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Messaging Apps Snap Domino's Pizza

Domino’s ties Snapchat ads to pizza orders but admits platform is still hard to measure


By Seb Joseph, News editor

February 18, 2016 | 5 min read

Snapchat may have sparked a “surprising” surge in orders for Domino’s following its first campaign but the pizza seller admits it won’t have a defined role for the channel for some time.

“Tests” rather than “full evaluation mode” is how the company’s head of digital Nick Dutch explains its view of a channel it only entered properly last month. And while Domino’s had to readjust its measurement strategy in response to the lack of analytics tools on Snapchat, the response to its video of a pizza-delivery driver who encounters an alien invasion has been encouraging, most notably when it comes to orders.

“The film drove a lot more orders then we would’ve expected even though it wasn’t really a massive driver for us,” revealed Dutch. While happy with the revenue, he stressed it was not the primary reason it ran a Snapchat Story video for 24-hours.

The Snapchat puzzle

Viewers had to piece together the letters of a voucher code as the Iris-created video played, which not only led to orers but also gave the brand’s marketers a way to gauge how many people had watched it all the way to the end.

However, that uplift has not been enough to define a role for the ephemeral app in Domino’s marketing mix. It’s only a matter of time before it does, claimed Dutch, and until then the business will continue to test ideas in the rather counterintuitive way of channel-first instead of idea-first thinking. Dutch’s reasoning is that “we know it’s a unique place for our 18 to 24 year-old audience” and so needs more experience playing to Snapchat’s strengths.

“Because we didn't go down the paid advertising route we get little analytics around anything and so have had to identify a few factors to gauge the performance of the campaign,” said Dutch. Domino's looked at the campaign’s “pick up from other people” as well as assessing how comfortable its creative and digital teams were with the channel, which were both enough “to give us the confidence that we should explore it further,” according to Dutch.

Snapchat is for creative messaging not instant messaging

No other tests have been firmed up, though Domino’s, as is the same with many advertisers on Snapchat, wants better measurement and accessibility in order to justify bigger budgets for it. It’s an issue the messaging app is rumoured to be addressing in the coming months, even though Dutch believes it won’t ever turn into a platform where advertisers are only using it for organic reach.

“Snapchat’s more of an organic reach platform at the moment but for a brand like us, for example, we aren't going to end up in a position where we’ve built up a huge community on it and then suddenly the platform wants us to pay our way to scale."

“Facebook and Google are the ones that have nailed that accessibility issue in the sense that it’s just as easy as very small business as it is for the likes of P&G or Sky’ to advertise on either of those platforms and therefore you don’t have to spend £50,000 a time, for example. With Snapchat it’s very much in the brand-led, high investment phase and one assumes that barrier will have to come down to get people like us wanting to use it on a more regular basis.”

With all that in mind, Domino’s sees Snapchat's potential outside of the social media bracket it is currently in. There are reports that the app is set to introduce a breadth of features such as e-commerce and group messaging features that will turn it into an app more akin to WeChat and Facebook Messenger, and Domino’s will be watching those developments with interest.

“I think Snapchat sits in a really interesting creative territory where it’s not just a WhatsApp or WeChat type of service and is more about creative messaging rather than instant messaging,” said Dutch. “Our anticipation is that Snapchat will become a tool we add to our toolkit, rather than being the one that we use for everything.”

Messaging Apps Snap Domino's Pizza

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