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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Marketing/Dream Idea: Streetza Pizza

Be warned this will be an interesting and different post to say the least…. So here it goes:
Last night I dreamt that I was the General Manager (I know that’s for baseball but it was a dream) of a pizza shop in Milwaukee. It was part of the Streetza family but had an awesome name… which I do not remember… since it was a dream parts have been forgotten and was not a pure idea. I will describe my dream while making marketing advice and suggestions on why it would work or wouldn’t and what should be changed.
Breakdown of the place
The dream started in the middle of the “story” and had some flashbacks with what I believe was my subconscious filling in the missing parts to make it work. It was a small pizza place with a handful of tables a counter, 2 cash registers, an awesome menu display up top, and some pizza warmer racks behind the counter. The pizza warming racks had timers on them that kept track of how long the pizzas were out, I will explain this later. The back had a large oven(s) (It was one oven but changed to many ovens later, but still fit a lot of pizzas) a large chart/board on the wall with times and when the pizzas should be made and placed in the over for maximum efficiency. There was a nice prepping table a large fridge with all the fresh ingredients, some random people working on making pizzas and an office. I was usually in the office taking phone orders for a full pizza and working on the social media aspects of the pizzeria. During busy times I would come out and help with the extra demand, whether I was making a pizza or working a register.
This part of the dream made plenty of sense since it was all based on prior knowledge of restaurants. The menu over the top of the counter was similar to McDonald’s but not lit up, more closely resembling that of Bella’s or Kopp’s. It was plastic or wood that was painted and had the name of the business in the upper left… the name which I forgot. It offered the four normal slices offered by Streetza and a fifth special slice of the day. The prices were 3.75 per slice (same as Streetza) but if the slices were over an hour old they were a dollar. Not sure if an hour would be a good amount of time, might need to be shorter in real life to make it more effective. You could order a whole pizza for 18 dollars if you called it in ahead of time. If you were ordering a slice you could have it to-go or here at the pizzeria. The to-go had a nice cardboard triangle wedge that the slice of pizza fit into. The menu also offered soda in three sizes from a Pepsi machine to the side and an option of garlic bread. The cash register was very simple with an easy layout of each type of pizza with three columns, whole pizza, slice, dollar slice. Then on the right side the three sizes of soda and garlic bread. There was a sales tax added onto the purchase which angered one customer. The board in the back was a white board with magnets of each pizza and times for when they were to be in the oven. I assume this was because of the different demand for the slices so there would not be a wait on a particular slice, as well as to keep track of the phone orders.
How it began
Later in the dream I sequenced back to how it all started. I won a large lottery (wish I knew when and the winning numbers) so I moved back to Milwaukee and enjoyed myself but eventually got bored (yeah right). So I contacted Scott Baitinger of Streetza Pizza about opening up a Streetza store that operated during the day. Montage sequence later and after 3 months of planning we were set to start a business. We decided on a location (no idea where that was but I think the location was between North and Brady based on the surrounding buildings) had some interviews and stories written up and found and trained some employees. Pretty sure it took a total of 6 months before the stores grand opening and opening special of dollar slices all day.
Since it was a montage of sorts most of the exact details were skipped. The first three months would have included coming up with a solid business plan that listed the prices and procedures as well as the goal and mission of the business. Also needed to be done near the end of those three months would be proper research to find the right location, since that would be key. Either by a college or a bunch of businesses would be a prime location. Down town Milwaukee would have also been good but there is some decent competition there with Rustico and Brick 3 and the other numerous restaurants and the rent prices would be higher. But any prime location will have competition so the location would come down to some graphical equation plotting price vs. customer base/potential profits. The building would also take time to renovate the location to fit the needs of the pizzeria. Then there is the hiring and training of the employees and finding a local company to purchase the ingredients from. The final piece that would need to be done prior to opening is the buildup of awareness and social media. More information about how to create a successful restaurant (a restaurant I would go to and frequent) will be a future blog post, stay tuned for that.
Other tidbits
The dream was very unlinear much like an episode of Lost so some other key parts will be placed here since they happened “randomly” and in no real order. One of the reasons the business in my dream was so successful was not only the great brand that Scott built up with loyal patrons but because I also took a very hands on approach and was heavily involved. I am a person who gets my hands dirty and will do the work that needs to be done, even if in the example I had no real need to (lottery win). I also worked with a few groups at UWM, including CEO and AMA. I spoke to both organizations about the idea and the steps taken to make it a success. Answered some key questions about the aspects of the business, might I add I was awesome in doing so… even if I don’t remember the exact questions or answers. Sponsored CEO and AMA by providing pizza at the meetings and presenting them with fundraising opportunities. One fundraising opportunities was creation of the pizza of the day which would be sold for an extra dollar a slice that went towards the organization. Which gave birth to the AMAzing pizza, which in my dream was AWESOMLY AMAZING, I could really smell and taste it even if it was just a dream. We also helped Panther Pack out (UWM Panther Athletics) by being a sponsor for their rewards program, after attending so many games given a coupon or other item donated from a local business, for a free slice of pizza. We also catered much like Streetza does now; this would allow the truck to be open on those nights when they would be catering an event. Also in my dream there was a break in/ vandalism which was solved by social media help and the person who gave information that led to the conviction of the vandal got free pizza for a year.
And that sums up what I can remember from the dream, it would be nice if that managed to happen. One problem is I did not win a lottery so I could not invest in the business as well as the other cash flow problems that could arise. However Scott if for some reason this idea has some traction I will be more than happy to help out make it a reality and even be the(general) manager.
What location would you like to see a streetza pizzeria? What would you name it? Would you frequent a place like that? Any other suggestions or comments?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Marketing Idea: College Video Game Tourney

