Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

Domino’s Pizza Serves Up Innovations In Tech and Customer Experience To Drive Business Growth

The mobile revolution isn’t new. But, its deep impact on our behavior, standards and our preferences are just now coming to light. Smartphones have not only made us more connected, they have made us more curious, demanding and impatient. We know we can get what we want, where and when we want it. But for businesses to better compete, technology is only part of the solution. Businesses must now understand customer expectations as they continue to rise as a function of customer relationships with technology. And, brands must also rethink innovation and service to deliver faster, easier and better customer experiences (CX) to drive business growth and loyalty.

In my research, one brand continuously rises to the top as an example of a company that’s innovating in technology and world-class customer experiences. It’s not just the Apple’s or Tesla’s of the world, it can also be a pizza company…Domino’s.

Domino’s has made massive strides in CX – so much so that they say these innovations have helped them claim the title as the largest pizza company in the world and the fastest growing QSR brand. They’ve even doubled market share from 9% to 18% since 2009 when a lot of their digital transformation began.

After spending the last decade following Domino’s digital transformation, I was excited to talk about their journey with Chief Digital Officer Dennis Maloney at Google Marketing Live in San Jose. I was invited by Google to interview innovative executives who are on the forefront of reimagining customer experiences and digital marketing. I sat down with Dennis to talk about innovation, connected customers and the role mobile is playing in heating up consumer expectations. I’d like to share our conversation with you here.

One of the first questions I could not wait to ask was why and how Domino’s, a 57-year-old pizza company, became a leading “technology and e-commerce company,” according to Dennis.

“People are ordering pizza, we have to make it, they then track it, we deliver it, and when you look at that entire experience, technology plays a really big role,” he shared. “For us to get really good at it, we needed to change the way we were thinking about ourselves. If you started thinking about yourselves like an e-commerce company, you start asking the question, what makes a really good e-commerce company?”

The next step is to become a really good e-commerce company. And Domino’s is baking up success. This is a company after all, where 60% of all orders are done online and half of those come through mobile devices.

As technology changes, so do consumer expectations. Information, clicks, payments, anything that slows down the process, risks either abandonment of the transaction or worse, lost customers altogether. As Dennis says, “friction burns customers.”

Beyond e-commerce, Domino’s also had to focus on mobile innovation.

Some of the questions that Dennis and his team sought to answer were how to simplify ordering down to single or zero clicks. “We have a zero-click ordering app now,” he exclaimed. “If you’re a loyal customer, and you don’t have to do basically anything to get a Domino’s pizza, that’s great!”

This kind of innovation, he emphasized, can revamp people’s perception of your brand, and more importantly, provide your most loyal customers with what they need—instantly. To do so, takes a culture of innovation, one where IT and marketing work together to build, test and learn.

“Honestly, I think that’s our secret sauce,” he said. “Our marketing and IT groups actually work together. Everyone on both of those teams is trying to achieve the same goals. We win together, we fail together” he added.

And that secret sauce is flavored through innovation in CX. “We are focused on delivering great experiences for our consumers, everything else doesn’t matter,” he stressed.

So what’s the role of marketing in a company striving to be a world-class technology and e-commerce company that also makes great pizza? According to Dennis, that means marketing and marketing-led insights serve as the hub for everything. “Marketing sits at the connection point between the IT group, and all of the programmers, and the rest of the organization,” he shared.

Domino’s customers once had only two choices for getting a pizza, calling or walking into a store. In a mobile-driven world, those options have to evolve along with technology and customer expectations. There are now over 15 ways to order pizza ranging from sending a pizza emoji 🍕 over social media to a voice command on Google Home. As Dennis once asked, is Domino’s a pizza company that uses technology, or a technology company that delivers pizza? The answer is probably both. I’d add, that focusing the entire company on delivering exceptional customer experience also gives innovation purpose.

Brian Solis, Author, Speaker, Futurist

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

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