Pizza Hut outlines digital intent

Pizza Hut is pulling away from TV and preparing a major digital and CRM drive next year in a bid to increase its share of the pizza delivery and restaurant market as part of a £20m investment.

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Pizza Hut pulls away from TV advertising to be more focused on one-to-one marketing.

The pizza chain says that because visits to its restaurants are “relatively low” in the UK, it must turn its attention to using digital channels to boost sales and target existing customers with promotions.

It is planning to launch promotional initiatives from its mobile site, which launched earlier this year, to boost online orders. The business expects a large proportion of future sales to come from mobile.

The mobile site lets users share their orders with their friends via Facebook Connect and the brand says this feature will play a “significant” role in how it monetises followers on the social network moving forward.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Mark Fox, managing director at Pizza Hut UK, says the brand has been reliant on above-the-line campaigns in the past, but now wants to use “innovative marketing” initiatives to move towards “one-to-one marketing.”

He adds: “The frequency of visits to our restaurants has dropped in comparison to our penetration rates and there is an opportunity to increase that through digital marketing. Everything we’re planning for the future will be tasked with both acquiring new users but equally in driving our existing customer base to our restaurants using digital.

“Historically, we’ve been a brand that has been on TV a lot throughout any given year and I think there is less reliance on TV now and more on targeting the individual customer with offers that best suit them.”

Pizza Hut is planning to launch a CRM scheme across its restaurants in the UK, the latest phase in a process it started last August to overhaul its menus and customer service proposition.

It will also ramp up its investment in affiliate marketing to ensure its campaigns serve “great offers to the right people at the right time.”

The business will be hoping to mirror the success rival Domino’s has found in using digital channels to grow online sales, which now outpace tradtional phone orders.

The strategy is being led by Mags Dixon, chief marketing officer for Pizza Hut, and is part of a wider £20m marketing drive in the UK.

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