Do you wonder what exactly has made Zomato so successful and so recognizable especially among urban youth?
Zomato’s story began as Foodiebay in 2007 as an online restaurant discovery platform where it’s founder Deepinder Goyal used to post food menu of restaurants.
Zomato has came a long way from there, and now they offer multiple services in multiple countries and can easily be counted as one of the most successful Indian startups.
There are a lots of factors that have contributed to their success and their Marketing is easily one of them.
Their whole Marketing game is based on a culture that they have created of ‘regularly pushing the boundaries’ and ‘keeping their customers happy’.
Zomato’s Marketing game focuses on the Internet media rather than the traditional media, infact they are one of those few Indian brands who have have figured how to get the most out of this modern marketing medium.
Below are some of Zomato’s marketing strategies:
1. Using unconventional mediums or messages
Few days back I was reading an interview by Zomato’s VP-Marketing Pramod Rao in which he stated:
I think we have always been a brand that has tried out something quirky, something out of the norm, and pushed the boundaries.
At times I realize we might have pushed the boundaries a bit too far, and then we have course-corrected immediately.
However, if we don’t push the boundaries, we would just end up communicating a plain vanilla message like ‘now order online on Zomato’, which isn’t really exciting.
This clearly shows Zomato’s willingness to do something unconventional or unexpected to be in a totally different zone than its competitors.
They have successfully turned this willingness into action quite a few times by running ad campaign with unconventional message or medium.
Like once they ran an ad campaign on Xvideos Network, which was highly unconventional thing to do as nobody expects to see a non porn/sex related ads on porn sites. Moreover the creatives or the ads were witty as hell and were a perfect match to Xvideos content. 😀
Btw, they ran ads on Xvideos due to 2 main reasons:
- The CPC on Xvideos network is as low as $0.01 which is much less than the CPC on Facebook.
- Most people watch porn late at night and they generally feel hungry after watching porn and so it made sense for them to run ads on xvideos for their late night food delivery business.
In an another instance, they ran an outdoor campaign ‘OOH’ in Delhi which they showcased some ‘desi’ humour by using the language of the youth of the country.
This campaign created some controversy as many people were offended with these creatives and they had to remove the below billboard ad eventually. But nonetheless, the trick worked well and it brought attention for their brand,
2. Using Low-Cost Marketing Mediums:
Zomato rarely uses costly traditional mediums such as T.V and Billboards. Instead they use low cost marketing materials such as stickers in most of the restaurants which says ‘Order online from us on Zomato’ or ‘Review us on Zomato’. This is a really cheap and effective way for to Zomato to spread awareness and also to generate sales as people who see the stickers will probably consider ordering from Zomato the next time when they are not in a mood to go out.
Apart from this, they also use social media organically and their own website (which gets a crazy amount of traffic) to get the word spread about new offers or services.
Like in an instance, to increase the downloads of their app, they activated banners on mobile web asking their users to download their app. They displayed a banner on the top of their mobile web page and also on the inner search and restaurant pages which garner the highest page views on Zomato.
3. Focus on Customer service/experience:
Customer service/experience has always been at the heart of Zomato and they try to do whatever possible to provide a better customer service/experience.
Like, earlier they used to charge commission from restaurant on the basis of the food and service or experience they were providing to their customers. Good customer service/experience meant low commission and vice versa.
With this strategy, Zomato indirectly compelled the restaurants to provide better food and better experience for ultimately their own good.
The best thing about Zomato’s customer service is that they ain’t a Robot. Checkout below conversations of customers with Zomato and you’ll know exactly what I mean:
Got it? Rather than throwing out the expected messages like “We are sorry for the inconvenience”, they adopted an informal tone which allows them to form a bond with those customers, something that is never possible with those old boring scripts that most of the companies use.
4. Heavy discounts to acquire customers:
Zomato much like most of the startups in this space provides heavy discount to new users in order to compete with their rivals like Swiggy, Foodpanda and Ubereats.
This strategy burns a lot of cash, but that’s probably not a thing to worry for successful startups with big funding houses behind hem.
Currently Zomato is providing 50% off for first 5 orders within a month with a hopeful bet that their users will stick with them even after this offer finishes.
5. Strong relationship with restaurants
Zomato in 2017 introduced 0% commission for 70% of the restaurants who were providing a better experience to their customers than rest of the 30%. With this move they lifted the margins of those restaurants and strengthen their relationship with them.
Another thing that they do to strengthen their relationship with restaurant is that they provide them valuable content about how they can manage and grow their restaurant and how they can make customers happy on their online business blog.
6. Strong Customer Engagement
The most important part of Zomato’s social media strategy is to engage their customers or followers with funny and creative posts that they can easily relate to, like the one below:
They are also ahead in leveraging the current trends in the country i.e moment marketing to bring their own brand in limelight.
For an instance when Netflix started talking about how Radhika Apte is omnipresent on Netflix, Zomato came up with their own way to show that even paneer is also as versatile or as omnipresent as Radhika Apte.
Talking about Omnipresent?
7. Zomato is (hands down) one of the most Omnipresent Brands on the Internet
Another part of their marketing strategy seem to be being omnipresent on the Internet by leveraging Search Engine Marketing and paid advertising.
No matter where you head on to on the internet, there’s a good chance that you’ll come across a Zomato display ad on a 3rd party website or a promotional video on youtube.
And if you somehow end up opening their app/website, you are going to be remarketed on the internet till you die : )