When Next-Level Tech & Marketing Efforts Collide

Image courtesy of Domino's

Technology and marketing campaigns are intended to make things simpler for users and improve public perception.

A couple of months back, a successful chain ended a campaign that leveraged tech and marketing.

Vice president of global e-commerce and digital marketing for Domino's Pizza, Christopher Thomas-Moore, explained how the global pizza chain married tech and marketing for the benefit of the brand and consumers.

Quick refresher: Domino’s committed to sending consumers more than 100 million rewards points during their 2019 Points for Pies campaign. Consumers could scan basically any pizza and receive 10 points per scan. The reward at 60 accumulated points was a medium two-topping Domino’s pizza.

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The 12-week campaign didn’t limit consumers to scanning just Domino’s pizzas. In fact, the company encouraged the scanning of competitors’ pizzas. Domino’s could’ve limited consumers to snapping photos of only their pizzas, rewarding people for placing orders. But they already have a rewards program that encourages brand loyalty.

The point behind the Points for Pies campaign was to enhance their dedication to technology. By receiving millions of images of all types of pizza, Domino’s was developing internal artificial intelligence and engaging in machine learning. The brand’s interest in technology tied to marketing campaigns makes so much sense when one considers that in the United States of America alone, digital platforms account for over 60 percent of sales.

Domino’s has leveraged and created ordering platforms Twitter, Facebook, mobile devices including Apple Watch, Amazon, and Google Home. Their commitment to developing and using technology to boost sales, enhance the consumer experience, and improve brand perception is obvious.

To that last point, Domino’s did something rather incredible in 2009: they admitted their pizza wasn’t good. When Thomas-Moore was explaining the brand’s evolution and how it was tied to their marketing campaigns, he said the brand’s “New and Inspired” campaign acknowledged the need to change the recipe after 50 years of selling the same pizza. Domino’s even produced and published a video about this campaign to YouTube called “Domino’s Pizza Turnaround,” embedded below.

The multinational pizza chain’s marketing efforts have been an ongoing journey. And interestingly, the brand has made its commitment to tech and consumer-centric advancements obvious. Thomas-Moore explained the past decade-plus of the brand’s marketing history:

  • Domino’s Tracker, 2008 (“What the heck is going on with my pizza?”)
  • New and Inspired campaign, 2009
  • DXT delivery vehicle campaign, 2015
  • Order via pizza emoji tweet, 2015
  • Google Home, text and smartwatch ordering, 2016
  • Domino’s Wedding Registry, 2017
  • Domino’s HotSpots, non-traditional pizza delivery locations, 2018
  • Points for Pizza campaign, 2019
  • Domino’s partnership with Nuro, test marketing pizza delivery via self-driving robot vehicle, 2019

The “New and Inspired” campaign marked a brand milestone: Domino’s became consumer-driven company. And, as Thomas-Moore explained, consumer-centric cultures win because they ensure that the guest/customer is at the center of everything—every decision, every innovation, everything.

According to Thomas-Moore, Points for Pizza boosted social sentiment. The campaign also increased social media impressions. Given how active the brand is on social channels, that’s a huge win. Points for Pizza led to more app downloads and, logically, engagement. If someone has bothered to install the app, they’re likely to use it, leading to more sales for Domino’s. Never underestimate the power of convenience.

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So, what can independent operators (and other chain operations) learn from this international chain’s tech and marketing efforts? Thomas-Moore recommends operators embrace emerging tech since early adopters are positioned to refine new technology so it will benefit their brands.

However, he cautioned against jumping on tech for tech’s sake. If it doesn’t serve the consumer—remember, Thomas-Moore and Domino’s are dedicated to a consumer-centric approach to business—it doesn’t benefit the brand. He has identified voice tech as the biggest tech change for 2019, and believes that the next change this industry will see is how operators will embrace tech.

Operators should always be open to innovation. The reason is simple: Those open to innovation become part of the new system and reap the rewards. Those who eschew innovation are left out and, ultimately, left behind.

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