Finding Online Pizza Customers

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The organic traffic is on your analytics report. You will see it in a number of places.

Don't Ignore The Data...

deciphering data bounce rate success for pizza

Using Data To Sell More PIzza

Before you click away consider this. 20 years ago data like this would only be available to larger companies based around traditional media. It is very easy to lose gems of information in this sea of numbers. But with the right lens, it can really tell you what is going on.

I do a lot of this to see if my pizza clients are reaching REAL customers. Do not let the term analytics fool you. What it represents is:

  • Data on your customers
  • Paths they are taking to you OR your competitors


Even if you don't really understand how to interpret data, it is worth your time to have someone analyze it for you. Once you get past that shock of a page of numbers, valuable information will begin to take shape.


Finding Gems Of Data

Below is a simple representation of two types of customers finding our pizza place online. I have it broken out into twi categories 

Organic: people who searched primarily in Google and found us in search

Direct: people who know and love us and looked up our pizza restaurant name in the search block and clicked right to us.




 So now the important question..

What does this really mean.. it just technical gobbledygook?


(pizza customer traffic) probably means:


  • Regulars who know you
  • People who have seen you
  • People who remember an ad
  • People who drove by and recognize the name


I am searching for pizza or a pizza place


(pizza customer traffic) probably means:


  • People looking for a restaurant
  • People looking for pizza
  • People interested in an issue you mention on your blog


These are people who were searching for pizza, sandwiches, content AND  your site fulfilled Google's criteria for that search and came up on Google page 1.


So the pool of new customers will most likely start with organic

pizza customer pool

But relationships, regulars, and familiarity show up in direct

Now let us breakdown the "Pizza Logic"

This may be a little general but remember

The organic is the pool of the undecided. It is an early in the funnel person. For a pizza place it can often mean undecided in terms of where to go

Direct is where there is some familiarity. These are people who have heard of you or your regular do not neglect them

finding new customers for pizza

So Who Are YOUR Customers?

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How to find them

Find the total Organic Traffic

The organic traffic will be i na number of places in the analytics

Find The Direct Traffic

The direct traffic will be found in the same places as the organic using analytics.

Understand What Is Going On

Look for:

  • Percentages of new vs returning customers?
  • Is one of the two traffic types dominating the other?
  • Where are the traffic groups coming from?
  • Where on your site did they go?
  • How long do they spend on the site?


Apply This To Your Marketing

With a little work you can apply this to your content creations, advertising, social media, and SEO

Category: Uncategorized

Can an oven be used as a pizza brand element?

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Why not. It is one more element which enhances the value of a brand. I was at a new brick oven pizzaCogan’s pizza at Norfolk’s Waterside. The pizza place prominently featured these gigantic glossed brick pizza ovens. The pizza was great and of course all I could do was attribute it to the authentic hearths that baked my pizza in view.

As usual you make assumptions that make or break your perception of the restaurant. I am not being told that it is fresh pizza…

  • I see it prepped
  • I see it go in the oven
  • 9 minutes later it is piping hot

That is fresh. Even though other pizzas come right out of the oven, this is much more visceral. In fact brick oven pizza bars are popping up everywhere. It is an advantage that might seem pointless with so many hearth style ovens. Of course, everyone uses the tomatoes, flour, etc. An oven offers benefits, both as an element of publicity, quality, and branding.

Publicity Via Brick Pizza Oven

As you have seen, the ads and endless messages to buy someone’s brand of pizza are all competing to get your customers. Naturally you want to do the same. But just using traditional commercial advertising with the theme “buy my pizza” is not going to be enough. You want memorable contact with your current and future customers. You want to engage them and SUBTLY sell the benefits of your pizza brand without actually selling.

The oven is an attribute which adds an element of freshness and quality to the pizza. It is an opportunity to

  • Build the value of your pizza quality in the consumers perception
  • Get Their attention with new information
  • Engage them with valuable content

So how do we do it? Well here are a few ways to begin this campaign.

