“Sam’s Pizza Place”

Small Business

Let’s try something a bit different and look at a scenario.

Sam, the owner of a small independently owned pizzeria, developed a new low-fat pizza targeted to health conscious women. Three months after launching the new pizza he observed that the pizza was extremely popular among younger women but not in his intended target market. What steps could Sam take to correct the situation?

Now, feel free to add your own comments here. In fact, I’m hoping that this starts a nice discussion about his marketing methods and techniques since so little is actually defined. However, I’m going to offer my own insights as well.

First, Sam needs to better established what his target market is. His target market could get broken down into so many different groups (overweight women trying to lose weight, women who use the gym regularly, etc.) that he’s really wasting his marketing efforts right now because his marketing campaign is likely not targeted enough. A bit of research into his target market, or at least a better definition of what exactly that market is, will likely yield a better of understanding of how to market to it.

Once Sam has established what his target market actually is the next step is to create a series of campaigns directly targeted at that market. However, since Sam is already seeing success with a different market he should also focus some marketing on that market as well. There’s no such thing as having too many customers in the fast-food industry, and attracting a larger percentage of more than one market will help create higher profits.

For example:
If Sam determines that his target market is women who use the gym regularly, he may launch an advertising campaign that shows a women eating his new low-fat pizza after working out, accompanied by a slogan like “Loaded with 21 grams of protein and only 3 grams of fat”. He would likely see a good amount of success with that campaign because women who use the gym regularly likely see the advantages of a high protein content.

Lastly, he should split-test his advertising campaign across several mediums in order to determine which medium is having the greatest effect. He may find that advertising on billboards outside of local gyms may be much more effective than traditional flyer’s and coupons.

What do you guys think will help solve Sam’s problem?

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8 thoughts on ““Sam’s Pizza Place”

  1. Sam definitely needs to focus his marketing better. Instead of trying to target everyone, target the people you know are going to want the product. A low-fat pizza is appealing to anyone trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight.

  2. Maybe Sam’s pizza sounds appealing to younger girls because of the low amount of fat. So, I guess he might as well refocus his target and sell to girls in the younger age group range.
    Or, if he insists on getting female customers that frequent gym, then it’ll be better to advertise on billboards near to gyms.

  3. Quite frankly Sam would be better off placing his advertising near bars and night clubs which would the eye of late night bar flies looking for a “healthy and low fat” snack before going home

  4. Did Sam do this backwards (i.e., developed the product first and THEN tried to find “targeted” buyers)? Many health-conscious women tend to avoid pizza altogether, so maybe that’s not such a great target for this product.
    Luckily for Sam, he accidentally found the market he should be selling to. He should forget trying to sell to people who aren’t interested, and boost his marketing to those who are. He should find out why they like it and then use that info to promote the heck out of it.
    And offer a nice salad for the health-conscious moms who bring their daughters in for the pizza!

    1. I agree. Developing a new product FIRST is not uncommon for a small chain or single establishment, but if he is so concerned with target groups, he may have needed to do all of the research first.

      1. I completely agree. Creating the product first to suit the market second is the wrong way to go about targeting a target market. He should have polled the market and found out what they want and design THAT, not vise versa. Good point

  5. Definitely agree with most of the comments. It sounds like Sam failed to study his target market prior to opening his doors.
    I would personally re-launch his “low-carb/cal” pizza and market to the local college/high school crowd. In fact, one strategy would be to find the “decision makers” within each sub-crowd and pay them a little bit of money to subtly market the pizza to their friends. If you get the popular kids to frequent this place, you’ll draw in their social circle.

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