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Domino’s Is Winning the Online Marketing Game
It was Tuesday night and I was watching the Kansas Jayhawks getting creamed by the Kentucky Wildcats when all of a sudden, I craved the comfort of a cheese pizza with onions. Curled in the fetal position as my team was being clobbered, I just wanted to tell someone to bring me pizza without having to actually speak to a human being through my tears.
Enter this guy.
Dom is a genius addition to the Domino’s app that the pizza chain has recently rolled out an official commercial push for. Like Siri for pizzas, you open the Domino’s app and simply tell the little guy what you want.
Half an hour later, I was being cradled in the arms of cheesy goodness with what could possibly be considered the most minimal effort I have ever put into procuring a meal. But the simplicity and “DUH…” factor aren’t the only things that make Domino’s #winning the pizza game. Thanks to a technology-savvy creative team, the pizza chain has done a complete turnaround in five years and is set to beat out its rivals in the SERP wars.
Where did Domino’s SEO genius begin?
The quest for world domination began a long, long, time ago (2009 to be exact). Domino’s CEO publicly acknowledged that the pizza just didn’t taste good. He apologized for poor ingredients and promised to improve the recipe and change the taste of the pizza. His honesty and transparency was not only the good-guy thing to do, it was marketing genius. It was a breath of fresh air for consumers who were used to fault-denial and behind-the-scenes rebranding efforts.
And it paid off.
The next quarter, domestic same-store sales grew 14.3 percent, and over the next four years, shares rose more than 750 percent. But it isn’t just the genius apology and reconfiguration of the recipe that makes Domino’s #winning. The key ingredient to their turnaround and success has been their investment in technology and digital marketing. In June 2014, Domino’s rolled out Dom, the Siri of pizza ordering.
The voice ordering feature was conceived to make a user experience that was both convenient and unprecedented, and to provide an aspect of personalization other pizza chains don’t have. Dom even prevents your phone from going to sleep during your order to ensure accuracy. But what really makes Dom #winning is that huge, etablished brands like Domino’s haven’t felt the negative effects of Pigeon update like smaller local businesses, and experts speculate that voice activated features will be one of the future keys to landing higher in search results. Domino’s: 1, Other Pizza Chains: 0.
Google, Domino’s, and the Future of Voice Search
Voice search is rising on the radar of SEO experts and many of them speculate that it will carry a lot of weight in the future. In its latest mobile voice study, Google reported that 55 percent of teens use voice search every day, When asked to “pick one thing you wish you could ask your phone to do for you,” 45% of American teens selected “send me a pizza.” (Google released this report a good four months after Domino’s introduced Dom.)
How do we know that voice searches already matter and will probably carry more weight in the future?
Panda and Hummingbird.
The Panda algorithm update started rolling out in 2011 and fought against keyword-based searches in favor of more conversational, content-relevant results. Hummingbird was an algorithm replacement that rolled out quietly in August, 2013 and put more emphasis on a conversational sentence as a whole—not just as individual words.
How do these relate to voice search? With voice search, users submit their queries in a more conversational way, usually asking a question or giving a demand. And what about mobile? My good friend Brandon just wrote about 2015 SEO Tips and Trends and highlighted a study done by comScore. It revealed that 2014 is the first year where mobile search has surpassed desktop search. “This means users are spending more time browsing the Internet via mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc.) rather than a computer, and search engines are taking notice.”
So to break all this down for you, voice search is gaining importance, and mobile search is gaining importance.
Voice search + mobile search = MOBILE VOICE SEARCH.
The impact of voice search and how companies like Domino’s (who have voice features on mobile platforms) perform is yet to be determined. But if you can do simple math, it’s not hard to figure out that mobile apps with voice features matter in the game of online marketing and SEO.
Meaning: Domino’s is a genius.
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