Pulling Features For Social Media

We are going to pull out features of the brick oven and find ways to get them on our social media. More specifically, we are looking to use Facebook as our initial engagement platform.

Here are a subtopics we can mention in our posts:

  • Talk about the actual mechanics of the brick oven
  • Talk about food history and the brick/hearth oven’s role in civilization
  • Offer some video clips on cooking on it
  • Offer a clinic and how to cook pizza in a brick oven
  • Offer some unusual recipes for brick oven pizza
  • Talk about how to build a wood fired oven

An Actual Post

Here is a sample clip I saw on Youtube. It might be a great attention getter on the feed

And of course our goal with this clip is to get people to click over to our website with a teaser, or better yet, another related story on the topic. Thus it is very easy to post to our Facebook page

Using Content And Social Media To Garner Volume

Another really simple way to advertise is post something that demonstrates the brick oven in a simple way. You cannot endlessly say we have brick oven pizza over and over. You will drive people crazy. You can demonstrate your creativity and show interest in it, associating your site and Facebook page with brick oven pizza.

You are the expert, in the sense you are a genuine user of this technology. Again lots of assumptions are going to pop up in the viewers mind:

  • You cook things fresh
  • You cook things in a non commercialized brick oven
  • You walk the walk
  • You are experienced at doing this

Guess are branding. You are building yourself as a genuine expert who serves fresh authentic pizza from a stone oven. No cliches..real proof of these traits is in eye shot. Now here is a more specific example of  the use of a recipe as social post to bring awareness to the oven.


This is just one of many possible social media tie strategies. I created a mock up recipe that can be posted to the website, social media, and paid ads:

pizza restaurant recipe

pizza marketing tips


I am not going to go into all the details of every possible way you can use this particular publicity tool, but the use of a recipe is more than just sharing a recipe. We are interacting with our customer since some will see the social media and try their own pizza. We are also building credibility. We are not saying BUY MY PIZZA. We are showing a method for high quality pizza making. We never come out and say that, but we are teaching others how to make great brick oven pizza. We are the expert in a way and we are selling without selling.

Think about a traditional non digital social media deficient campaign. We would say that we make the best pizza with the best ingredients etc. Now we are actually showing how we do it and demonstrating. This sends a genuine message in itself.

Michael Saks



McKeever, A. (2017). Inside the World of Stefano Ferrara Pizza Ovens. [online] Eater. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jul. 2017].







Can a tomato be a key pizza restaurant brand maker

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In all that cheese and crust and toppings (getting hungry just thinking about it) we forget one of the signature Italian root ingredients..the tomato. Seen by so many as just an extra tag along flavoring agent the best you can hope for when looking for the ultimate pizza are clichés like

  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh produce
  • Farm fresh tomatoes
  • Locally grown
  • and of course the newcomer Non-GMO

But I think we are missing an opportunity. The tomato is part of the core basic of any pizza before the buffet of toppings gets added. Part of “incredible” pizza is going to the texture and aroma of those tomatoes smeared under the cheese. They also make an incredible topping if you like that fresh garden vegetable style flavor.

So how do we use it to brand our product digitally and otherwise?


Using this ingredient

What I think there are a lot of directions to go in terms of marketing your pizza brand, so let us dive in and start sorting through the possibilities. To start off I would promote different types of tomatoes on certain pizzas

Feature Different types of tomato

There a lot of tomatoes so why not experiment and offer pizzas with different types of tomatoes on them. Even better, an exclusive sauce that is made from a different type of tomato with a new seasoning blend (made from herbs you grow yourself of course).  I think an easy first stab would be to focus on some sort of branded tomato

Branded tomato

By branded tomato I mean some unique element that you can feature in your social media, website, and displays. Some examples

  • A San Marzano tomato from a small farm in Italy. The San Marzano tomato is the tomato of choice in Italy which is a plum tomato grown in rich volcanic soil in a specific section of Italy. 

