Domino's / Tony Holdway / Sales & Marketing Director / AI Marketing
“I want to leave the brand in a better state than when I came, stick to its roots - make it more exciting, appealing and relevant.”
This quote comes from Tony Holdway - Domino's Pizza Group UK's sales and marketing chief during a live recording of the #ShinyNewObject podcast on stage at MAD Fest.
1. AI is improving the performance of Domino’s marketing
I learned that it’s difficult to interview your client on stage in front of 300 people and try and have an unbiased conversation about a project you have worked on together. But the facts speak for themselves. I’ve been working with Domino’s on a creative artificial intelligence project that dropped Domino’s CPA from social by 40%. Domino’s have been investigating AI to improve efficiency and performance - they are “not doing it for show or to say ‘aren’t we clever here’. Our first port of call is ‘does this work’, does it improve on what we were working on previously?” And using AI in marketing is working. They’ve also experimented with an AI real-time bidding PCC technology knows time of day, day of week, weather, purchase history and as a result have increased PPC spend and halved the CPA which is “not the standard model.”
2. Adversity delivers wisdom
Tony’s previous marketing roles have included the now defunct Woolworths and BHS and he concedes that his other previous employers Mothercare and House of Fraser “are in A+E.” He’s candid enough to tell us that “going to BHS was probably my biggest fuck up” and that this experience made him the marketer he is today. He remembers his team’s passion for the brand and their will to make it survive no matter what - “I learned so much because meetings (at BHS) were so different to normality. A fascinating few months.” He has taken this wisdom with him into Domino’s; knowing that to create a powerful brand you have to put “a greater spend on the mid and the long term - BHS had lost it’s brand relevance.”
3. Domino’s are investing in service innovation
Domino’s have grabbed mainstream and industry press in recent years for elaborate uses of marketing tech like ordering a pizza with an emoji, and amazon echo or a chatbot. But the near future is more practical for the brand.
Domino’s are creatively using their data to give the customer dynamic delivery times which will predict exactly when their pizza will arrive. On top of this they are rolling out Uber style GPS tracking for their driver which will arrive in all stores Q1 2019 - this will get you your hot tasty pizza in even less time. Winner.
4. Tony has a short attention span
It’s so reassuring to hear one of the most successful marketers in the country say that “I don’t really read books and if I do I struggle to finish them.” This relieves me of my guilt of not pouring over Byron Sharp instead of hanging out with my family at the weekend. Tony improves his marketing smarts from “reading journalism and articles” using Twitter to curate his own news feed and setting up “a load of searches on Google.” He reads all of this on the train and during his working day stating that “social media is a fantastic way of switching off - but you will probably learn something at the same time.”
5. Tony doesn’t want to be remembered
When I asked him how he wants the industry to look back on his career he told me - “I don’t want people to remember my career.” This is typical of an incredibly senior yet down-to-earth marketer who has only great intentions for Domino’s - “I want to leave the brand in a better state than when I came, stick to its roots - make it more exciting, appealing and relevant.” Bravo.