Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Papa John's Gets Gen-Y (Almost)

Papa John's Gen-Y MarketingI stumbled across the Papa John's website today and was both pleasantly surprised and disappointed at the same time. They come off as a very Millennial friendly corporation and are trying to make their ordering process as easy and as seamless as possible. I think the ideas are great, but they are failing to capitalize on a few opportunities.

The Good

Ordering a pizza is a pain in the ass! You have to find the coupon that was on your door, or came in the mail, then find the location closest to you, even though there are 5 locations within 10 miles, then place the order, wait 45 min and deal with the delivery guy. Not a lot of fun.

Papa John's has simplified this process. By creating a profile with PapaJohn', you can order from a variety of options. After entering your normal profile sign-up info; name, address, password, etc, Papa John's knows your location.

Papa John's User Registration
By going even more in-depth you can set-up "Favs" to make for easy re-ordering. Where do these "Favs" really come into play? Text Message ordering! By texting "Fav1 -4" to 4PAPA your order will be sent via SMS to your nearest Papa John's. A confirmation text comes next and then one with an expected delivery time.

Text Message your Papa John's
Next up is the Desktop Application. This blends your personal preferences and local coupons and offers a way to order your Meat Lovers without even opening a browser. This is great for convenience of the frequent user. I don't see many one off customers taking the time to download the application.

Papa John's Desktop ApplicationWhere they fail to really hit the market

While both of these features, the SMS Ordering and the Desktop App, are great ways to get people ordering more efficiently and conveniently, the viral spread of Social Media and WOM from Gen-Y is missing.

Instead of a Desktop App, think Widgets on Social Network Profiles. Have teens proudly display their menu items of choice and let them order from within their communities. Showcase their orders to let their friends see pizza is on the way. (Make an anchovie throwing up on Facebook for food fight's sake!)

This gives Gen-Y, or any user of the widget, an easy way to order and also a great way for friends to copy the app and try it for themselves. Let your customers market for you.

No blog or conversation

At least it's not advertised anywhere on There is no Twitter account showing coupons or time sensitive promos. In fact is a blank page last updated a month ago. There is no blog on Papa John's culture. Although there is a boring history piece a la Web 1.0 with a terrible URL attached on it.

Research shows that Gen-Y is more likely to be influenced on buying decisions with Social Media and when there is trust from a brand (Marketing Vox)

If Papa John's isn't going to talk to their customers, then someone else will.

Great Start - Need a Strong Finish

Papa John's has shown innovation in the way that they deal with customers and orders. Now it's time to start really getting their feet wet and engaging those customers and turning them into advocates who will promote their brand over all the other pizza chains.

Would you be inclined to use new ways of ordering your munchie food? Sound off in the comments!

Greg Rollett


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