In-Depth Case Study on Pizza Hut Digital Marketing & Advertising Strategy

Updated on: Jan 29, 2021

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Pizza Hut is an old well-known brand but lately has been suffering a loss of business from a lack of proper digital marketing and Marketing strategy. In today’s world of business, companies come and go; The marketplace is a highly competitive place where the brands that don’t adapt to the changing environment, don’t survive. In this presentation case study, we will discuss how Pizza Hut, once a big competitor in the fast-food market, can reclaim its lost glory.

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About Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is one of the most recognized fast-food brands in the world. It was founded in June 1958 by two brothers Dan and Frank Carney in Kansas, USA. Since then the chain has been popping up across the globe and filling people’s stomachs with great pizzas.

Pizza Hut came to India in 1996. The first outlet opened in Bangalore, and now the chain is in 26 states with 399 branches. Although an old and respected player in the fast-food world, it has been recently overshadowed by its competitors, McDonald’s and Domino who have used Social Media successfully to make amazing eye-catching campaigns.

Pizza Hut Marketing and Advertising Strategy - Banner

The students behind the research, brain-storming, and solution creation are Het Nisar (Right) & Harshita Tarsariya (Left). They have done vast amounts of research and created an equally extensive social media strategy to combat the issues faced by Pizza Hut.

Current News about the brand

  1. Pizza Hut Heats Up Their Digital Media Strategy To Drive Incremental Sales.
  2. Pizza Hut to continue its aggressive expansion spree, to focus on emerging smaller markets.

User Persona

Buyer’s Persona

Name:

Harsh

Place:

Mumbai

Age:

20 years

Profession:

Student

Motivation

  • Taste
  • Quality
  • Satisfaction
  • Worth

Interest & Hobbies

  • Playing sports
  • Content Writing
  • Traveling

Pain Points

  • Rising Costs
  • Dependence on franchisees
  • Official apps crash most of the time

Social Media Presence

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Tinder
  • Twitter

Marketing Strategy of Pizza Hut

  1. Product Innovation: Pizza Hut continually introduces new menu items and pizza innovations to keep customers engaged. They often feature limited-time offers (LTOs) that showcase unique flavors and crust styles, creating excitement and a sense of urgency to try new items.
  2. Promotions and Discounts: Offering promotions like “Two for Tuesday,” “Pizza of the Day,” and family meal deals helps attract cost-conscious customers and encourages larger orders.
  3. Digital and Online Presence: Pizza Hut has a strong digital presence, including a user-friendly website and mobile app for online ordering and delivery. They invest in digital advertising to reach a wide audience and often offer online-exclusive discounts and deals.
  4. Delivery and Carryout Services: Pizza Hut emphasizes its delivery and carryout options, particularly in recent years when online ordering and contactless delivery gained importance. Their marketing focuses on convenience and speed of delivery.
  5. Customer Loyalty Programs: Pizza Hut has a loyalty program called “Hut Rewards” that rewards customers with points for each order. Points can be redeemed for free pizzas, encouraging repeat business.

How does this brand use Digital Marketing in its strategy? 

Pizza Hut has understood with this new digital marketing campaign that combining the new and the old works. It has therefore combined their nostalgia and augmented in reality. Therefore Pizza Hut has indeed launched a marketing campaign in 2021 around the concept of “Newstalgia”, giving a modern touch to the brand’s iconic brand elements: classic arcade games, red cups, etc. but with a modern twist it is now one was widely published on social media

The campaign also aims to support online sales, developing a full digital experience for customers through their social media apps.

Email Marketing: Pizza Hut utilizes its email marketing to communicate directly with its customers. Their team sends out newsletters, exclusive offers, and personalized promotions to their email subscribers, helping to build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.

Social Media Presence: Pizza Hut also maintains an active presence on its popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They use these channels to share promotional offers, engage with customers, and showcase their products through visually appealing content.

