Although I am employed in the online marketing industry now, the background to my education has always been in the business management sector.
I have spent more than 20 years of my working life managing businesses with these skills, by predominantly:
- Building sales
- Maximizing profitability
Lots of these skills transgress into marketing and I am finding in some cases that I am in a better position to get results from marketing efforts than many educated marketers. The accountability that commercial reality provides seems to work.
I have been studying hard as of late to try to learn new skills and keep up to date with what is new in online marketing. In recent years, I have really noticed the need to constantly educate myself on new trends. Why?
Because if you don’t embrace change in this industry then you will become antiquated and obsolete quite rapidly - which probably translates to business practices in general.
My new mentors
I have discovered so many new mentors and thought leaders that I routinely tune in to, to get their ideas and philosophies on what is new and relevant in online marketing. I have my favourites such as Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki and Neil Patel to name just a few.
This is not a new routine for me though. Many years ago, as a young and keen business manager I used to watch, observe and follow managers that I held in high esteem to see what I could learn from them. Some good Australian based CEOs whose management skills and business results that I respect would be David Gallop (NRL, FFA), Don Meij (Domino’s Pizza) and the late Charlie Bell (McDonald's Australia).
He has an interesting story. Don’s success at Domino’s pizza has been staggering – especially what he was up against. Meij was already managing in the pizza industry for many years and became CEO of Domino’s in 2002.
Certainly in NSW, Pizza Hut in my opinion had the pizza industry sewn up with not only their restaurants but also their home delivery arm of their business. Their branding seemed so strong and whenever myself or friends thought pizza, we thought Pizza Hut.
Then along came Domino's. Their approach was persistent and unwavering towards their challenge for market share. A pivotal moment for me was when Don Meij announced that
‘Domino’s aren’t just in the pizza business, we are in the technology business’.
This statement drew parallels to my early days managing McDonald’s restaurants when then CEO, Peter Ritchie said at a conference that
‘McDonald’s makes more profit out of real estate than it does burgers’.
This was my first big lesson in strategy and Don Meij’s statement had my attention as to what he was going to do with ‘technology’ in the pizza business to leverage sales.
Fast forward to 2016 and Dominos is the most dominant brand in Australia for pizza. They have used technology in the pizza business to sink their competitors so far behind their market lead that daylight is coming second.
I remember the first time looking over my wife’s shoulder whilst ordering pizza online. It was so simple. It was informative. It delivered on the promise of service and product, not just once but over and over. Something that the pizza industry has hungered (pun intended) for. Undoubtedly, their online systems were built for the consumer buying the pizza as top of mind.
In my opinion, Meij had great vision and faith that the use of technology would truly differentiate his business from the rest of the market.
Websites used to be built by businesses for their customers but usually to meet the business’ needs. Website construction has evolved a lot but the standard now is to build them purely from a customer’s perspective – to truly solve the customer’s needs and pain points.
I have and still follow Domino's ability to evolve their business whilst using technology to do it. The ordering system app for smart phone was always going to be a natural progression.
My local Domino's at Dee Why has all manner of delivery vehicles e.g. bicycles, electric powered bicycles, petrol powered scooters and small cars. I would imagine that each vehicle would be deployed with purpose and utilized GPS when it was first commercially available.
I read an article recently that revealed Domino's new delivery robot called DRU (Domino’s Robotic Unit). That is really embracing artificial intelligence. Domino’s use of technology has not been a leap of faith; it has been a calculated strategy that has facilitated Domino’s into the market leader in their industry. Respect.
What has this got to do with online marketing?
Not much really except I wanted to recognise the merits and rewards of a CEO or business leader that has acknowledged the way that people buy has changed.
Domino’s thought like their customer.
They considered the pain points pizza customers were experiencing in the industry. They changed their perspective and focus. They changed the pizza industry in Australia forever.
P.S. No, I never have worked for Domino’s Pizza nor did they bribe me with pizza for writing this.
As a digital marketing agency, Search & Be Found endeavour to niche in to specific targetted industries: Construction & Automotive in particular. These two industries are really starting to shift towards the practical use of technology and many companies are already embracing technology into their marketing strategy and reaping the rewards.