Everyone understands that social media has become a topic for most every company’s marketing mix discussion. And, sooner or later, the discussion usually surfaces the question: “How do you use it to increase revenue?” The following is an example of how a well know consumer brand has employed a social media contest to involve customer participation and increase sales.
In late May, Papa John’s International conducted a web-based contest encouraging consumers to create a new pizza for its menu. The contest, called “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge,” was created to draw attention to its “better ingredients, better pizza” brand positioning. According to the company’s Senior Director of Advertising and Promotions, they wanted to do it in a way that was “engaging and authentic and would give consumers a reason to want to learn about our ingredients.” Consumers could enter the contest on the Papa John’s Facebook page and share the recipe, it’s name and tell the company, in 250 words or less, what makes their pizza special. The company would then feature all entries in a gallery on Facebook and judges would pick 10 semifinalists.
The chain’s CEO, Papa John Schnatter and a team would test the recipes at the company’s Louisville, KY headquarters, then pick 3 finalists that will be added to the chain’s menu from Aug. 2-29. The pizza that sees the highest sales during that period will earn a permanent spot on Papa John’s menu.
Papa John’s will give the 3 finalists a $1000 marketing budget to drive sales of their recipes. The grand prize winner will receive free Papa John’s pizza for life and the chance to appear in a TV ad.
This appears to be a clever way to use social media in a contest to engage the target audience and drive sales. Will it work? Stay tuned to see how this turns out when it comes out of the oven at the end of the summer.