Nicky Claeys – Domino’s

Nicky Claeys – Domino’s

Nicky Claeys is the CMO of Northern-Europe for Domino’s, which includes the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France and Denmark. Domino’s marketing department is very broad and is responsible for activities such as product development, menu composition, positioning, campaigns, e-commerce, digital platforms and digital innovation. The team in the Netherlands consists of 25 people.

Main ingredients for brand growth

Nicky explains that Domino’s looks at two things when it comes to brand growth. The first one is new locations. Nicky: “We’ve learned that physical availability and fast delivery are key ingredients for our growth. Even if you can’t deliver in the entire country yet, there are still possibilities to increase your penetration by opening new stores. The second thing is growing within the current locations; attracting new customers, increasing frequency and tickets. But our main focus lies in order growth, both through new and current locations. When it comes to new locations, we not only open stores where we are not operating yet, but also open up stores in areas we are already delivering. But first and foremost, we are a delivery expert. Our growth relates to our service-time. The faster we can deliver, the more customers return, and the more you attract. At Domino’s, every order and delivery is logged and analysed. That’s one of the reasons we’ve become number 1, because we have the fastest delivery time in the Netherlands and the market we operate in. Serving hot quality meals and quality products which are delivered quickly, is the highest priority. We are very strict when it comes to the quality of our products and ingredients. Our crusts are vegan, we don’t use artificial flavouring and deliver our meals in a safe and sustainable way. We have weekly audits to check whether the food standards are up to par.”

“We focus on physical and mental availability”, Nicky continues. “We want to grow as much as possible so you can deliver more quickly, on different times of day. We are always looking for new moments and places where people can order Domino’s.”

Optimising your services through innovation

According to Nicky, innovation shouldn’t be just digitalising old processes: “You have to look at the possibilities these new innovations can offer to optimise your service, and not just copy paste what you were doing before. Next to that, you need to start at an early stage. This approach sets us apart. We invested in our online e-commerce platform very early on. Digitalising our stores and ordering process has contributed massively to our innovations today. Back in the days, you could only order a pizza by phone. Now you can order on mobile, and we are continuing to look at other possibilities. As a customer, what would I want? If you’re for instance at the park, wouldn’t it be great if you could just order a pizza there? But, what’s the address? You don’t know that, and shouldn’t know that, because you have GPS on your phone. You have to look beyond just translating old processes into new environments.”

A data driven company

Nicky: “Domino’s is a very data driven company. We store all the data from ordering to delivery ourselves. Not all companies have that luxury. We use a lot of the data to make decisions, and look at where opportunities lie. Making sure decisions are fact-based, is part of Domino’s. When it comes to research, we occupy a good middle ground. We are not a process driven company that is only based on research. We also have a good amount of courage. A great thing about our product is that we all eat pizza. So, we shouldn’t make it more difficult than it is. Some things are just too complicated, and they don’t need to be. We conduct concept tests or certain deal tests regularly. But not everything, and not in a tightly organised process. We conduct research where it truly adds something.”

Thick Shakes and GPS-trackers

Nicky gives us a couple examples of innovation within the Domino’s brand: “Something I’m really proud of, is the Thick Shakes we recently introduced. We noticed a lack of customers between lunch and dinner, and wanted to grab that opportunity by creating a snack-moment. This product fits perfectly into that proposition. Quality wise it stands out, because it’s 100% ice cream. The thicker texture allows for it to be delivered. Around 1,5 years ago we started testing it. A business case was sent over to the franchisers, who were enthusiastic about the idea. Through a test and learn approach we introduced it store by store. In June we were on national TV for 2 weeks, and it turned out to be a huge success. It covered 15% of the business at the time.”

Another big innovation for Domino’s was the introduction of their GPS-tracker. Nicky: “This has been a big innovation that not a lot of our competitors have. It did a lot for our image and customers when it comes to NPS. Without changing something to the product portfolio or delivery time, we still managed to increase our visibility and customer experience.”

Inspiration Tours and Product Safari’s

Domino’s gets their inspiration from many different sources. Nicky: “Every Friday we share best practises between different countries and teams. So, we get inspired and challenged by others. Next to that, we have specific forums where we look at the road map every other month. We are also in constant contact with our franchisers who also bring ideas to the table.” Domino’s also organises Inspiration Tours once or twice a year. Nicky: “We travel to for instance Silicon Valley or China to look at what other companies are doing, and whether we can learn from it or form partnerships. We also have Product Safari’s where we go out to eat at different restaurants and chains with employees from distribution and marketing. We also look at trends, but again, everyone has a say at Domino’s. A chef will look at different sources for inspiration than a web coder, but both contribute and have ideas as to what the next step could be.”

Staying on track

A couple of trends we need to keep our eyes out for according to Nicky: “I think people will start using machine learning and artificial intelligence in a much smarter way. Things that shouldn’t be done manually or could be done better and more cost and time efficiently, should be done by AI, like CRM-processes. Something that we will be introducing soon; in our tracker you can see how long it takes before your order arrives. And that’s great. But, when you take a step back, you want to know from the start of your order how long it will take for it to arrive. Now, this function is unlocked when the deliverer is on its way. But you also want to include the time in the store. Of course, you can take the average time it takes to prepare the pizza, the time it goes in the oven for, etc. But it will never be completely accurate. We are now working with machine learning to make it that much more accurate. So, you can predict on the minute when your order will arrive, from the very start of your order, right to your front door.”

Nicky: “Lots of new possibilities will arise. Mobility will for instance change a lot in the coming 10-15 years. And this affects us massively. So, we need to be prepared, otherwise we’ll be too late. Which is why we’ve already tested robot-delivery, and are now testing drone-delivery in New Zealand. There will be big changes, and it’s up to us to stay on track.”