This Much I Learned: Domino’s Sarah Barron on the value of consistency when ‘babysitting’ brands

In the latest episode of Marketing Week’s podcast series, Domino’s CMO Sarah Barron tells why she doesn’t ‘mess’ with brands and why getting the right capability is essential for building an effective marketing unit.

Sarah Barron recently espoused that there has never been a better time to be a marketer. A bold claim but one that comes with experience after a near three-decade career spanning the likes of Boots, Cadbury’s and Costa Coffee before reaching her current role as CMO at Domino’s.

Speaking on Marketing Week’s This Much I Learned podcast, Barron shares how the advent of data, particularly at a brand like Domino’s where 50,000 to 100,000 lines of data are collected every week, has made it easier for marketers to get to the heart of what the consumer wants in the smartest way possible.

Hyper-personalisation, she says, is now the norm and she and her team are at the “coalface” in terms of meeting their demands at a business where 85% of orders are now digital.

Data, however, doesn’t change the core truth of marketing: “The customer must be at the heart of everything you do.”

Domino’s hails improvement to value perception following marketing pushDomino’s has plenty to shout about – or perhaps that should be yodel – in recent years with revenues up 7% to £600m and its consideration scores climbing to 55% against a difficult economic landscape. No easy feat for a brand that soared during lockdown – but unlike many of its competitors – managed to keep the momentum going.

She tells host and Marketing Week editor-in-chief Russell Parsons, however, that her biggest philosophy when it comes to marketing and branding is that you don’t reinvent the wheel. “In marketing, you babysit a brand for a few years and hopefully you leave it in a better shape than you find it. You don’t reinvent it. You take it and you polish it,” she says, noting that she’ll tell her team that marketing is fundamentally “the same thing told a thousand times in a thousand slightly different ways”.

She adds: “You just maintain consistency. You don’t mess with brands. You try to get to something that drives salience and excitement and then you just keep going at it. That’s what builds emotional connections with consumers.”

Other topics broached in the podcast include why she prefers to keep her insight and creative teams separate so they can both do their best work, having a “black belt” in one particular skill to climb the career totem pole and the skew between performance and brand marketing. She touches, too, on how Domino’s successful ‘Yodel’ campaign annoyed some customers but, more importantly, surprised others.

From opening up about mental health issues to closing the career confidence gap, you can listen to previous episodes of Marketing Week’s This Much I Learned podcast on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud and Spotify.



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