the dollars spent by Domino’s on mass marketing to create awareness; an awareness that has benefited everyone.

Increased sports coverage from around the world on TV has had some influence as well. With the recent introduction of Pay TV, our public is learning to pick up two things; the remote and the phone. The lounge lizards inviting a few mates around to watch their favorite sport heroes while having a few beers have discovered pizza as well.

Australian marketing strategies:

Offer vouchers from a local Video or CD shop to your customers and have them do the same for you.

Advertise on brochure format, keeping your highest profit item with the highest profile and other hook deals within the brochure; get a business that complements yours to share one side of the brochure to cut the printing and distribution costs in half.

Gain community presence though sponsorship of sporting clubs in your area.

Showing genuine continued interest will keep them thinking of you as their best mate who owns their favorite pizza shop, and will bring their other business to you.

Additional sporting club connection ideas:

Have your name and a special one-season deal for club members only on the back of their membership card.

Offer special deals to the club for after-game, but make it carry out only.

Send a special award to those players who have reached special milestones.

Obtain the database of their registered players as part of the deal so you can do a letter of introduction to those members with a special offer.

Advertise on any raffle ticket that they are selling to raise money for the club. Place two special pizza vouchers on the raffle ticket giving the purchaser a $10.00 saving on top of the chance of

winning the major prize on the ticket, all for one dollar. What a hook! You could offer to pay for the tickets to be printed to get this deal or it could also be part of the sponsorship arrangement struck.

Make arrangements to have a perpetual trophy named after your company and donate a dollar amount for the achiever to receive.

Obtain the services of a high profile sportsman who doesn’t demand a lot of money and bring him down to train kids. Those people are around if you can use networking to fin them; some just want the chance to give something back to the community and to a sport that they love. The clubs get a buzz out of these known sportsmen.

A pizza party (at your expense) with an autograph session afterwards will be talked about for ages. But, do your homework with this type arrangement. One person should take control of dealing with the special personality, the club and the players. Otherwise it could be disaster and ruin future chances for such an event.

Don’t be afraid to ask your suppliers to donate items to compliment your during any promotions you do with the clubs. After all, it’s money for jam for them. Someone else is marketing their items without them spending time and money, so most will be happy to help out.

Most of the ideas I have offered here don’t require a lot of money to implement. They do, however, require a little time and planning first time around to set up but after that the wheel turns and just keeps coming back to the start again.