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Domino’s throws ball in mobile’s court via March Madness promotion

Domino’s is furthering its commitment to mobile by rolling out a promotion for college basketball tournament March Madness that enables pizza fans to receive 50 percent off an order when placed via the brand’s digital channels, proving that deals offered in conjunction with major events are optimal for food marketers.

The pizza brand aims to add some spice to basketball fans’ experiences this March via the promotion, which runs from Mar. 16 through Mar. 22. Customers can receive half off a menu-priced pizza when ordering from Domino’s digital ordering channels, which include the Web site, mobile site and mobile applications.

“Unquestionable, the game face in 2015 is a digital one,” said Gary Schwartz, CEO of Impact Mobile, New York. “Mobile and Wi-Fi is anywhere March Madness fans are and this makes it the channel of choice.

“Ecommerce and its small screen relative mcommerce are the impulse purchase storefronts of choice.”

Basketball fun
Domino’s is hoping to capitalize on the frenzy surrounding March Madness, and also ramp up sales while fans hold parties to celebrate the start of the tournament. Customers can place an order for any combination of pizza.

Domino’s also believes that consumers will benefit from the digital-only promotion, as its ordering channels on mobile were designed to offer the utmost convenience. Fans that are watching games can complete their purchase with the tap of a finger.

The 50 percent off deal can be used through any of the pizza brand’s digital channels, which include the Web and mobile sites, as well as its mobile apps for Android, iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire and Windows Phone 8.

“Domino’s has put a lot of effort into making their pizzas easy to order through digital channels—most recently giving consumers the option to order via Pebble and Android Wear smartwatches,” said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, New York.

“When companies make a move to upgrade their digital experience consumers do not instantly know that the company is now available on a broader digital map,” she said. “It therefore is prudent to give consumers an extra push to try testing out buying or interacting with their products via digital channels.

“There are also several other benefits to getting consumers to order via digital channels—most notably that the experience is trackable and that stores can easily process the order,” Ms. Lowy said.

Domino’s has historically had ties with boosting sales during basketball months. In 2014, the marketer sold more than 1.7 million pizzas during the championship game nights and semifinals combined.

As part of its ongoing dedication to cement its status as a mobile leader in the food industry, Domino’s is enabling wearables owners to order pizzas right from their wrists via the Domino’s Tracker application (see story). Consumers with the Pebble and Android Wear smartwatches can download the app, which provides up-to-date alerts on the delivery status of the pizza and also allows for quick ordering, thanks to the Easy Order and Pizza Profile features.

Leveraging live events
More consumers have been turning to live events to bolster marketing efforts, as they ultimately offer a wide breath of consumers to target. Leveraging a popular basketball tournament is a smart move for Domino’s, and could potentially fuel other food and beverage marketers to follow in its footsteps.

Meanwhile, other brands have taken to social media to tap crowdsourcing techniques and showcase snippets of live events to other consumers in the hopes of fuelling future participation (see story).

Snapchat users received crowdsourced content directly from World Series games this past fall, which was compiled from moments captured by attendees that consented to share their selfies, reaction videos and game photos with the “Our Story” feature.

“It is always important for marketers to leverage any time in the year during which consumers may be more likely to engage or interact with their product,” Ms. Lowy said. “It is not easy to get a brand to be on the forefront of consumers’ minds.

“It is a lot easier to take a concept that consumers are already thinking about (such as college basketball) and attach your brand and product to that.”

Dominos is strategically leveraging a time when consumers are more likely to buy fast food to position their brand as the right choice for game day meal plans.

Domino’s and other food brands could benefit from this type of marketing, especially if they were to roll out a video snippet of fans enjoying pizza at a major event.

“Domino’s knows that events like this help educate their consumers and curate behavior for the non-March Madness months,” Mr. Schwartz said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York