When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie, that's a-marketing

HRmarketer’s ViTaL Marketing/PR Team left early yesterday morning (my colleague’s wife dubbed it “O-dark-thirty”) for the HR Technology Conference & Expo in Chicago.

What’s ViTaL, you ask? Well, it stands for Visibility, Traffic, Leads – all of which are “vital” to HR suppliers’ marketing and PR success and what HRmarketer.com is all about. Not literally our tagline, but PiTaL doesn't work, or PeTaL, or PoTal...

(That’s what happens at 4:30 in the morning on a business trip; you think too much about what’s coming and going and all in between. And as the caffeine fades, and the bagel and banana sugars break down in the belly, checklists and acronyms float across the mind’s eye like cotton candy clouds in a cerulean blue sky. Then comes the uncomfortable plane nap.)

We’re excited to be exhibiting again at this year's 10th annual HR Technology Conference & Expo. We're also sponsoring the exhibitor lounge where hard working HR suppliers can get complimentary chair massages after a hard day working the expo floor.

If you’re at the show today and you’re not already a HRmarketer member, make sure to stop by booth #1708 or the exhibitor lounge and sign up for a brief HRmarketer.com demo.

(Any supplier who completes a demo and buys a membership by December 1, 2007, will be entered to win a pre-paid standard booth space for HR Tech 2008! That's a $3,995 value!)

All right, more on the conference next time. Enough plugging and back to pizza pies. Prior to flying to Chicago I finally caught up on some of my Fortune magazines. A fascinating article that caught my eye was all about India’s Pizza Wars.

A twist on the Made in the U.S.A. melodrama, Dominos and Pizza Hut are battling it out for market share of India’s exploding middle class (which of course primary has to do with the growing technology sector and outsourcing). Both are adding about 50 stores a year in India – quadruple the average in other markets.

But this is what I’m talkin’ ‘bout (directly from the Fortune article):

It's not all that surprising that pizza is big business in India. The product itself is similar to India's native cuisine. Unlike Chinese and Japanese, Indians eat leavened bread (naan), and a popular traditional version slathers it in butter and garlic - not unlike garlic bread, the most often ordered side dish at both Domino's and Pizza Hut franchises in India.

Cheese (paneer) is ubiquitous in India's northern cuisine. Tomatoes and all kinds of sauces are prevalent everywhere. Combine these ingredients into one gooey, oily, tasty dish that you can eat with your hands - as Indians traditionally do - and you have a hit.

It's estimated that 80% of Indians are vegetarians, so pizza suits that Indian cultural aspect too. Both chains are scrupulous about keeping "veg" from "non-veg" in their kitchens and invite people in to see the separate prep areas. There are even pizza options for India's 5.2 million Jains, followers of a religion that prohibits eating onions or garlic. And stores in heavily Muslim areas don't offer pepperoni.

Mix in another aspect of Indian culture, and you begin to see why both chains are excited about their growth prospects. "Indians are great socializers," says Pizza Hut's Allen. "That plays right into what Pizza Hut stands for as a brand." Indeed the chaos at Pizza Hut is a deliberate marketing strategy. "We call it 'customer mania,'" says Jain. "All the crew members do a dance during peak hours every day. It's a very local thing. It kind of breaks the ice in what otherwise can be a standoffish atmosphere. Customers just love it."

What’s the point? Know your buyer. Know your buyer. Know your buyer.

Then, go to Chicago to the HR Technology Conference & Expo, stop by the HRmarketer.com booth, get a complimentary chair massage and sign up for a demo.

We may even dance a jig for you.

Posted by Kevin Grossman

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