Zomato Marketing Strategies: How the Brand Emerged as a Leading Food Delivery Service Provider

Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Jul 24, 2021 11 min read
Zomato Marketing Strategies: How the Brand Emerged as a Leading Food Delivery Service Provider

“Foodiebay” or “Zomato” as we now call it, was a startup founded in Delhi, now headquartered in Gurgaon, in July 2008. A website, Foodiebay.com that initially started as a food review website containing the menus from the popular restaurants nearby and gradually turned into the best food delivery service in operation in India has certainly had a dream run!

Did you know that the founders, Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah were working with Bain & Company in Delhi when they looked at the long queue of the employees lined up to order their food and came up with the idea of Foodiebay, which later led to Zomato?

For more such facts like “How was Zomato Started?”, and its success story, name, logo, tagline, investors, revenue, acquisitions, and more, you can follow Zomato - Delivering Delicious Happiness to Your Doorsteps!

However, if you are curious to learn about the key marketing strategies that propelled the brand to achieve the success that it now boasts of, then you have landed on the right page.

Marketing Strategy of Zomato
What’s Unique in Zomato’s Marketing?
Segmentation-Targeting-Positioning (STP) of Zomato
FAQ

Marketing Strategy of Zomato

Zomato surely has an effective marketing strategy to power the brand, which has reigned in the successful home.

If we look at the statistics of the traffic from different sources and channels, we can see that Zomato derives major chunks of traffic from its searches and directly, being 66.41% and 31.36% respectively when compared to referrals, social media or other paid marketing campaigns and other sources.

Zomato follows a mixed marketing strategy that has successfully kept the traffic coming, thereby driving the sales. The brand has always focused on innovation and agility.

Though it was one of the first brands to start with the food delivery service, companies came pouring in and Zomato needed to ensure that they outpace them in the long run. This was done with the help of a unique mix of innovative ideas, offering products and services at affordable rates and acquiring other companies.

Besides, the company has always believed in hard work, which was always there right from the first. In fact, Deepinder Goyal, one of the co-founders also mentioned in one of his interviews that if something does not go as it is planned, then the core team of Zomato is always ready to pick it up and go through the same afresh, making the necessary changes. This kind of dedication always pays off!

SEO Strategy of Zomato

SEO strategy has no other alternative and Zomato uses it to the fullest extent. As we have already seen that most of its traffic (over 66%) comes from searches made online. Zomato drives around 99.44% of organic traffic and the rest comes from paid marketing campaigns. This proves that Zomato is fueled by a foolproof SEO strategy along with working hard enough to keep the brand soaring in the Google organic SERP results.

Now, you are definitely interested in learning the SEO strategy of Zomato, aren't you?

Here are some of the key insights of the SEO strategy of Zomato:

Keyword Targeted

Zomato targets over 900K keywords for their SEO purposes. Targeting these many keywords and further optimizing them organically always has an upper hand in SEO, which is why it has obtained a dominant position in search results.

Zomato is equipped with a colossal directory of food and restaurants, and this is a boon in disguise for their SEO. From the names of the restaurants to the names of the dish, places, and more, everything happens to be keywords that boost the SEO of the brand. Even phrases like “restaurants near me”, “bars to dine in,” etc., also serve as useful long-tail keywords for the brand.

Pages on website

Zomato is registered with over 6.5K restaurants and each has its own pages, which are maintained regularly. This shoots the total number of pages on Zomato to over 54 million, which has its own advantages for the SEO of the website. We all know that the more the pages on a website the more is the authority of the website, and the higher the possibilities of gaining crucial ranks on the search engines.

Linking of the URLs

Zomato boosts its domain authority by getting backlinks from countless websites that include high authority websites including websites from .gov and .edu domains. The website currently has high authority backlinks from over 13 million domains.

Internal Linking

As we all know, the common SEO strategy is to link specific URLs relevant to the keywords. This helps search engines recognize our web pages and show relevant search results for the users, which also passively betters the ranks of the keywords.

The same thing happens with Zomato but on a larger scale where the brand targets an overwhelming number of keywords and key phrases to link in their URLs.

Social Media Strategy of Zomato

The target customers for Zomato usually range between 18-35 years, and therefore it is imperative for the brand to work hard in its social media marketing and Zomato puts in the extra effort on creating unique social media ads and other engaging posts to stay connected.

As most of our social media platforms remain full of memes if not with anything else, Zomato has wielded the meme marketing strategy successfully to its benefit.

