Domino's Maloney Says Social Media Means Transparency
Maloney said that while the fix included fixing the crust, sauce and cheese, the company had to alter, fundamentally, how it presented itself to the public, and that has everything to do with integrating with social media. The company based the reinvention on transparency. "We launched with a very interesting campaign where we stood in front of the world and said 'You know what our pizza was, and it's not the pizza we wanted to serve from taste standpoint.'"
The PR was great, including one mention by Steven Colbert, where he tries the new pizza and says "Is that pizza or did an angel just give birth in my mouth?"
Part of that complementary digital/social effort involved a pledge that Domino's would stop using doing aesthetic doctoring of marketing photos of its food. The company then encouraged consumers to take photos of their pizzas when they arrived, and upload the shots to a Domino's social hub, an effort both to promulgate the new transparency position, but also to prove that Domino's pizza looks good as is.
The fact that some of the photos were critical and showed how the pizzas arrived in various states of disarray led to a national TV spot in which Domino's CEO J. Patrick Doyle, displaying one of the photos, offered a mia culpa and said it would not happen again. "For the first time we had a national campaign drive digital and then have the digital turn around and drive a national campaign," said Maloney. "That was the second-best scoring ad we have ever had. Consumers responded to the fact that we were holding ourselves accountable."
More recently the company, based on consumer concerns about sourcing of pizza ingredients, launched a digital ingredients game. "For the entire year every national campaign has had a digital complement that extends it online."
Domino's which competes in a $34 billion category, and has 5,000 stores, 1,200 of which are franchisees, has been focusing on web ordering because, per Maloney, it brings higher tickets, higher customer satisfaction, higher revenue and profit. "Online ordering is changing how we do business."
Domino's online ordering platform is a single point-of-sales system, per Maloney. "It is the same system interconnected to every store across the country. That allows us to to do things others can't." One of which is a pizza tracker, an online guide that lets consumers track their pie from store to door with a color-coded visual analog, that also tells the customer who made the pizza, where it is in the process and when the pizza has left the store.