Customer experience consultant Mike Wittenstein got pizza executives' juices flowing at the recent Pizza Executive Summit, prompting them to write down their "No. 1 marketing tip that really rocks" for a chance to win an NEC Display Solutions screen for their restaurants.

More than 50 submissions were returned during Wittenstein's session. Many executives had creative ideas for giving their customers a somewhat tangible way to experience their brand. The entry forms included fields for the idea, objective, and materials needed.

Chapman Dunham, owner of Arizona-based Mafia Mike's pizzeria, suggested an iPad giveaway that would allow the company to collect guest e-mail addresses, and incentivize the employees by awarding another device to the server that collected the most entries. Madison Jobe, COO of Pizza Inn, targeted new store awareness by involving local celebrities, Meals on Wheels and product sampling. And David Sommers of Indiana's Mad Mushroom Pizza conveyed his restaurant's "Free Cheese Stick Day," wherein the restaurant samples small items on the slowest dayparts – and generates lines over 100 people long.

In the end, Sachin Patel of Massachusetts' Mozzarella's Pizza & Seafood won the prize with his Facebook video contest idea. Similar to Papa John's current promotion for customers to submit menu ideas via Facebook, Patel wanted customers to demonstrate their culinary ideas and techniques via the online video sharing site. 

These insights will be available on in the coming weeks.



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