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Pizza Hut ups marketing budget by 50 pc; to make digital budget 10 pc in next 3 years

24-November-2010
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Pizza Hut ups marketing budget by 50 pc; to make digital budget 10 pc in next 3 years

Quite a few brands looking at the digital medium seriously and allotting special resources towards social media, and Yum Food’s Pizza Hut is no different. The FMCG brand has clear plans to take its identity in the online space aggressively and is thinking of increasing its digital budget up to 10 per cent of its main marketing budget in the next three years.

Recently, Pizza Hut appointed Hungama Digital Media Entertainment as it social media agency, giving a sense of its outlook towards digital medium and the kind of importance it holds for the brand. Hungama will be responsible for managing the social media presence for the brand and develop various campaigns to enable interactive communication channels between Pizza Hut and the large spectrum of users in the digital universe.

Speaking on company’s plans ahead, Anup Jain, Director, Marketing, Yum! Restaurants India, Pizza Hut, told exchange4media, “We are the No. 1 most trusted food service brand in the country. We are leaders in affordable casual dining and our restaurant is used by customers for enjoying different occasions with their friends and family, that is, we are all about experience and not just taste of food like fast food chains. It is important for us to interact with our fans and regular users, building the trust and being available to them almost 24 x7 so they can tell us about their suggestions, feedback, and experience. The size of the audience of FB today as well as the young profile matches exactly with our size and profile, and thus forms a perfect fit.”

Capitalising on the digital medium, the brand is looking to reach out to its target audience with news, features, sneak previews, contests and special events. Jain informed, “We are coming up with a new application that will revolutionise the way our fans express their feelings about their daily lives to their friends.” One of the noticeable steps that the brand has taken through the usage of digital field is that of connecting its consumers and evangelists with Pizza Hut Master Chefs through blogs and social interactivity.

And for all the newly-launched activities, the marketing budget expectedly has gone up significantly. “There has been a 50 per cent increase in our marketing spends on digital after signing up an agency,” Jain divulged and shared that the online identity through the official website was refreshed with the help of a revamp twice a year.

As far as the digital budget is concerned, the existing debates in the industry suggest that the expectations of an agency from the marketer is that it will keep aside close to minimum 10 per cent of its overall budget, and Pizza Hut could be one of the brands that reaches up to that expectation soon. Jain informed, “Digital media will be almost 10 per cent of our media budget in the next three years.”

Not so long ago, the brand also launched a unique concept of Pizza Hut Gift Cards. Jain elaborated, “These are plastic cards with a magnetic strip and function just like prepaid cards. These can be gifted to friends, employees, bartered between brands and sold by retailers on an excellent RoI.”

According to company officials, the Gift Cards launch had currently taken place in Mumbai and Bangalore and would also be available in other cities of India in the near future. Other offers include the concept of ‘Magic Times – 99 celebrations’ to celebrate Rs 99 meals that can be availed by its consumers for hanging out at the joints.
 

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