Zomato trusts its memes so much that even the brand’s bio states, “Meme page…occasionally posting brand posts due to business team pressure.”

It posts funny content that amuses the audience and drives them to order food at the same time.

Zomato Memes
Zomato Memes

Though paid advertising is a temporary marketing strategy that a brand might opt for but it contributes a major part to keep the engagement up. Effective paid advertising along with organic optimization significantly improves the search results of a brand and Zomato never fails in doing just that!

The food delivery giant runs Google ads to target specific customers, which is displayed along with its organic results and together they help the brand target a wide range of keywords, which was impossible otherwise.

Email Marketing Strategy of Zomato

We are all connected via our emails and thus, email marketing strategy forms an important part of the marketing of a company. Zomato knows how to utilize this effective tool optimally.

Many brands make efforts in using email marketing strategies to their benefit but only a few can emerge with as witty and compelling email marketing strategies as Zomato does. To maintain its brand loyalty, Zomato combines compelling one-liners for the subjects, and a fitting call to action to conclude them.

In one of its recent email marketing campaigns, Zomato themed its email on Mirzapur season 2, one of the most popular Amazon Prime Video series, to ride the hype that the series enjoys.

Munna Bhaiya invited you to a weekend,” mentioned Zomato once.

At the start of another weekend, Zomato exclaimed “Enjoy a weekend to guddu to be true.

Furthermore, on another occasion, Zomato further used its email marketing strategy to create a resume for the all-favorite biryani. Here, the brand typically used phrases related to the food like “curryculum Vitae of Biryani” and replaced “hire now” with “order now,” to form tempting email templates that ensured a roaring success!

Zomato Email marketing
Zomato Email marketing

Visual Advertising

Zomato’s visual advertising is as appealing as its other marketing strategies. The brand in fact comes up with some of the best visual adverts ever since it came into prominence. Regardless of whether it is their video adverts or billboards, Zomato always comes up with impressive content ideas to score well.

Zomato Billboards
Zomato Billboards

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What’s Unique in Zomato’s Marketing?

Zomato has been a leader as a food delivery service achievements they can easily boast of but all of these boils down to the unique marketing strategies that Zomato has developed. Here are some marketing decisions that made Zomato big:

Hitting overseas sooner than later

Though Zomato was set up first in India, in Delhi, it didn’t hesitate to take the risk of trying abroad. The company, which was founded in 2008, had already set up shops by 2012, in Dubai, the Philippines, Qatar, the UK, and other countries.

Making Major Acquisitions

As we have already mentioned, Zomato had a strong belief in acquiring companies along with innovating their own self i.e., their products and services. In this process, they had successfully acquired a list of companies like Urbanspoon, Uber Eats, TongueStun, Fitso, Mekanist, MapleGraph, Cibando, Nextable, and more such companies that were showing quite a potential.

Though these acquisitions cost the company a fortune at the same time, they helped in adding the much necessary momentum to the brand time and again.

Diversified Offerings

Along with offering a satisfactory food delivery service, Zomato brainstorms other additions that the company offers its users now and again.

Zomato Gold was launched in November 2017, which serves as a premium service that provides matchless offers and discounts for users against a monthly subscription fee.

Furthermore, Zomato also started Hyperpure as an initiative that promises hygienic and high-quality supplies to restaurants, in August 2018, which further expanded the list of the company’s offerings and for good!

Unique Take on Twitter

Good communication always acts as a ladder that helps a business climb to success and it is something that serves as an asset for every brand. Effective communication not only helps in sustaining a business but is also deemed as an incredibly powerful tool to boost overall engagement. In Zomato’s case, it did just that!

Along with being engaging, Zomato’s voice on their social media handles turned out to be quite eccentric, which helped in setting the brand apart from its rivals.

For example, it was only in December 2020 that the brand started a marketing campaign on Twitter, which asked Twitteratis to come up with the most creative restaurant name that they could think of. This unique campaign started to bring in comments and replies like anything.

Along with other marketing strategies and acquisitions, it is campaigns like this that powered Zomato. Twitter had even declared Zomato as the Best Brand Voice in 2020.

Another classic example of Zomato’s unique voice on Twitter and other social media platforms is when the brand posted the groundbreaking Tweet that said:

“Guys, kabhi kabhi ghar ka khana bhi kha lena chaiye”

Traditional marketers would quickly stand against such a stance but Zomato rather used reverse psychology to its benefit, which garnered a loud and unique response from all. The timing that the brand chose for the tweet was bang on because it was during ICC World Cup 2019 when it was customary for most of us to order food from restaurants.

