Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Driven to Deliver - Robin Auld, Sales and Marketing Director, Domino's Pizza

Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Driven to Deliver - Robin Auld, Sales and Marketing Director, Domino's Pizza

Article excerpt

When Robin Auld reveals he is a Tai Chi devotee, it comes as something of a surprise.

The voluble 35-year-old only occasionally stops for breath and to ask whether he is going on too much before launching into another stream of enthusiastic chatter. But while his ebullience seems at odds with such a chilled-out pursuit, Auld says the ancient art provides a welcome contrast to the fast pace of his job.

Not that Auld is complaining. He exudes genuine passion for both his role and the discipline he works in. 'From a very early age I was fascinated by the psychology of marketing and what makes people tick. I've always particularly enjoyed the creative elements,' he says.

His efforts to tap into the nation's pizza-eating consciousness appear to be paying dividends. Domino's preliminary results for 2007 showed sales up by 23%, while pre-tax profits jumped by 33%. Like-for-like sales also returned an impressive increase, rising 15%.

Sales and marketing are closely linked at Domino's. The marketing budget is set at 5% of net sales - a total of pounds 18m this year, up pounds 4m because of the strong 2007 performance. TV ads are aired only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and go out at the optimum time when people are weighing up whether they can be bothered to cook. According to Auld, pizza is an impulse buy; on average, consumers decide to have a pizza about an hour before they order, so being top of mind at these times is key.

Because of this targeted approach, an ad usually has a direct effect on sales, and franchisees - who, Auld reveals, all have his mobile phone number, with at least one calling every day - brace themselves for a rush when this happens.

They could experience the mother of all rushes later this month, when Domino's steps into the prime-time spotlight with its sponsorship of ITV1's Britain's Got Talent. 'It's the first time that we've done something on this scale,' says Auld. 'Traditionally we advertised on Channel 4 and Sky, but this is prime-time ITV, so much bigger audiences for us. And it's Saturday night - our heartland in terms of pizza-eating occasions.'

Domino's is an old hand at broadcast sponsorship, having one of the UK's longest-running deals backing Sky One's showings of The Simpsons. …

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