Why not feature a pizza with this tomato? You can now develop this brand element. Also maybe get an exclusive import from Italy with a brand you only offer.

pizza marketing ideasExclusive tomato

Maybe offer a private label tomato with a brand only used by you in the area. It might seem silly but you want to build your edge anywhere you can.

Designer Pizza

Feature pizzas with different types of tomatoes… and there are a lot of them

Unique sauce and seasoning blends 

pizza marketingCreate different mixed tomato sauce and seasoning blends. Think of all the ways you could create designer blends. I mean here are a few of the tomato varieties 

  • Plum
  • Ross
  • San Marzano
  • Kumato

Pizzas with texture variations in the tomatoes. The tomato purée for the sauce or the top of the pizza as a topping can be mixed with tomatoes that are

  • Chopped
  • Diced
  • Cut in strips

Exclusive seasonal

  • Vary when you offer special ingredients to some things that are only seasonal

But this moves us into a key component of building these brand attributes for things like unique tomatoes or locally procured or farm fresh cheese… promotion.

Michael Saks

Using ingredients for pizza marketing and branding

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Getting the edge in pizza marketing is not a quick one time thing you do. With ever increasing competition you have to find ways to stand out and be more than a commodity or a  product that is good enough. Avoid just saying the cliches like:

  • Farm to table
  • Fresh
  • Local suppliers
  • Locally grown

These are all terms you see popping up with pizza restaurants and pizza producers that mention this product attribute. Every time one ad or social media post mentions this it becomes less of a differentiating point.

Even if it is something potential customers notice it still has limited credibility. To most people this is just an ad tag line, or mental filler. It is also an opportunity to improve brand perception.

Brand perception

Naturally the taste elements are the nucleas of the brand but what do you do when the quality for ten other competitors is good enough in the consumers mind.

A simple change in the color or design of a logo is not going to change my perception. It may signify that there has been a change in the pizza brand but at the end of the day it is a blank check that better have substantial change backing it up.

Build the mental value of product attributes. In a world where everything is photoshopped or has a spin we want things that are genuine. Build the back story of where those products come from.

Adding perceived quality to pizza attributes

The image and background of the ingredients for pizza (or anything)will contribute to the satisfaction of the end user product.

An example: Cheese

  • Cheese is not as good as mozzarella cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese is not as good as fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese is not as good as farm fresh mozzarella cheese delivered daily
  • farm fresh mozzarella cheese delivered daily is not as good as fresh shredded mozzarella provided daily by a local dairy two miles away known as the Inglewood Dairy(fictional).

And on and on until the product Is so unique that customers will perceive that it is a better product. Attributes are connections in a customers mind. More connections gives meaning and value to the mundane commodity.


So now you make additional assumptions with this piece of connecting information. Instead of just cheese you now have:

  • mental images of this local dairy a town over
  • Images of fresh cheese being delivered from the farm
  • Images of fresh food
  • Images of the actual dairy you have driven by from time to time

Which would naturally seem more genuine? Which would seem fresher?

Adds an element of uniqueness

Now we have a unique value added element that connects with our pizza

Before: Generic Cheese

: fresh grated mozzarella Cheese from local Inglewood Dairy

Build and prove authenticity

Granted the pizza has to be good and the cheese fresh and flavorful but all things being equal this cheese is more robust, authentic and traceable.

Your not just saying fresh ingredients or farm to table but you are conceptualizing this promise with some very tangible supporting details, which is this recognized local dairy.

But I will go a step further. This detail makes the brand better in terms of its quality and flavor. In the mind of the consumer there is more to this cheese.

Other upcoming related topics

Advertise and digitally market this edge

Now the next thing important thing is to disseminate this through our various customer channels. This encompasses everything from social media to advertising to packaging in our restaurant.

Finding other pizza branding attributes

Naturally we can innovate other ingredients with this same process making our brand stronger. Another very versatile and overlooked branding element is the tomato.

