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Papa John's beats mobile 'FOMO'

News, 06 April 2015

AUSTIN, TX: Papa John's, the pizza chain, focuses on its core brand philosophy to avoid the "fear of missing out" – or "FOMO" – which is seemingly driving how many brands are approaching mobile.

Jim Ensign, vp/global digital marketing at Papa John's International, discussed this subject at MediaPost's OMMA event during South By Southwest (SXSW).

While marketers are now conversant with the fact consumers obsessively check their smartphones for the latest news and social-media updates, they often display equally compulsive behaviour on this channel.

"We have marketing FOMO," Ensign warned his peers. (For more, including further details of how the firm stays true to its mission on mobile, read Warc's exclusive report: How Papa John's avoids marketing "FOMO".)

"We have a fear of missing out, of this getting away from us as marketers or advertising agencies.

"And we have that fear that if we don't do something, somebody else is going to get it done. So we throw so much crap at the wall."

That impulse is understandable given the vast array of options now available to companies – from beacons and augmented reality to wireless payments.

But unless brand stewards are able to overcome their collective FOMO and discover a heightened degree of rigour, they risk undermining mobile's long-term impact.

"I'm really worried we're going to kill the goose that's going to lay the golden egg in about five years," Ensign said.

To keep clear of such temptations, Papa John's bases its mobile strategy and activations – from building a multichannel loyalty program to buying gift cards via this route – on a consistent underlying principle.

"We want to make as many consumers as possible just a little bit happier and make their experience just a little bit better," said Ensign.

"It's not for PR, it's not for competitive purposes … It's, 'What are the pain points consumers have?' and 'How can we make a lot of our customers' lives a little bit better?'"

Data sourced from Warc