Domino’s promotes Art D’Elia to marketing chief

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Domino’s Pizza has promoted Art D’Elia, making him the chain’s new executive vice president and chief marketing officer, the company said in a press release.
  • D’Elia has been with the pizza chain since 2018, and has served as senior vice president, chief brand and innovation officer heading up product development and innovation, TV ads and field marketing. Earlier in 2020, he took on the brand’s digital marketing program. He joined Domino’s after seven years at Danone and almost seven at PepsiCo.
  • In his new role, D’Elia is charged with heading up all global marketing initiatives for the brand, leading all U.S. marketing and advertising, as well as working with the brand’s master franchisees globally. D’Elia will report to Domino’s U.S. COO/president Russell Weiner.

Dive Insight:

Art D’Elia’s promotion comes as Domino’s has been reaping the benefits of its focus on a more tech-oriented strategy. Even before the pandemic, the pizza chain had been beefing up its digital ordering offerings with investments in GPS delivery trackers, online ordering, contactless delivery and carside delivery, which makes it easy for consumers to patronize the establishment without having much contact with others.

Domino’s technology-driven offerings have proven to be appealing at a time when many consumers are wary of dining inside restaurants, helping the chain to pivot to a stronger digital focus during lockdowns while other restaurants have struggled to maintain sales. The company’s same-store U.S. sales increased 16.1% during Q2 2020 compared to 3% during the year ago quarter. And almost 75% of its U.S. sales came from digital channels, per Marketing Dive sister publication Restaurant Dive. In 2019, more than half of Domino’s sales came from digital channels, primarily online ordering and mobile applications, per the chain.

As chief brand and innovation officer, D’Elia led the company’s U.S. product development and innovation while focusing on maintaining strong relationships with U.S. franchisees. About 98% of Domino’s locations are run by franchisees.

Going forward, D’Elia will maintain the strong focus on franchisee relationships but on a global basis while leading Domino’s U.S. marketing and advertising, which has been evolving of late to position the brand as a dining option for any at-home occasion. For instance, the company is currently running a virtual film festival for fans to create homemade videos for a chance to win a year’s worth of free pizza. Previously, the company created a gift card program for friends and family to send couples whose weddings were canceled through a Rain Check Registry. These efforts position pizza delivery as a go-to food for movie nights and virtual wedding celebrations, at a time when going out is no longer an option for many people.

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