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The Fort Lauderdale Pizza Shop Market is About to Heat Up

I remember it like it was yesterday.  The steaming hot melted mozzarella.  The banana peppers.  The sautéed mushrooms.  The perfect crust.  And this sausage that practically melted in your mouth, with a flavor that could make you ‘slap your momma’.

Well not literally slap my mom, because that would’ve landed me on the floor, probably picking up some teeth.  But the point I am trying to make as I remember this pizza is that the sausage tasted so good…that you might just think for one, fleeting minute about slapping your momma!

It was from Italo’s Pizza in North Canton, Ohio.  I was 5.  It was 1978.  And though I haven’t had Italo’s Pizza in well over 20 years (mainly because I won’t visit Ohio between the months of September through April – leaves me a very small travel window), I know that I would patronize that place in a heartbeat (regularly) if I lived closer.

That was a really long way to say I freaking LOVE PIZZA!  I could eat it morning, noon and night.  I’ve tried so many different types of pizza from different places that I could probably write a book on all of the little things that made each place unique.

It’s my love of all things pizza that made me sniff out this piping hot story about a new pizza place (Blaze Pizza) coming to the Fort Lauderdale pizza shop market.  Not only have these guys actually come up with a genuinely fresh pizza concept, but they’ve managed to get some great press with titles like “Lebron James-affiliated restaurant…”.

Should the 12 other pizza joints within the 3-mile radius around the upcoming Blaze Pizza Cypress Creek location be worried?

Let’s see…hmmm…that would be a big fat YES THEY SHOULD BE WORRIED!  Because Blaze Pizza – marketing juggernaut.

Personally, I think it’s a great thing.  Blaze Pizza is simply raising the bar.  And if the existing places want to compete, they’ll do something about it.  And if they don’t…well I hear old Pizza Huts make great morgues (this is not a joke).

6 Marketing Lessons to be Learned from Blaze Pizza

  1. Their website is 100% built for their audience.  These guys have clearly identified a primarily millennial audience and they’ve nailed the way to connect with them.  It’s interactive.  It’s responsive.  And it’s FUN!
  2. They have mastered using Facebook to engage with their audience (more on that later).  I’m not going to name any names (of the existing pizza places near where Blaze will be)…but a Facebook group started in 2011 with 34 members is not quite going to cut it.  With the saturation of businesses on Facebook these days, it’s damn near impossible to get much in the way of organic engagement.  But these guys know the secrets, and they’re using them.
  3. Their Twitter feed is alive with the sound of music…well, maybe not music, but it is definitely alive.  People love this place and it shows.  They are very logically using hashtags and photos instead of an endless drivel of their daily specials that nobody really gives two [insert your favorite descriptive word here] about.
  4. They get Instagram.  They may only have 42 posts, but it’s not their profile that should interest you as much as the 7,197+ posts for #blazepizza.  That’s a lot of ‘free advertising’ if you ask me.  Write that down.
  5. When they have a grand opening, their events are kick-ass!  Free pizza for an entire day?  Yes!  Now that’s the proper way to get some good press young grasshopper.
  6. They are very much in touch with where the trends are heading.  I read a staggering statistic the other day that something like 72% of the U.S. population is overweight.  Seriously?  Almost three quarters of the population?  Not good!  Pizza could very easily be placed in the “no-no” category, right?  Blaze has the answer for that too – How do I know that before a slice of this sure-to-be heavenly pie passes through my lips that I will know exactly how many calories, protein and other stuff I will be consuming?  Because of this.  BRILLIANT!

Here’s the bottom line: the energy that these guys are creating with their marketing is contagious.  PEOPLE WANT TO EAT HERE and more importantly, tell the world about it.  This is the best kind of marketing for a pizza shop.  Heck, it’s the best type of marketing for any restaurant.

Do the places already in business stand a chance?  Sure.  But if they want to ‘blaze with the big dogs’, they’re going to have to heat up their marketing efforts or get out of the kitchen.

Operating a pizza place and have questions about the ways that you can boost engagement from your marketing efforts?  Shoot me an email.  I’ll be happy to spend a few minutes to discuss.  derek [at] exaktmarketing.com

Come back next Monday, July 14th for number 1 in my 6-part series detailing the 6 lessons above.  Or subscribe below to receive the post via email automatically.