When Domino’s Pizza CEO Patrick Doyle, '88, first graduated from Booth, he says, it wasn’t common to find companies’ marketing departments staffed with left-brain, quantitative-minded individuals.
Flash forward, and the world’s second-largest pizza chain is relying on marketing analytics to reach hungry consumers, and discover what customers really want, Doyle said in a visit to Chicago Booth’s campus during the Autumn Quarter.
“The highest level analytics being done in Domino’s are being done in the marketing department, not in the finance department, and I will tell you that is a dramatic change,” Doyle said. “To really understand not just what consumers say they are going to do but what they are actually doing is extraordinarily powerful.”
While on campus, the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award winner spoke about his Booth roots with Art Middlebrooks, clinical professor of marketing and executive director of the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing.
“It’s about, ‘Are you engaging consumers?’” he told Middlebrooks. “Are you figuring out what really matters to them? Can you see patterns in their consumption of the product that give you insights into how you can either change product or change promotion or pricing?”
“At the end of the day, it comes down to growth in an organization,” Doyle said. “That’s all going to be driven by your understanding the consumer and your ability to connect with the consumer.”
In a presentation for current students, Doyle also touched on what’s next for the iconic brand. “Now 50 percent of our business comes through digital, so we internally now talk about this as ‘Domino’s anywhere.’ Whatever screen you have in front of you, we want you to be able to access our brand.”
Weekend MBA student Harish Venkitaramanan attended the presentation, and said he particularly appreciated Doyle’s data-driven approach to marketing.
Doyle, who graduated from the Evening MBA program, also spoke with current Evening MBA student and Chicago Business Fellow Shelly Porter about how the pizza chain’s bold turnaround campaign and current marketing strategy have helped revitalize the company.
His visit was hosted by the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing. Founded in 1999, the center advances marketing at Booth by facilitating faculty research, supporting innovations in the marketing curriculum, funding scholarships, and creating engaging programs that enhance the careers of students and alumni. Learn more about the center at chicagobooth.edu/kilts.
—By LeeAnn Shelton
November 5, 2015