As Domino's chief digital officer, Dennis Maloney is leading the charge to make sure that ordering pizza can be done pretty much any way and anywhere customers want. Domino's constant tech updates mean consumers can order "AnyWare" -- via texts, tweets, smartwatch, smart TV and speaking to Alexa on the Amazon Echo. Promoting such techniques has helped Domino's post strong sales gains, including a 12% jump in U.S. same-store sales last year. Mr. Maloney does what he can to stay on top of digital trends, though he admits keeping up with them all "is nearly impossible."
Ad Age recently caught up with Mr. Maloney over email ahead of his appearance at the upcoming Ad Age Digital Conference. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
Advertising Age: What was the biggest risk in launching AnyWare ordering?
Dennis Maloney: AnyWare ordering included several very different platforms, each involving quite a bit of specific technology and programming to implement. As you can imagine, creating the technology to order via Twitter using an emoji is very different from that needed to voice order via Amazon Echo, which is very different from that needed for ordering via a Samsung smart TV. In each case, Domino's wanted to take advantage of each platform's unique capabilities to create the best possible pizza ordering and tracking experience possible.
Ad Age: How does having so many ways to place digital orders increase brand recognition and sales?
Mr. Maloney: By launching our AnyWare ordering platforms, Domino's wanted to really demonstrate that we are leading the pizza industry in technology innovation. This is also a great way to demonstrate to our customers that we are committed to providing the best digital ordering experiences possible, using the platforms and technologies which they already enjoy using. Domino's customers should be able to order pizza using their favorite platforms and technologies.
Ad Age: What advice would you give a brand trying to grow its mobile and social connections with customers?
Mr. Maloney: My advice would be to identify and focus on your core brand experiences and then challenge yourself to bring these experiences into the mobile and social space in a way that takes them to a new place.
Ad Age: How do you keep up with digital trends?
Mr. Maloney: Keeping up with digital trends is nearly impossible … but I read everything I can, listen and watch to see and hear what devices people are using, and constantly talk to people and ask what digital interactions are currently exciting people.
Ad Age: How can you tell if something is a fad or has staying power?
Mr. Maloney: Not sure if there is any surefire way to tell, but it seems when a concept or functionality starts to jump between different groups, be that age groups, ethnic groups, geographies, etc., that is usually a good sign of some staying power.
Editor's note: Hear more from Dennis Maloney in person during the Ad Age Digital Conference, April 5-6 in New York City. Find out more here.