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Domino's Australia's head of marketing, Allan Collins, agreed to an hour-long Q&A session with Facebook fans this week, answering a range of questions and complaints and offering a glimpse into part of the decision making process at the company.
The marketing team even took time to answer some of the harsher questions, including criticism regarding the brand's "Game Changer" campaign (the "biggest launch in 20 years" turned out to be a new line of pizzas), introduced last year.
Some highlights from the new marketing Q&A session are below.
Q: Instead of having voucher codes, why don't you simply advertise honestly and have a set price for products?
A: We are a franchised business and franchisees select their own pricing.
Q: Why do we have to pay surcharge on gluten-free pizzas when the quality isn't as good?
A: The surcharge is because the dough is substantially more expensive than other dough. We make all other dough fresh in store every day, however we have to purchase the gluten-free dough from another supplier.
Q: How will you respond to the challenge of new players from a marketing point of view?
A: We will stay true to what we believe is right for the market. We tend to follow our own strategy instead of constantly looking at all our competitors.
Q: What has been your biggest marketing achievement at Domino's?
A: Our launch into the online environment. We are now as a digital company who happens to sell pizza. We will continue to expand and evolve in this arena.
Q: Why have I noticed a decrease in the size of your pizzas, yet a rise in price?
A: We are continually changing our products at our customers' requests. Our Chef's Best pizzas are slightly smaller than our traditional and Value Range pizzas; however, they are loaded with more toppings.
Q: When will you publicly apologize for the 'Game Changer' ad campaign? You are a pizza shop and the game changer was making pizzas? What a crock ...
A: Sorry you feel that way. I know we initially received some negative attention in the media about the way it was launched on social media, but at the end of the day, the fact that the Chef's best range has sold so well, speaks much louder than the critics. Did you know one in five orders includes a Chef's Best? If you haven't already, I really encourage you to try one of our Chef's Best pizzas, I know you won't be disappointed!
Q: Where do you see Domino's in five years?
A: Ideally I would like to see Domino's be the number one QSR in 5 years time — not just in pizza.
Q: With the amount of negativity constantly coming from 'fans' on your Facebook page, do you still find that it is worthwhile having the page? And have you ever considered removing any negative comments?
A: We love hearing feedback — good or bad. We like to act on the bad. The only time we would ever remove Facebook comments is if they were racist, threatening etc. We keep our heads held high and believe in the product but it's good to get feedback — the good and the bad!
Q: Would love to see more variety, like salads and lasagna. Would that be something we could look forward to in the future?
A: We launched salads, but unfortunately there was no consumer demand. Same with pasta. We will always look for exciting new products in the future.
Q: Do you feel that the "Game Changer" campaign was a success particularly when referring to using your CEO to advertise (a risky choice). If so, can you provide details in the way of customer loyalty and revenue?
A: Absolutely yes it was a huge success for the company, in fact, one in five orders now includes a pizza from the Chef's Best range. It was an important message that we wanted to convey and as a result we wanted our CEO to communicate it.
Q: Why don't you take PayPal for online orders?
A: We are currently looking into that at the moment.
Q: What do you think of Pizza Hut?
A: Wow... that's an open ended question. They are a good company and it's great to have competition...it keeps us on our toes and keeps life interesting.
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