One of the successful ways Paolucci’s can increase traffic from students and get ahead of the competition is by using sales promotions. Sales promotions are extremely effective and there are many different types that Mr. Paolucci should take advantage of. Coupons, loyalty programs, price-off deals, and sweepstakes are a few strategies that will definitely help Paolucci’s increase student traffic.
One of the easiest and most effective forms of sales promotion that will benefit Mr. Paolucci is a coupon. Paolucci’s already has a coupon in the school coupon book, which is distributed to student’s ASU mailboxes twice a year. However, this is not the most effective way to reach the Appalachian State student body. First, the coupon book is only distributed to the students with an ASU mailbox. Many students, specifically students living off campus, do not even have an ASU mailbox. Also, the coupon book is small and is often lost or thrown away before students have a chance to redeem the coupons. The coupon book can also appear overwhelming due to the mass amounts of coupons in the book; it is very possible that the Paolucci’s coupon could be overlooked all together. Mr. Paolucci should invest in coupons that are delivered to students through various mediums. First, the coupons should be distributed via direct mail. Having coupons delivered straight to student’s apartments will ensure that they receive them and the personalization will encourage the students to redeem them. This will also make students aware of the restaurant. This coupon should be delivered immediately and to all of the major apartment complexes in Boone as well as ASU mailboxes. The coupon should offer: “buy one entrée, get one entrée free.” Another medium that Paolucci’s should take advantage of is the student planner. The company, University Directories is in charge of the advertising in the student planner for many schools across the country. The company also offers a mobile application that is free to download, where any coupon offered in the student planner can be seen and redeemed by the students from their phones. The coupons in the student planner are only $450 for a full year exposure. This price includes a coupon on the mobile app as well. Paolucci’s should place a “buy one entrée, get one entrée free” or a “free appetizer with any purchase” or a “free pitcher with any meal purchase” coupon in the planner and mobile app in May of 2013 for the upcoming school year.
Paolucci’s should also offer a Frequent Customer Program, or Loyalty Card Promotion. This does not have to be fancy or high tech, a simple hole-punch will work. There are many companies that can provide a uniquely designed hole-puncher. Paolucci’s can invest in this; it will be very inexpensive. They should give a card to customers the first time they eat at the restaurant, and every time they eat there afterwards, a hole will be punched in the card. Paolucci’s should offer their customers who fill the card something different than a free meal, free drink, etc. Instead of free food, Mr. Paolucci should offer customers who fill the punch card, a unique free gift, whether it be a limited edition T-Shirt that is designed for Paolucci’s, a set of imprinted beer mugs, an imprinted sports bottle, etc. It should be something that is lasting, has a high-perceived value, and will not be easily copied. The punch card should require that the customer eat there 10 times before they receive a free gift. This strategy should be implemented at the beginning of second semester and should be advertised heavily before then.
Price-off deals are another great sales promotion that