Remember when I posted an Instagram story about how Domino’s marketing never ceases to amaze me and it’s just too good and clever!? As if Domino’s couldn’t get any cooler- they dm’d me back! I had you guys send in questions, which they we’re all so insightful and Kate was impressed with the caliber of questions. Flash forward a few weeks, I sent the (top 22, it was so hard to narrow down) questions to their SVP of Brand & Product Innovation, Kate, and she delivered. Soooo see below for your questions and Kate’s answers (plus a little surprise at the end)!!
1. What was the key brand distinction that you built your marketing mix around?
Pizza is magic. When you believe that, you’re willing to do things that other pizza companies wouldn’t do. We innovate and take action to prove that belief.
In a lot of ways our product is our muse. Pizza brings people together. Pizza is the first meal in a new home. Pizza is a reason to have a party. Pizza can erase a mistake. Pizza is a post-game celebration. Pizza is a post-loss consolation. Pizza is shareable. Pizza is brainstorming food. Pizza is late nights at the office. Pizza magically appears at your door. Pizza transcends class, status, and culture.
At the same time, our brand DNA is delivery – in 1960 we essentially invented the idea of food being delivered and we’ve been laser focused on how to do it faster, safer, with less friction, and in a more magical way than anyone else. When a delivery company starts to invest in carryout, the opportunity to look at the best parts of delivery and apply them to the carryout experience are endless.
2. What percentage of revenue is used for your marketing budget? (don’t have to answer!)
3. Who is your target audience?
Anyone with a stomach.
4. What are the initial steps of a campaign?
We are always looking for innovations across product, service, and image. We identify a brand action that will be surprising, and also compelling and persuasive to consumers. From there, we brief our creative agency Work In Progress on the idea, and they come up with concepts. Then, we select the strongest direction and they build out TV scripts and 360 social and paid digital extensions.
5. It seems a lot of your marketing stems from having an abundance mindset – filling potholes, helping communities, helping small businesses, the “frees”, the tips – curious how an abundance mindset is taught or promoted within company culture, if at all?
That’s a really interesting observation. Our most impactful and memorable work – the examples you mention like Paving for Pizza and Local Surprises for small businesses – do come from a place of solving problems that help consumers and communities, through driving value and transparency. Our culture is consumer-first and we all have a healthy obsession with making every pizza experience better more magical, once pizza at a time.
6. When will a vegan pizza be available?
We are always exploring and testing and know there is a passionate following that would love a 100% vegan pizza.
7. Did you hire a marketing firm or is it in house?
We are fortunate to partner with a best-in-class creative agency called Work in Progress out of Boulder, CO. They are incredible partners to help develop crazy big ideas and then build the visual storytelling to bring them to life across all touch points.
8. Did you consider yourself a tech company first? What would you consider yourself today- tech or pizza co?
We are a tech company with a pizza obsession. And in some ways we are a logistics company with a pizza obsession – always innovating to drive more convenience and remove any friction from the process.
9. What is your internal team structure that allows for speed approvals/posting on social?
Our content is planned a month in advance and is reviewed by key internal teams and legal. For speedy approvals on trends that we want to jump on ASAP, Advertising is our final approval. Sometimes speedy approvals are necessary given the nature of social and they’re happy to jump in and help (everyone here has a heart for social!).
10. Why aren’t there any professional photos on your feed? Is that a part of your strategy?
It is definitely part of our strategy! We like to show how real our product is – no touch ups, no filters, just crave-worthy, thumb-stopping pizza (or “pizza porn” as we call it internally…). Similar to how our real product is used in TV (no fake “glue” cheese or fake toppings – it has to be edible afterwards to meet our standard), we’re “uncommonly honest” about showing our real menu items in the way that any customer will be receiving them. However, we’re in a phase of trying out new strategies on our social channels that aren’t necessarily as focused on food imagery (i.e. memes). Keep an eye out!
11. Curious about the strategy of focusing on promos and services over product within ads
We do both – we have a high bar for product innovation. We don’t do LTOs like most of QSR – we only want to add products that are appealing enough that they drive a high enough mix to remain on the makeline and earn their keep in our operations.
12. How do you pre test your TV ad concepts so you know what will work best in market?
We occasionally do testing to validate the relevance, uniqueness, and persuasion of a concept, but in general we trust our marketing instincts on what ideas are bold enough to break through. We do copy test our TV ads.
13. How large is your social team?
We have two internal people who lead our core organic social content, but we have many people in different departments (customer care, advertising, marketing, PR) as extensions of the team (including WIP).
14. What are most of your campaign decisions driven by? Brand awareness or hard sales?
Driving incremental orders is our primary KPI. We have other secondary KPIs like awareness, quality, taste, and value that we also track.
15. What digital campaign platforms do you find most effective?
We only run media on platforms that drive incremental return on ad spend – you can see where we invest, it tends to be where the most consumers spend their time, that happen to be ad supported. And we always try to be organic and native to platform.
16. What’s a past ad that surprised you with how well it did?
You usually have a good sense for what is going to really blow up, whether it’s Paving for Pizza or Carryout Tips. Carryout Insurance was very successful and we were able to run that for a second campaign, which also worked hard for us, so it was good to validate that sometimes we tire of ideas before consumers do.
17. How old is the person who runs your social?
18. What are your top 3 marketing segments?
Carryout, Delivery, Domino’s Carside Delivery.
19. If someone could only do 1 thing well for marketing, what should it be?
Build a great product – product quality is #1, everything else grows from there.
20. Is there pressure to begin to market to younger generations? How do you walk that line?
People young and old love pizza and we focus our marketing on adults who love pizza. We know that adults with kids are a large part of our customer base, and that kids naturally seem to love pizza, but our goal is always to market to adults who are fanatical about pizza.
21. What’s the reason behind saving $3 if you pick up your order vs delivery?
Carryout consumers feel like they are doing real work driving/traffic/hunting for the food, and returning home with the prize. They appreciate being recognized for their work – it’s also an incentive to drive more frequency and digital orders which leads to a higher ticket.
22. Discount code?! 😉
While we can’t do a discount code at this time, we’re happy to share 10 $50 Domino’s e-gift cards that Amber can give away to her followers.
To enter to win a $50 Domino’s gift card, comment on this blog post and add your email to the comment!! I will email the winners on June 30 🙂