This began to bring in waves of replies, comments, and tweets in return. Furthermore, Zomato’s tweet also brought in other brands, who joined in to support their unique post with their own creative taglines.


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Segmentation-Targeting-Positioning (STP) of Zomato

Segmentation :

If we visit the demographic segmentation strategy of Zomato, we can discover that the brand targets the age 18-35. Along with ordering food online, people also visit Zomato when they want to dine out or research the restaurants nearby. Zomato has also discovered a larger target segment in the working professionals because most of them want to dine out frequently or order food delivered to their doorstep.

Furthermore, Zomato also brings in experiential events, via multi-city food and entertainment carnivals, to spread positive and merry vibes around food. Besides, the brand has also further plans of launching new products and business lines associated with food both in the segments of food delivery and dining out.

Target:

To sum up, the target customers of Zomato are usually the people aged between 18-35 years, who love to dine out or have food delivered to their homes. It is the youth that the brand targets who often indulge in experiencing different food items with their friends and colleagues.

Zomato also caters to the customers who refer to the ratings and reviews and then decides whether a place or a particular dish is good.

Positioning:

Over the years Zomato has positioned itself quite well as a platform that brings restaurants, suppliers, users, food suppliers, and logistics partners together. It aims to create a world where the food producers and suppliers are bonded well with their consumers and work with mutual cooperation

Zomato has earned a towering reputation not only among its target audiences but with others as well where the authentic reviews and recommendations from Zomato users are a must before deciding on a particular food item from a particular restaurant. It has truly become a go-to app for Indian youths.

Besides, with the launch of Zomato Gold, dining out has turned more pocket-friendly for its customers than it was ever before.


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Prominent Marketing Campaigns of Zomato

Zomato has also led a bunch of awesome marketing campaigns along with its impressive marketing strategies. Here’s a look at 4 of the brand’s most popular marketing campaigns:

Zomato Premier League

Zomato has caught the Indians' nerve for cricket very early in their game and has crafted tellable IPL marketing strategies, which include TV ads and irresistible offers throughout the years.

Zomato has introduced the Zomato Premier League, which is an exemplary attempt of the brand at gamification. Here, the brand has exhibited a huge list of deals and discounts that are offered by the participating restaurants for their customers. Moreover, the users also stand a chance to predict the winners of the matches, and avail of further discounts that will be unlocked whenever they are right in their predictions.

The brand promoted this initiative with TV spots and on social media. ZPL witnessed a huge success even last year, which saw participation from over 4 million users!

Zomato Gold Membership Programme

The company launched Zomato Gold as a paid loyalty program for the users of Zomato, who can subscribe to the scheme with a monthly subscription that would help them avail themselves of irresistible discounts and complementary dishes.

This initiative turned out to be extremely profitable for the customers of Zomato. Though Zomato Gold attracted numerous controversies from the restaurant partners, which led to spreading a lot of negative vibes, it has accounted for 12% of the brand’s revenues. Zomato Gold was available in 41 cities and 9 countries, as of July 2021.

On-time or free

Zomato launched the “On-Time or Free” campaign in December 2019, which was modeled on Domino’s Pizza. However, here in Zomato, the users can avail of this lucrative offer on all of its deliveries and not just on pizza, as it was with Domino’s.

You can also avail this simply by tapping on the “On-Time or Free” button on the Zomato app, which will get you a refund if Zomato is unable to deliver food on time.

Zomato used the usual route of TV creatives, online advertising, and social media platforms to spread the word about this marketing campaign.

Zomato On-time or Free
Zomato On-time or Free

Mother’s Day Campaign of Zomato

Zomato ideated the Mother’s Day campaign in 2019, which didn’t fail to strike a chord with all audiences. Through this campaign, Zomato made it easier for the kids to order their mother’s favorite food using the app. This campaign gives Zomato a terrific opportunity to target the kids living in their homes and those who live away, allowing them to gift their mom using the Zomato app.

FAQ

Who is the founder of Zomato?

Deepinder Goyal is the founder and CEO of Zomato.

How does Zomato make money?

Zomato charges commissions from restaurant partners for listing on its app.

How much commission does Zomato charge from restaurants?

Zomato charges over 20-25% on order value from their restaurant partners.

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