Mediocre Marketing – How to Fix It

In my previous article, I showed you a direct mail piece a new local pizza shop sent out that is a classic example of what I call mediocre marketing. The type of marketing that does little to get a business owner new customers and keep existing customers.

As a matter of fact, I laughed when I read one of my reader’s (Danny) comments that said, “The creative doesn’t capture the essence or explain what the product is. They just mailed out a Chinese food “take out menu”, rather than using the mailer to explain their product and differentiate it from their competition and giving you the unique selling proposition.”

In a case you missed the article, you can read it here.

In the article I also held a contest to see if my readers could identify three big mistakes this business owner made with their mailer.

I am happy to report I have a lot of smart readers and many of you go the right answers. Nobody got all three, but a few got 2 out of 3 (Pat Flynn, Eric, Mike Root, etc.). Thanks to everybody who participated!

I will be sending the following readers a gift box in the mail. If one of these is you, please send me your mailing address so I can send it to you.

  • Greg Payette
  • Karen
  • Lee
  • Andrew Mazer
  • Liza Reekie

So here are the top three mistakes I believe this pizza shop owner made:

Big Mistake #1: The name, Inside Out Pizza, is interesting and sounds like a BIG IDEA, but this mailing piece does nothing to advance the story or concept. They hooked me and got me to notice it, but left me hanging.

Same with reader Eric who said, “Missing the story of what the inside out pizza is. The headline, though kind of generic made me think, what IS an inside out pizza? Then you open it hoping to see some kind of story or what it is but instead all you see is a menu. LAME!”

My exact sentiments Eric!

I love what Mike Root said. Mike suggested “Start with a very focused single concept. Forget that you offer everything from quesadillas to hoagies and wraps. Let’s just go with the inside out pizza and tell the story about how Grandpa Luigi invented this 53 years ago off the coast of Sicily. Then shortly after the war ended he immigrated to the U.S. on the south side and for years he made this dish for his family and friends while he labored as a disheartened county worker. The owner loved his grandpa and as tribute to his hard work and courage making his life he decided to open this little shop.”


This is exactly what this piece is missing. The name, Inside Out Pizza, is catchy and the owner should capitalize on its uniqueness. He could have told an extraordinary story and practically had me begging to try out his inside out pizza, but he didn’t.



High Impact Marketing Profit Trigger: It was none other than the famous ad-man David Ogilvy who summed up the importance of The Big Idea, this way.

It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. I doubt if more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea.’’

Ogilvy then went on to say, “Your marketing should be based on a big idea.”

Folks that is a writer-downer! And a critically important reminder for all of us to remember to try to wrap our marketing and advertising around a “big idea.”


Big Mistake #2: This piece did not capitalize on the fact that Inside Out Pizza opened in a location that was previously occupied by a pizza store that had been there for years. The previous shop had a loyal following and the new owner could have and should have capitalized on it.

Lee made two smart suggestions: 1. They could have said special coupon for the customers of [previous pizza] then they could borrow some credibility from previous business.

2. They could have announced a grand opening event / farewell send-off event for [previous business owner] where the community could say goodbye to owners and welcome new owners.

High Impact Marketing Profit Trigger: Create a “bridge” to lead people from where they were to where you are now. If you ever takeover a new business, buy a business, change names, etc., etc. it is critical to give people a mental bridge and help them connect the dots. Plus it give you an opportunity to craft a “reasons why” story around it.


Big Mistake #3: There is no urgent reason to try them out NOW. You’re only the new face on the block for so long, so why not take advantage of this newness and create a special offer to come in during the first few weeks and get a special offer? If they corrected the first two big mistakes then I believe they would have had a big rush of new customers. As it stands now, every time I drive by their location, it seems a bit empty.

Again it was Mike Root who suggested, “I would make a time specific offer to get people in with an irresistible offer, not a deal a day like they have. This could incorporate the list build with a grand opening contest. It could be a special that is so incredible that people just have to stop by to see what is going on. Free personal pan pizza on Tuesday and Wednesday from Luigi’s old country recipe when you purchase a drink. Something so irresistible that people want to come in the door to see what the heck it’s all about. But the whole flyer needs to be focused on this one offer. Don’t confuse the audience with too many things.”

High Impact Marketing Profit Trigger: Always have an irresistible, attention-grabbing offer or reason for people to do business with you. And make sure you have some type of deadline or urgency to respond now.


Of course there were several other mistakes made in this piece that many readers identified, like:

  • No map showing where they are located.
  • No web site or online lead generation device.
  • No personal photos – all stock photos.
  • No “voice” behind the piece.

In this day and age, creating and spending money on mediocre marketing is like a death blow. I will be surprised if this business is still open in 12 months. This is exactly why I created the High Impact Marketing Club, to help business owners create remarkable, high impact marketing and advertising.

Remember, life’s too short to do low impact!

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at


  1. Alan Steacy on June 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Brilliant breakdown Mike! Certainly a useful mental exercise.

    • Mike Capuzzi on June 12, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Alan. I hope so!

  2. Edwin Soler on June 12, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Great points Mike. I made a copy of all of the High Impact Marketing Profit Triggers and stapled it with my notes so I can review it again.

  3. Jim Edholm on June 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Mike —

    Good stuff, but I have a tiny disagreement (actually, a POTENTIAL disagreement) with point number two about capitalizing on the prior business.

    The prior business WENT OUT OF BUSINESS. How much good will do you suppose there is? Could been garbage pizza, offensive to every true-blooded Italian or even a Swede like me who happens to appreciate GOOD pizza.

    So I”m not completely sure that identifying with the prior owner would help.

    • Mike Capuzzi on June 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Jim – the business that is no longer there had been there for years and was a visible fixture in the neighborhood – not some fly-by-night (the same owner has 11 other locations in our area). I am not sure why they went out of business, but if I were the new owner, I would reference the fact I took over the space where ABC Pizza once was and here’s why you’re going to want to try me.

  4. Mike Root on June 12, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks for the shout out.

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