How A Small Pizza Shop Crushed Their Competitors In The Yellow Pages Without Fancy Competitive Analysis

An inspiring tale of a small neighborhood pizza place that took on The goliath brand Domino’s and their gigantic ad in the Yellow Pages that was sucking their customer base dry.

Let’s be honest, every customer we find, every sale we make, and every dollar we earn is taking bread off someone’s table. Money Moves, that is it’s nature. It is not a Zero-Sum Game, that dollar you earn is not lost, it is well earned and exchanged for real value. That is what your pricing represents (or should represent) a numeric representation of the value your provide and exchange for it. Your competitors know this better than anyone, and part of your job is to stay a step ahead of them.

There are many ways to win customers, and steal customers from your competitors, some more ethical than others, but ultimately, if your customer has a need, and they don’t give you their money to solve it, they will go to someone else to meet their needs, solve their pain points, and deliver their dreams.

The story starts off like many others and credit goes to Jeff Slutzky in his book he co-authored with Dan Kennedy for sharing it with me.

This local pizza shop depended on their small Yellow Pages ad to bring them customers. It worked like clockwork for many years. One day, Domino’s Pizza moved into his market and took out a huge Full Page Ad in the Pizza Shop Section, and the local pizzeria started struggling. The culprit was obvious, a bigger brand, with much more money was poaching their customers and running them out of business.

Luckily for this pizza shop, the owner was a brilliant marketer and realized a few truths that led to a simple promotion that took away Domino’s unfair advantage and tilted the windmills in their favor.

First, he realized that customers who advertise in the Yellow Pages are locked into a one year contract. The second thing he realized was that the Yellow Pages was only printed once a year. Now, all he needed was to get creative and find his inner David to conquer Goliath.

so… He ran a promotion offering everyone who brought into his store the Domino’s ad from their Yellow pages book, 2 pizza pies for the price of 1. An offer too easy to implement, and too enticing to ignore. Customers flooded his store with their torn out Domino’s ads from the Yellow Pages and he regained his customer flow and saved his small local business. The kicker is, Domino’s still had to pay for that ad for the remaining 11 months of the year.

In today’s day and age there is lots of talk of negative SEO, where you sabotage a competitors site, or click fraud, where you click on your competitors ads to make them run out of budget for the day and waste money one clicks. I am not here to argue the ethics of these strategies. The simple truth is that your competitors are coming for you, and while there are many ways to stay ahead of them, and I hope to share those great strategies where Davids can take on Goliaths. I can assure you that they are coming for you guns ablazin’ and your job is stay several steps ahead of them at all times.

I hope this post inspires you to realize that no matter how big your competitor is, and no matter how small your marketing budget is, if it even exists at all, there are ways to attract new customers, boost your sales, and take on the big guys with a little insight, a little creativity, and reading my blog daily 🙂

About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

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