The goal of branding Pizza attributes

Getting to unique and building connections.

Refocusing your view of food attributes

Think of a car. There is a brand you picture but that brand is the culmination of a number of products they did not make. In a phrase they are an assembler that is branded. You are really buying a process. Pizza Marketing has this in common,as you are assembling someone else’s ingredients.

Using non food attributes to build your digital pizza brand

Not every pizza brand building attribute has to be about ingredients but there are facets that can build this kind of value. In fact there are too many to mention.

Myth: only big chains and large pizza companies brand

The world has changed….you are a publisher, videographer, brand builder and more.

Sub brand elements as opportunities

Other brand elements will influence your brand.

Michael Saks

Pizza Marketing And Technology: Zume Pizza

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The Pizza News Marketing Feed

I periodically peruse newspaper, magazine, and blog feeds for those incredible stories pizza making robotabout marketing and pizza. Usually there is a story about a new chain coming into an area or some new gimmick style pizza. Sometimes you stumble over some things that stand out. That is the case here…

At first it might seem weird, but as you read these kind of novelty or outside of the (pizza)box business ideas make you start to think. In the pizza industry, anything that is stimulating and different is good, as the danger of falling into the realm of being perceived as a commodity is all too real.

Zume Pizza: Pizza Technology And Then Some

Well I found such an article. A recent CNBC article talks about Zume Pizza. Zume heavily invests in robotic technology to make their pizzas at a fraction of the cost of others.

That alone is pretty novel. It makes me think of something I might see on the Jetsons (Millennials, if you have no idea what I am talking about just go to Youtube and type in Jetsons). It should bring up a clip of the show and give you an idea what I am talking about).

jetsons-pizzaAs Far As Marketing..

At least for the time being, I cannot thing of any location’s area news stations that wouldn’t like to get the scoop on Jetsons style robotic pizza (who are the Jetsons…remember go to Youtube). A million blogs, websites, and the like will want to feature it. In other words, they are cutting advertising and marketing costs by riding the wave of earned media for a long long time.

But here is the kicker

they are not just trying to go mass economy of scale and produce dirt cheap pizza, which in itself might be a game changer. They are reinvesting the profits to offer higher quality food. WOW.

In other words, and the way I perceive it, rather than dominate on a low price point for a quality pizza, they want to offer the ultimate quality pizza at a low price. A truly gourmet pizza that will rival the price point of the mass market chains and frozen pie makers.

And on top of that they are focusing only on the delivery segment by eliminating the need for a storefront. In other words they are a high quality production facility with pizza delivery. Oh and to make things even more efficient and fresh, the pizza is baked in the truck on the way to the customer. Simple and effective.

A Caveat For All Pizza Marketing

It better be good. It better be fast. The novelty will wear off real quick if taste does not dominate. Without any human interaction, I might feel a little guilt ordering pizza from a facility that costs 2 or 3 people their jobs. But if the pizza is good, I will make the sacrifice. At the end of the day taste matters.

And even more so..

Even if the pizza is technically good, you need taste and marketing elements to differentiate yourself. By technically good I mean fresh baked crust, real tomato sauce versus paste, and high quality fresh farm to table toppings. But that won’t necessarily make you stand out.

You still need to differentiate yourself on things focusing on taste and authenticity. Here is what I mean. I personally have not really had any inedible pizza. I mean there are different levels of pizza but the goal is to be the pizza that is best…period.

And So Far It Seems Zume Pizza Is Off To A Good Start With Marketing that Differentiates..

Here is why..go to their site. They are using off the beaten path toppings, like candied figs, and are not focused just on being a technology company. They are creative in their menu labeling giving each pizza a humorous identity like “The Notorious F.I.G.” or “El Camino”(Natural ingredients – delivered unnaturally fast).”

But in time the competition is so intense, more and more differentiation will be necessary to keep the edge. Authenticity of ingredients will also be a factor.