Large Marketing Budgets for upcoming games, even larger for the highly anticipated titles.
Video game companies invest a large amount of time, money, and effort in upcoming games and new releases. This is so the interest and awareness is there, but isn't the awareness already there. Avid gamers already know the release date to the titles they want, from numerous magazines, tv shows, web shows, websites, posters, store listings, and blog posts. Most of which cost the companies little to nothing for advertisements.

Should the advertising and marketing budgets be cut?
No if anything the budgets should be increased. A larger investment in advertising and marketing will result in more sales. Their is a point when more advertising will not result in more sales. Tradition advertising does work but more can be done to improve sales and awareness. Bungie and Microsoft spent over 250 million on the creation and promotion of Halo 3. This allowed for one of the best first day sales ever, as well as the best selling game in 2007. What should happen is the budgets should be adjusted to allow for new ideas and avenues for advertising.

One idea would be for hosting a video game tournament at college(s) around the country.
Taking 10 million from the budget, or cutting the number of commercials by as little as 10 airings could cover setting up and running a tournament at a large college. College students are one of the main demographics of video game players. Video game tournaments have been around since the days of the arcade machines. Many movies about video games and tournaments have been made including The Wizard showed the popular Nintendo World Champion Tournament. Tournaments are continually becoming more popular with profession circuits, teams, advertisements, fans, in all aspects a sport.

Tournament logistics for a successful event:
  • The tournament should be held on a campus with the resources and size to be able to host a large gaming tournament in both space and utilities.
  • The tournament should be the weekend prior to the release date, this will allow for fair play, the game will be completed, as well as the most "buzz" will be generated.
  • There will be a tournament entry fee and prizes similar to other cash tournaments.
  • Each participant will have 1 hour practice time to get accustomed to the controls of the new game and strategize.
  • The platforms and games will be provided for the tournament from Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo.
  • The number provided will be dependent on the number of entrants and size of campus but between 100 and 200 platforms and copies of the game.
  • The televisions will be rented out as well as anything else that is required.
  • The game chosen will be one with multiplayer, a highly anticipated release, and can have quick yet detailed matches.
  • The format will follow standard cash tournament setup with matches, eliminations, and rules.
  • Held once a semester, at different campuses.
Simplified Logistics
Basically the rules and set up will follow those of other cash tournaments. The systems, games, and anything else that is needed will be rented or provided from the game system's company, who ever the tourney is for. The game will be one that will be released in the upcoming week and has multiplayer.

