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Domino’s creates promotional urgency to boost mobile orders

The pizza chain, based in Ann Arbor Charter Township, MI, is teaming up with the Detroit-based marketing firm to offer free pizza for a year to mobile consumers who register and participate in a giveaway, the time of which will not be announced until the last minute. The offer is the latest example of how Domino’s promotes mobile as an extension of the company’s digital ordering options and how pizza chains have quickly adopted apps.

“Making promotions fun and interactive always has and always will be a great way to drive customer engagement,” said Mark Tack, vice president of marketing at Chicago-based Vibes. “Free pizza for a year with an element of surprise promoted through social media should attract a ton of attention.”

Giveaway rules

Customers who click on a link on Domino’s Facebook or Twitter page can register for the giveaway through the time the giveaway begins. Those who register will receive a text message or email with a link to the giveaway site.

The faster fans click through to claim their reward, the better their reward will be. The fastest person will be rewarded with free pizza for a year in the form of $500 in Domino’s gift cards.

In addition, Domino’s will award more than $100,000 in e-gift cards to 50,000 other fans who click through to claim their rewards.

Domino’s focus on mobile ordering reflects the importance that mobile Web and applications play in the company’s bigger digital strategy.

Besides ordering functionality, Domino’s mobile apps also let consumers sign in to their loyalty accounts, find coupons and follow the status of their order with a feature called Domino’s Tracker. These apps as well as a Web site accounted for 40 percent of Domino’s revenue in 2013.

Mobile pizzas

Similar to competitor pizza chains Pizza Hut and Papa John’s, Domino’s has long been bullish on mobile and has seen healthy gains in the volume of digital orders placed via mobile as a result.

In March, the pizza chain incentivized consumers to order from smartphones, tablets and desktops with a 50 percent discount to celebrate the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s March Madness basketball tournament. Earlier this year, Domino’s rolled out a connected car app with Ford’s in-car Synch technology. The app lets consumers set up their preferences and then use voice commands to place an order (see story).

Additionally, the launch of a Windows 8 app last year gave Domino’s a presence on 95 percent of US smartphones, per the company (see story).

Gone overboard

Mr. Tack said he thinks Domino’s has gone overboard in the giveaway with its emphasis on social and has missed the mark by not including more mobile-marketing elements. A Domino’s spokesman could not be reached for comment.

“Gamified experiences like this could do more than just drive sales over a short period of time by including true mobile marketing components like SMS, Passbook and Google Wallet,” Mr. Tack said.

Bill Aurnhammer, CEO of Aurnhammer, a New York-based maker of branded apps for iOS and Android platforms, also questioned the contest’s value in building brand loyalty. “What really is the ultimate goal of this? Are they trying to develop long-term customers or are they just trying to reward people who sign up for a giveaway?”

“What’s sticky about it other than anybody can sign up for it and try to win free pizza for a year?

Final Take

Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Marketer, New York