Authenticity of Ingredients??

What do I mean by this? Well in the Photo-shopped world of today where anything can be faked, reproduced, imitated, tweeted, posted, spun or more, we want things that are real. This is a key to a brand. I am not going into huge detail on this here, but here is an example. Say we offer Italian sausage..

We want to build a section of our site (deep into the site) about ingredients and where they come from. The sausage should be “Venetian prime” sausage or a more descriptive unique name. We should talk about the process of how it is made and the Italian run family business that has done this for generations, complete with a clip and a charity that is supported by the sale of our unique meat topping. This builds value in the customer’s mind. Its real and that somehow makes it taste better.

In actuality, authenticity, can be applied to a lot of areas beyond just ingredients but I am not going into that subject right now.

So Back To How Would You Promote It

This is probably one of the most exciting aspects of this. Being such a novelty, any market they enter is an earned media extravaganza. Think about it. You have the local news, local papers, schools, community organizations, and social media. Most will want to feature this story since it gets your attention and is fun to think about, whether or not you are interested in pizza or not.

This is a no brainer..

Using simple public relations techniques such as soliciting the reporters, writers, and bloggers will be enough to ensue an incredible earned media product launch in every market. But eventually that will wear off. At some point everyone has heard the story and the once novelty pizza is just not that unusual. So what would would you do next..

Some Ideas On How You Would You Continue To Promote It

Remember You Have Captured People’s Imaginations, so build on that. Let’s take interaction to the next level with a few ideas:

Create a club for young people to study about robotic technology complete without support and partnership with an organization that promotes this in school. This would be complete with a Facebook page, interactive site, and other social media elements.

These clubs could be tied to local schools and science programs giving us a reason to propose another story to local media on our business.

Benefit: Helps the Community AND keeps your name in front of a lot of people.

Support Of Local Farms for sourcing vegetables and meats for the pizzas. These would be featured on the website and social media and would go into intense detail about the family farm, their background, and how fresh the ingredients are.

Benefit: Brand authenticity and it adds value to ingredients that are considered a commodity by many pizza patrons.

Human Interest Stories About Employees

I would focus on the fact that the jobs that were taken by robots were low pay jobs opening higher pay opportunities for humans. Also focus on human interest stories of different people at hq and production sites. Not just for work stories, but family stories, pet stories etc.

Benefit: Humanizes a business where some Americans may be suspicious represents a future trend of them being replaced by machines. It will also provide material for social media.

Futurist Clubs/ Science Groups are a great way to build a following, not just for business, but to augment web traffic and buzz about the company.

Benefit: These groups will have a natural fascination with a robot pizza company and will provide needed volume and back links to the digital presence of Zume.

The Future Of Pizza?

Zume represents a new generation of business in the pizza industry and is the perfect place to try new marketing ideas and trends. I certainly am excited to try it when it comes my way.

Other Pizza Marketing Articles

Pizza Industry Over saturation

Marketing Pizza With Events

The overcrowded pizza market










Michael Saks

The Pizza Business Is A Crowded Market

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If you can fill this sentence in with your business then you probably are in a crowded space for your industry:

There is a _(your type of business)______________ on every block

Maybe there isn’t one on every block, but every mile, or every three miles. Or maybe there are just not enough people buying your product or service to justify the level of competition.

Avoiding Pizza Parity

One pizza restaurateur told me there was a pizza parlor on every block in his city and five new competitors on top of the already saturated space of 15 plus competitors. Even with a crowded market for pizza phenomenal restaurant, which this restaurateur has, an over saturated space is going to cut into your profits and increase your costs. Think about it.

More people are battling for your pizza customers:

  • Dollars
  • Attention
  • Loyalty

That means more conflicting ad messages from competitors. More chances for your customers to choose someone. More companies lowering your margin with price specials. So what you do.

