Just Eat’s marketing budget is a “whopping figure”, according to chief marketing officer Barnaby Dawe, who believes it has to be that way in a high-growth business.
Speaking today (20 March) at Advertising Week Europe, he said it is absolutely right that marketing should be one of the biggest spends for the business, and that the brand spends more on marketing than technology.
Dawe said he is “trying to drive efficiencies” so the “ratio of marketing spend to revenue gets lower as we get older – our marketing budgets might increase but they shouldn’t increase at the same rate as revenue”.
He added: “I’m conscious that the board, the CFO and the CEO feel that money is being well spent. That means having acute measurement tactics.”
These metrics are split into commercial measurement in food orders and active customers, NPS scores among customers and restaurant partners, and marketing measurement.
The CMO believes “TV is the one that is hardest to measure” although he also said Just Eat sees growth when it does TV advertising – where it trials regionally before going “full pelt”.
When it comes to allocating budget to TV and top of the funnel activity, he said it’s very hard to justify to the CFO and the board but “when you get further down the funnel it becomes much more measurable”.
Dawe said Just Eat plans to double Facebook spend this year because it allows the business to talk about the brand and engage people but also “go right down to transaction” and shift people to conversion.
The brand is also placing a bigger focus on new technology such as virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to ensure it stays ahead of the curve, as new players enter what is already a competitive sector.
Dawe said Just Eat invests in “small startups in the food tech space” to help it disrupt itself, and although his remit spans “many things” it’s important to start “building a brand for the future”.
He added: “A lot of [digital-only] businesses make the mistake of investing for the short-term and not building a brand story.”