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Our ideas have changed drastically since our first few meetings with the Riko’s marketing team. While we did successfully promote the Selleck Street grand opening event, we avoided some of our original suggestions like a social media blast across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and more. Riko’s already has a presence on Instagram and Facebook but promoting heavily across all those platforms would be a mistake.
Since doing some customer surveys, we decided to get a specific target audience and advertise to them.
We suggest advertising aimed at middle aged men and women with children for dine in sales, local residents for delivery sales, and local businesses for catering sales. We’ll reach them through ads on Facebook, Instagram, and local news outlets. Also, we suggest some changes to the pizza box, more street signage, a Sunday NFL promotion, and more targeted surveys later on.
After starting off with scattered thinking, our suggestions are much more targeted and use our resources more effectively.
Now, we are focused on reaching a specific audience to bring them in for dine-in and promoting our catering service. Overall, our thinking is more coordinated and supported.
Riko’s products would be considered consumer products and convenience products. Riko’s sells directly to consumers without going through any retailers, distributors, or other intermediaries. Also, like a lot of the food industry, we offer products that the customer can enjoy without having to do any of the work. This specifically helps pizza businesses because it already has an image as an easy alternative to cooking for parents.
Riko’s products don’t have their own life cycle but thin-crust pizza as a product in general is on the rise. Big national chain pizzerias have started serving thin-crust pizza because they recognized the demand for it. Companies like Domino’s and Little Caesar’s already offer thin-crust pizzas and it’s only a matter of time until more restaurants do the same. The product itself would definitely be in its growth stage because demand is still growing.
Finally, Riko’s has high brand loyalty and preference. Current regular Riko’s customers showed strong loyalty and preference during a few of our interviews and surveys. Some customers even bordered on insistence, which is great to see in your customers. Through our deliverables, we want to increase brand recognition and trial in non-triers to eventually get their loyalty.
Riko’s supply chain is very simple like a lot of restaurants in the area with limited menus. Since there are so many restaurants in the immediate area, food distributors and wholesalers are everywhere. This means that there is almost constant access to the raw ingredients needed for Riko’s to supply their customers. Products like spices, oils, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and more are all available and affordable when serving large amounts of food. With all the ingredients, everything is mixed and made in-house so Riko’s controls most of its supply chain.
By making and serving the food directly to customers, Riko’s can make sure that each product meets quality and consistency standards. Riko’s even has drivers that can deliver Riko’s products directly to customers wherever they are, even if they’re not in an actual Riko’s restaurant. Also, having a catering service lets Riko’s offer large orders and has the infrastructure to do that.
As mentioned in Chapter 13 of the book, Riko’s doesn’t have any intermediaries and is directly connected to the customer. Once they get the raw ingredients, they control the entire marketing channel for the supply chain. The book also mentions how businesses with a direct connection to consumers really benefits from direct online marketing, as well as retailing.
Riko’s uses product advertising to get the biggest response from consumers. Seeing the pizza and other products entices customers much more than other mediums. This combined with our more focused target audience means we can keep tailoring ads to fit the correct group with our visual media vehicles. As mentioned, Riko’s already has an Instagram, Facebook, and local new outlet presence in terms of visual product ads that could be expanded without using a lot of resources.
Other than the direct consumer advertising, we resolved issues with signage at the Selleck Street location. There was confusion on the placement of the sign and it was moved to better show parking in the back. The other two locations have good parking and signage. Also, we suggested that some more small signage be put out in front of the Selleck Street location to promote the restaurant and the Sunday NFL specials. Having more signage on the corner will give the location longer visibility with drivers because it’s not directly on the road.
Finally, Riko’s gets a lot of benefits from its good public image. Riko’s reaches out to the community often and has a strong community presence. This comes from community outreach and connections with local businesses, new outlets, and politicians. Riko’s then gets access to free publicity through newspaper articles and local television news stories. While parts of having a community presence cost a lot, it can be worth it depending on how much free publicity you can get from some of those outlets.
Like all businesses, Riko’s deals with price competition and non-price competition. With price competition, our products have to be competitive with other pizzerias. Originally, we only thought about price competition with other thin-crust pizzerias in the area (Colony Grill, Outpost Pizza, etc.) but we realized that we had to consider all restaurants in the area. Riko’s pricing is competitive with both thin-crust pizzerias and local restaurants in an expensive area.
Non-price competition comes into play with having to separate your image from competitors. Riko’s is a relaxed, family-friendly place to have a laid-back food. While some restaurants want to seem fancier, Riko’s attracts more people with a different image. Certain other things like beer on tap, catering services, delivery, and NFL Sunday Ticket give Riko’s a competitive advantage over some competitors.
We also talked about discounting products but chose not to make that one of our proposals. We didn’t want new customers to be brought in with coupons and then not come back when they weren’t getting anything for free. Coupons can work well at certain times for certain products but not on a regular basis. We chose to do a BOGO promotion for the grand opening which is basically a coupon only to boost awareness and make sure our loyal customers knew about it.
I’ve learned to really look at every piece of the marketing plan in detail and make sure it serves a purpose. For example, we originally wanted to do a social media blast but realized that we did not have the resources for that and it would not create the kind of awareness we thought it would. All parts of the marketing plan have to mix together to target a specific group with a specific message across all channels. Not having a consistent message means it won’t be engrained in the viewers’ heads as well as it should be.
Being specific helps a lot with surveying and market research as well. We came up with several surveys and each one got more and more specific with what we wanted to find out from customers. Each question has to be incredibly specific and give you a worthwhile answer as well as lead into the next question. All of this is done to keep surveys short and responses high. Moving forward, we want our final version of the survey to help Riko’s to keep learning about its customers.
Arguably the most important decision we made was to properly segment our audience. Early on, we wanted to reach several different groups of customers with the same campaign and we quickly learned that we didn’t have the resources to do that. Choosing one target to go after lets us make sure everything we do is effective and worth the investment. Even if the suggestion is very low cost, it needs to show it effectiveness and how it helps the overall integrated marketing plan.
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