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Case study: How Domino’s Pizza create digital experiences

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 16 Sep, 2014
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An interview with Nick Dutch, Head of Digital at Domino's Pizza UK

Nick Dutch is Head of Digital at Domino's Pizza Group Limited in the UK and ROI. In this interview he shares the approach used to help manage customer experiences for Domino's. He will explain their approach in more detail at the Smart Insights Digital Marketing conference.


Q. Please outline your role and how your team is structured?

My role combines all aspects of the online customer experience from media to conversion, both on the desktop site and in mobile. So, I’m responsible for all online marketing activity that drives people to the site and in determining the customer journey whether on our desktop site, mobile sites and apps or our communities on social media sites which are also part of how the Domino’s brand is presented in the digital space.

From a strategic point-of-view, I’m responsible for developing the long-term strategic roadmap for digital and ensuring it contributes to and complements the overall business strategy.

We have 6 in our digital team in total, with three other manager roles for the three key activities: an Ecommerce Marketing Manager, Digital Campaigns Manager and CRM Executive.

The Ecommerce Marketing Manager’s remit is performance-based with a focus on generating value through search, affiliate and display marketing and also maximizing conversion on site. They work closely with the Digital Campaigns manager – imagine the intersecting Ying and Yang of Digital Marketing.

The Digital campaigns manager ensures integration with broader brand marketing initiatives and is tasked with bringing the brand to life online, so they’re responsible for branded digital content on and off-site.

The CRM Exec manages automated triggered email predominantly and in future increased SMS and personalisation anywhere 1:1 communications including Push notifications on mobile, digital display and of course the website itself.. They’re also supported by a database marketing analyst.

We also have in the team a business analyst and Head of e-Commerce responsible for interpreting our business and customer priorities and translating them into IT workstreams as well as reporting and insight for CRO.

Our team is relatively small since we’re supported on the technical side by the commercial systems team responsible for the development and maintenance of all our e-commerce platforms (in IT services), we’re their client. We work with them closely on new features and applications, conversion rate optimisation and they manage on-site product content updates.

Q. How do you set the vision for the long-term contribution of desktop and mobile channels for Dominos?

Our vision for digital is centered on how we can provide Convenience to the customer across different channels – Convenience has to be platform agnostic.

The rate of consumer adoption of digital technologies informs this vision, so we went into mobile first, because we were already seeing mobile platforms were popular for customers. We will be tracking take-up of newer technologies like NFC payment options and will add them to a longer-term 3-year roadmap based on when we see them entering the mainstream. Then there is a hard roadmap for the next 12 months. What we identify 2 years out may fall by the wayside if there isn’t a clear customer imperative.

We prioritise new developments based on a combination of how it will impact customer convenience and commercial returns through increased conversion rate or average order value. It doesn't have to always be a scientific prioritization, decisions can also be brand-related, for example, connected TV or Games consoles –an opportunity to partner with TV manufacturer, may be more brand related, innovation is a key element of our brand DNA so we’ll always consider those things that may not be 100% commercially viable or payback immediately.

Q. What is your process for making investment decisions in media

The starting point is based on integrating with business priorities, which are based on a classic campaign marketing planning process based on new product introductions for example, so online campaign activities are aligned with these.

At a top-level, we make an investment-split decision for search marketing, affiliates and display based on previous performance trends comparing the previous year to different quarters and of course our current business targets and forecasts.

We need to use the best mix of media to attract customers who are exhibiting different behaviours in their buying decision. So some customers will be in the process of getting pizza in tonight and are looking for the best deals right now. Affiliates are significant in driving that decision. But others may be considering eating in a few days, display can be important here and we do see a halo-effect of display ads prompting searches for Domino’s, so it’s important to balance performance and brand investments.

At a practical level, like all Ecommerce sites, we look at our year-on-year performance carefully – all decisions are based on beating year-on-year performance mentality. Detailed decisions are involved here, for example around search, we may have a search budget where we have to balance investment in paid and natural search to get the best efficiency. Likewise, depending on the market factors we will change the balance of targeting different terms in Adwords, some terms are demand creation such as generics, whereas others mop-up demand such as brand or local search terms.

Adjusting the media mix month-by-month is always an ongoing activity because of four factors:

First, competitor action such as a promotion or competing on a brand term or other media activity. Second, new marketing options we may want to test to gain advantages, for example, the current targeting options in Gmail or custom audiences in Facebook. Then there are changes to business needs such as weather affecting demand – we have to generate more demand which can be mean upweighting generic or local search targeting for new customers.

Finally, our analysis techniques or tools of which media are effective will improve, for example, we have been looking more recently at purchase attribution and this has given emphasis on display budget against more 'mopping up channels'.

I haven’t mentioned social media yet since it’s not so important from a direct sales point-of-view. That said, we do use content marketing where bespoke content is developed around our audience’s passion for example to associate us with football. But it’s critical for other aspects such as community management on the social networks where we create and share content continuously around this. We do offer social sign-in through Facebook Connect for example, but that isn’t used to a significant degree. Of course, social media is also important for customer service where we have to manage this proactively. We use some outsourced services for different social media activities.

Q. How do you manage conversion rate improvements and the implementation of new features on your sites?

We now continually optimize, there has been a change in mindset as sales from the online channels have increased. It was more of a static site originally, but we are now able to review more regularly, for example on a fortnightly or monthly review process. We use Google Analytics as a performance tool for review on site are reviewing Universal Analytics, we are interested in the multi-device attribution, but can use journey analysis, e.g. through ad serving to give us something similar.

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