Well there is not just one answer. There are all sorts of things you can do to fight this trend. What we are going to focus on here however, is avoiding parity. By parity I mean the syndrome when your business looks the same to the customer as everyone else. No one wants to think their business is just a commodity to their target customer but in most cases, it is.

Marketing your pizza to be different

By novel I mean things that are unique and different and a little unusual but not to the point of being scary. I read an article about a pop up pizza restaurant in Iowa that uses a number of different concepts to make himself actually stand out from anyone both and pizza and I think in the restaurant business. It definitely caught My eye and there are some great business lessons to learn from the simple article.

The articles from the, and I would based paper that deals a lot of human interest stories and local companies. The article features stone oven pizza.

stone oven pizzaStone Oven Pizza Magic

Stove Oven Pizza is a hearth baked pizza company in Iowa. Some of the things they offer are:

  • Brick oven based pizza cooked in outdoor brick ovens on their farm
  • Farm raised ingredients from their farm
  • Seasonal outdoor dining on the farm
  • Rotating ingredients based upon what is in season or growing
  • A food truck to promote at local events

There are a lot of things that give this brand depth, authenticity, and uniqueness

There is rarity. You can only enjoy it certain times of the year and when certain ingredients are available

A farm backdrop stands out–very few could emulate this business model

Using their own ingredients adds a genuine quality to this agrarian based pizza provider

The owners are local and known. No mindless faceless chains here

No I do not think all of these attributes were completely contrived and thought out by the farm owners. I do believe that the things that they had to offer were things that were not. They work a traditional pizza restaurant. They were in a franchise. In fact their whole business model is nothing like anything I’ve ever seen.

No the future of pizza is not restaurant farms

I am also not saying that we should all create restaurant farms where we used farm products from livestock that we have. This is not practical. What is practical is to look at ways to make what we have unique. And not just make it unique but give it a spin or marketing attributes that make it unique.

Here are some examples which may be a little outlandish but they can help you differentiate your pizza business

pizza-gourmet-cheeseLocal farm fresh cheese

Maybe a local pizza restaurant could get their cheese from an actual farm that is only miles away. And not just that but it’s on their website with pictures about the phone how fresh the food is. And with the social media and even the menu and pictures of the more you get people involved with this farm and how it’s ultra fresh without hormones and it supports this family and you start building a brand because people start seeing this is more than just a pizza joint now you’re a pizza place that is connected to ultra fresh cheese and a local farm and it just gives it more depth and genuine this.

Select wine

Offer exclusive or private label wines

Seasonal designer crusts

Create hybrid crusts with different grains, mountain spring water, etc

craft-beer-and-pizzaUnique craft beer

Create your own craft beer. Integrate a craft beer bar

Organization relationship

Adopt a local cause and completely integrate the cause into your social media, allowing you to reach out to lots of people

Just find ways to be different, to stand out

And don’t forget the website

The site can also be a way to look different. Come up with a concept that doesn’t blend into the same red, yellow, brown color scheme of 80% of the pizza websites I have seen online

All of these attributes are value builders. Customers are involved with your vision. Value is established by the quality and unique processes and ingredients you use in your restaurant. In the human mind these attributes link together and build the depth of what you offer. Think about it: Value is arbitrary. We determine what is important.Try this exercise

Which of these 2 pizzas is more memorable:

Pizza A

  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Italian sausage
  • Thick pan crust
  • Red sauce

Pizza B

  • Venetian Mozzarella double aged
  • Pizza sauce made with Surner Farms Rosa Tomatoes
  • Sweet imported Franchesca brand neapolitan italian sausage
  • Buttered deep dish crust made with semolina flour

It certainly seems like Pizza B would taste better. A lot of inherent value is being added by mentioning brands, unique flavors, etc.parity-in-marketing

One More Caveat

This is not a one and your done process. This is something you do all the time. Find ways to promulgate things that make you unique, no matter how mundane or intricate.This is one of your biggest defense mechanisms against both competition and fading margins.



Michael Saks