Halo 3 Tournament: What could have been
As stated earlier Halo 3 had one of the largest budgets for a video game. There was a lot of press for the release of the game and numerous parties. Bungie and Microsoft could have also held a video game tournament with Halo 3 the weekend prior to its release at one of numerous colleges. This tournament would have brought numerous popular video game all stars to the event and press coverage. College students would also attend and compete and the hosting college and city would receive a large amount of press and increased revenues from the travelers and event. For the cost of about 10 national commercials Microsoft could have paid for the tournament, or had the fees cover a majority of the costs. To also help with the costs, which are minimal for the amount of exposure that will be received, many sponsors could help spread the costs. Some sponsors could include beverage or retail companies including Walmart, Best Buy, and GameStop. Additional PR is always a benefit especially when its free and gets covered and picked up all over, which this tournament would have.

Would you like a tournament like this at your college, city? Would you attend a tournament? Would this make you more likely to purchase the game?

Friday, March 26, 2010

A wonderful use of twitter

The American Cancer Society or one of their subgroups has a well working macro on Twitter, which many business should follow the example of. Instead of going out and searching for a business or even the business finding new customers, but having a macro searching out and finding a person who tweeted a set value of words.

I received this tweet from @bdayshoutout:
@Spiffster Happy birthday! Join the movement for more birthdays for all. Check us out at #bdayshoutout

In reply to this tweet
I ♥ my friends for all the happy birthday wishes Thanks

Not only does this require little effort but has great effects and can be used by business when someone is searching for a place to shop or somewhere to go out to eat.

Why do I think this is great?
Simple it was not one of those random spam @replies but rather it was sent specifically to me and others who met the macro criteria and while there is sure to be a margin of error and send to some of the wrong individuals for the most part it hits the intended audience who would be looking for advice or assistance.
Although a macro by itself would not suffice for businesses, they also have to engage and interact with the customers but something as simple as this would be a great start. For some great examples of using Twitter for business follow these 3 successful businesses on twitter, @blatzliquor , @streetzapizza , and @ajbombers

Do you agree that this is a good use of twitter? Do you think other businesses should use a macro to find new customers?

Another Year Older

Well its that day again... I am another year older and another year whats that word.... drunker... no ... faster... nope.... stronger... I wish.... fatter... hey you put on a few too!!!.... well anyways this year I am going to do something I have not done before well not seriously and create a list of goals and work to achieve them this year.

Some goals I plan to achieve this year are
  • Write one main blog every Sunday
  • Start running and be able to do at least a half marathon by this time next year
  • Get promoted to Account Manager
  • Keep in touch with my friends and college buddies unlike high school where we just lost touch completely
  • Get a new Laptop
  • Get a new(er) car
  • Get a nicer apartment
Other things that would be nice but not expected
  • Go back to Milwaukee once every other week
  • Go on a vacation
  • Get to bed at a decent time and up as well... damn you snooze!!!
  • Perfect time travel and teleportation
  • Get cable/ G4 and an Xbox 360
Some things my mom would like me to do
  • Get a nice girlfriend (not even looking, sorry mom)
  • Call my mom and visit her at least once a week (maybe call)
  • Help my brother(s) get a job
Not sure how many will get done but will work on most of them, and my loyal and spiffy readers will help me keep on top of things, right?