Marketing and advertising campaigns

  1. “Pizza Hut Delivery or Carryout” – “No One Out Pizzas the Hut”: This iconic slogan has been central to Pizza Hut’s brand identity for years. It emphasizes their commitment to delivering high-quality pizzas and has been featured prominently in various advertising campaigns.
  2. Stuffed Crust Pizza Campaigns: Pizza Hut is known for introducing stuffed crust pizza to the market. They’ve run multiple campaigns showcasing the appeal of their stuffed crust pizza, often featuring memorable catchphrases like “The Original Stuffed Crust.”
  3. Limited-Time Offers (LTOs): Pizza Hut frequently introduces limited-time offers and promotions to entice customers. These campaigns often feature new pizza flavors, special deals, and partnerships with popular products or brands. For example, they’ve collaborated with brands like Doritos and Cheez-It for unique pizza creations.
  4. “Book It!” Program: Pizza Hut’s “Book It!” program has been a long-running campaign focused on promoting reading among children. Schools and educators can participate in this program to reward students with Pizza Hut pizza for meeting their reading goals.

Top 5 Competitors of Pizza Hut

  1. Papa John Pizza: It was started in the year 1984 in the town of Jeffersonville in Kentucky, U.S.A. Papa John’s Pizza is a well-known pizza restaurant chain and is also one of the more famous chains all across the world. It was started by John Schnatter who is also commonly known as “Papa”.
  2. McDonald’s: It was founded in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald’s aim was to primarily sell hamburgers, chicken products, cheeseburgers, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, and desserts. Their restaurant has also included foods such as salads, smoothies, fish wraps, and fruits. The mode of operation here is either franchise-based, an affiliate, or by the corporation itself.
  3. Domino’s: It is a restaurant chain based in America founded in 1960. Dominos has its headquarters in Michigan, USA, and serves worldwide across 80+ countries. Domino is one of the largest pizza chains in the world and it sells on average more than 1.5 million pizzas per day.
  4. Subway: It was founded in 1965 in Bridgeport Connecticut, and has been growing at the highest pace as a world franchise. Subway has its own presence in 100 countries and some territories with over 35,000 restaurants as of 2021. This American fast-food restaurant chain mainly serves its customers with a variety of tasty submarine sandwiches and salads.
  5. Burger King: It is one of the most famous brands of burger-making chains. With a history of more than 50 years, Burger King has more than 15000 locations in more than 70 countries, Initially, they introduced their Whopper sandwich, and then with time Burger King changed their menu and strategies according to the market atmosphere.

Example of a Failed Campaign Or Backlash from Viewers 

What was the issue?

In 2017 the food chain posted an ad on “International Stuttering Day” promoting their pizzas and tweeted out repeated letters to make it look like the person reading is someone who stutters

What backlash did the brand face?

The tweet in 2017 immediately caught angry reactions from netizens for the company. Reactions spurted out of people who stuttered themselves, saying the tweet was disrespectful and offensive. Others even demanded to boycott Pizza Hut for it. 

What did the brand do in this situation?

Later The food chain quickly removed the post following the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment’s demands to take measures against the tweet and they apologized for their tweet, also adding that they intend to take necessary measures against whoever was responsible for the mistake.

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Conclusion

The new Pizza Hut Melt, launched in October 2022, is now a part of a plan to make their venerable pizza chain more appealing to younger consumers, according to their CEO Aaron M. Powell.

Pizza Hut will now execute a three-pronged strategy in 2023, including an open kitchen that will “show the consumer their food, show the fresh product right in front of them, which eventually gives a great impression and a great consumer experience,” Powell said. The chain also plans to ramp up its use of technology and is currently testing its “digital takeaway cabinets” in Mexico.

Their CEO also Powell said that their, “Delivery-focused assets are currently being optimized for takeout delivery. They are better paybacks and lower capital costs. You’ll see that their U.S. system of 6,500 restaurants is transforming and already becoming more and more delivery-focused assets.

Alternatively, you can enroll in one of our free online masterclasses led by IIDE’s CEO, Karan Shah, to gain insight into the field of digital marketing. We hope this blog on the marketing strategy of Pizza Hut has given you a good insight into the company’s marketing strategies.  If you want to have a look at the case study of the Domino’s brand, here you go.

If you like such in-depth analysis of companies just like the marketing strategy of Sainsbury’s check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies. Thank you for taking the time to read the marketing strategy of Sainsbury’s, and do share your thoughts on this case study marketing strategy of Pizza Hut’s in the comments section below.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

1 Comment

  1. Aparna Pramod

    In my opinion, Pizza Hut’s marketing strategies are highly competitive in the Fast-Food industry

    Reply

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