Case Study: Domino’s — live from Word of Mouth Supergenius

2:20 — Kurt Vanderah introduces Domino’s Ramon De Leon.

2:21 — Ramon introduces himself as the guy behind the pizza counter. He is the operating partner of six Domino’s stores in Chicago.

2:22 — Ramon says he cannot make money selling pizzas for a dollar, but he can make money off the conversation it generates.

2:24 — Ramon: I measure stuff three ways:

– Are my sales up?

– Am I making money?

– Am I having fun?

2:25 — Ramon: We launched online ordering 7 years before Domino’s the company did it. In 2004 we launched AOL Instant Messenger. It was my micro-blog before Twitter was launched. Students loved this.

2:26 — Ramon: We started building communities, and suddenly someone was congratulating me about my Facebook groups, which I didn’t know about.

2:27 — Ramon says despite not creating the groups himself, he gave his fans something to talk about.

2:28 — Ramon: In 2005, I considered returning to college so that I can open a Facebook account.

2:29 — Ramon: You need a plan.

2:30 — Ramon: Everything we do in social media is in addition to the business plan.

2:30 — Ramon: I want my customers to know that i’m the 911 of pizza in Chicago.

2:31 — Ramon uses which allows him to search within a certain geographical radius.

2:31 — Ramon: Social media fire needs to be put out with social media water.

2:31 — Ramon explains how a customer tweeted a vent about Domino’s. Ramon reached out to ask how he could help. Ramon then went to the store and made a video apologizing to the customer. The video has since been embedded 87,000 times, and more importantly, the customer saw it and shared it.

2:33 — Ramon talks about how the video has since gone around and shown to people all over the world.

2:34 — Ramon: A business without customers is not a business.

2:34 — Ramon uses hashtags for his products to lead the conversation.

2:35 — Ramon: Follow the media and make them your friends because when you have valuable content, the word gets circulated.

2:35 — Ramon also sponsors events.

2:36 — Ramon then shows examples where customers blog about buying Domino’s pizza.

2:36 — Ramon: Where else do you see people blogging about buying food?

2:37 — Ramon: Always be ready to post and share.

2:38 — Ramon: Let’s not just stand around and watch. Let’s get up and make things happen.

2:39 — Ramon: Domino’s is #1 in Customer Satisfaction.

2:39 — Ramon: Are we making money? We just set record sales in a down economy.

2:40 — Ramon: I am the pizza guy to know here in Chicago, and I am outta here!


Q: Can you tell me about your marketing staff?

A: I consider myself the umbrella and the radar. I try to monitor the conversation and then hand them off to each store. This is all in addition to regular job responsibilities.

Q: Has anybody else tried to copy your style?

A: There have been instances, but they can’t copy the passion I have in executing.

Q: Have you looked at how many people above the age of 35 get involved?

A: Am I probably leaving some interactions? Yes, but I go back to how I monitor it.

Q: If you’ve got to explain Twitter to someone who has no knowledge about why they should use it, what are the top reasons you would give them?

A: It’s a goldmine of conversation. Use it if your customers are there. If my customer demographic were librarians that don’t tweet or are online, I’d be in libraries.

Q: What kind of impact have you had at the corporate level?

A: When they came up with social media guidelines, I think I gave them a lot of material to work with. This is also why I moved my Twitter to a personal account.

Q: There’s a consensus among the people I know in the restaurant world that it’s easier for independent restaurants to use social media compared to chains. You’re a franchise owner. What was your experience like?

A: I existed in this realm before the corporation did. Some of the stuff gets grandfathered in. But once the guidelines have been established, things just start to make sense. It’s like in school: they don’t teach you how to buy a home, how to get married, etc, but once you do it, the process becomes clearer.

Q: Do you teach other franchises to do what you do?

A: Not under the corporate umbrella– they don’t ask me to go around and teach their other franchises, but the individual franchisees, associations, have asked me.

Q: Where does your passion come from?

A: Whatever keeps you awake thinking “I could be more productive doing this” is your passion. Mine is delivering the WOW. I’m looking for that one person I can blow their mind so that they share it with others.

Q: Would I want a personal brand or do I want it under my company? Is it a drawback to have it in both?

A: I just wanted to have my personal brand so I could keep track of my personal area. I was able to centralize when I moved to a personal brand.

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  1. Live coverage recap from yesterday's Word of Mouth Supergenius - December 17, 2009

    […] Domino’s — with Ramon De Leon of Domino’s […]

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