What goals would you set for yourself? Can anyone get my brother(s) a job?? And how come I am not sleeping right now?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Future Blog Topics

Milwaukee – Top 5 things to do
  • Sporting events
  • Brewery Tours
  • Museums
  • Festivals
  • Burgers, Brats, and Beer

Milwaukee – Man v Food, Food Wars

Excessive advertisement, downfalls, negatives

Tips for bars and restaurants
  • Prices listed
  • Fresh Food
  • Quality, Speed, Price
College Video Game Tourny

Cheap advertising and PR – College groups/ Orgs

Appleton Bars
Not new person/ search friendly

Social Media, not going anywhere
New tool in marketing and Advertising

Printing, newspaper industry problems

Buy Local

Theft Prevention

Any preference in which post should be first? Want more info on any of the topics?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Marketing Idea: Sports Venues

Empty Seats

It is rare in this economy to find a sold out sporting event, or venue. This affects the amount of profits a team or complex can receive. While the breakdown of revenues will differ with each venue/location and the actual numbers unknown and approximate breakdown follows:

  • Admission (ticket sales) 40%
  • Parking 10%
  • Food and Beverage sales 30%
  • Merchandise 15%
  • Other 5%

With unsold seats there is the loss of revenue and potential revenue

One of the largest sources of revenue for teams and arenas is corporate sponsorship. With an increased attendance the companies sponsoring the team will get more brand awareness and would be able to be charged more as well as more companies would be willing to sponsor.

Real world example

Figures and stats are not actual and just estimates

The Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee still have seats available even during their current hot streak. Even with the current promotions and discounts there remain unsold seats. The image to the left shows all the seats available for a Friday night game against the Miami Heat. Most of the back row(s) remain available for sale. If the Bucks or any team would have a cheap ticket deal for dollar seats or even 5 dollar seats the attendance will rise. There are numerous promotions available for discounted tickets which should remain the primary focus of the organization. The cheap tickets would be for individuals who have no preference for where they would sit and for a spur of the moment decision. A suggested distribution system and restrictions is explained below. The team and facility already are paying for those seats to be used similar to an airplane, if they go unused it is a loss of revenue and potential revenue. One possible downside of these cheap tickets is the loss of revenue from people willing to pay more. But these seats would be in the nosebleed section top rows.

The Setup

A special ticket window for individuals can purchase one dollar tickets, with a set limit of 500 per event. One ticket per person, cash only, no selection the tickets would be handed out in order of available seats starting on the highest row circling around the arena. This will allow for a quick transaction and a faster turnaround. One person taking the dollar (cash only) then giving the ticket should be able to hand out 10 per minute, so the 500 would be handed out in under an hour. The selling of the tickets would start 1 hour prior to tip-off/ start of the event.

The Benefits

With an estimate that each person attending a Bucks game would spend an average of $10 on refreshments and souvenirs and an estimated loss of 50 higher priced tickets that would have been sold at normal price.

  • 500 dollar tickets at 1 dollar each $500
  • Average $10 spent per person $5000
  • 50 lost revenue tickets (Would have paid $18) ($850)
  • Would have spent (Already were going) ($500)
  • Overall increase of revenue of $4150

That would be every home game, increased attendance and increased revenues.

Promoting the Special

It can be promoted by social media; the Bucks and Bradley Center already have a great social media presence. In short amount of time blogs and local news will pick up the story.

Similar Successes

The Brewers have dollar tickets for the seats that are blocked by the pillars which are sold on game day only and always sell out quick.

Andrew Bogut started “Squad Six” where he supplies 100 tickets for fans to help support and cheer on the team. “Squad Six” has been a huge success the atmosphere in the arena has improved much from last season.

This is a first attempt to get some of my ideas out on paper, tried to organize my thoughts as best as I could. All stats and figures were estimates done with some online research but not definite.

Would this idea work for the Bucks, or other venues? Would it detract from other promotions and result in a loss of revenue? Would there be a problem with people buying the dollar seats and moving closer?

New Blog

Welcome, just trying to get this up and running, have lots and lots to do yet. Any and all comments and feedback are welcomed and appreciated