What content strategy and technology will leading brands use in 2024?

The state of digital content 2024

Industry insights

How Domino’s Pizza UK serves up efficiencies with digital asset management

by Canto  |  May 17, 2024

5 min. read
Photo of a sliced pepperoni pizza appearing in Domino's Canto library with an updated approval status.

How do in-house agencies stay creative? How can they best manage incoming requests, proactive campaigns, and team workflow? Anyone with experience in an embedded team like this knows they face a big set of challenges.

So, when Jenny Cobelli set out last year to establish an in-house agency for Domino’s Pizza UK & Ireland, she quickly realized organization was the key to creativity – and she partnered with Canto to help centralize, categorize, find, and share content.

At an exclusive webinar, we heard from Jenny, now Head of Creative at the playfully named in-house agency Big Dip Studio, and Andrew Hall, Canto’s VP Global Demand Generation, about how digital asset management has empowered the team, tackled burnout, and built credibility across the corporation.

These are the five key takeaways.

Identifying issues

Every business and creative team is different, but some issues are universal. As Jenny realized in the agency’s early days, asset management is often way down the list of priorities, putting unnecessary pressure on creative teams.

“From a month in, you realize that even though Domino’s owned all of this wonderful creative work, it was saved everywhere,” Jenny says. “It was on Google Drive, Sharepoint, desktops, and other people’s desktops. It was literally taking days of our time to find assets that we already owned. So, the first job was onboarding Canto.”

The approach worked for Jenny, who grew Domino’s in-house creative team from one person to nine people over the period of a year. She adds, “It’s about getting the fundamentals right so you don’t waste time on things you don’t really want to do – like admin and file saving. If you can get some good structure in place, then your job can be about being a creative.”

Embedding a DAM

Digital asset management enabled Domino’s to collate and store every creative asset, organizing them for easy access alongside brand guidelines, fonts, and other elements. But at which stage do in-house agencies come to Canto, and how can they decide what tech to onboard? According to Canto’s Andrew Hall, it’s a matter of scaling.

“SharePoint and Google Drives are great systems, but they were never purpose-built to store digital assets, so what we find is when organizations start to scale, they trip over themselves trying to find things,” Andrew says.

“The two fundamental pieces of tech organizations like Domino’s require to scale their content production and content strategy are work management and a DAM. Something that isn’t purpose-built to store, manage, share, and distribute is not going to be able to integrate with other pieces of technology.”

Jenny from Big Dip Studio backs this up, as her team has integrated Canto with the workflow management platform Monday.com. “The two things run seamlessly. We’ve created this fluid, streamlined system where you can find your request and essentially be self-sufficient,” she says.

Brand photo of a Domino's pizza appearing in Canto search results with tags and Smart Tags.

Avoiding burnout

A disorganized team causes big issues for junior staff in particular. Recent research by Canto indicates that in an average in-house agency team of nine, people will spend 3.5 weeks a year trying to find assets. Andrew argues this isn’t just inefficient; it harms staff and creates churn.

“One of the biggest causes of burnout in the creative industry is menial work. If you’ve ever worked in a creative team, you’ll know that whenever anybody asks you to ‘find a picture from that ad we did four years ago,’ that’s your week gone. The basics of searching is such a frustrating thing to do when there is purpose-built software to make your life so much easier,” Andrew says.

Keeping brand control

So, digital asset management is good for creatives, but it’s beneficial for the corporation, too. Jenny explains that a well-structured system benefits Domino’s 65 franchises and 1,300 stores to empower a wide range of people using the assets.

“We’ve recently created a student toolkit for franchisees, so we used Canto to share the assets and be self-explanatory,” she says. “We literally write some text at the top of the Portals. The franchisees were delighted at what we were giving them: before this existed, they would go it alone. From a brand perspective, it’s preferential if we’re all using the same assets and language. Another joy of DAM is being able to indicate which asset is no longer live – we filter which teams get access to what.”

Securing buy-in and proving ROI

With many projects that require overhauling corporate processes, securing investment and senior buy-in can be a blocker. But according to Jenny, the decision was a no-brainer.

“It wasn’t as hard as you’d think to convince them,” she says. “We will spend ‘this much’ on a photoshoot, but if we can’t find that asset, we might as well not have done that photoshoot! Instead of piecing together a process, let’s have a proper process.”

In his role, Andrew comes across in-house teams on a constant mission to prove their value to the business – an area where Canto provides ammunition. So, how does Canto guide its customers on ROI?

“The most important part is time, so we look at the creative engine costs and how many hours they spend searching for assets. Then the next big one is being able to see asset utilization – who is accessing it, where, when, and how,” Andrew says.

The last slice

The young Big Dip Studio continues on its maturity journey, with its use of DAM helping build credibility and making life easier. What is the outlook of Domino’s in-house agency since its partnership with Canto? According to Jenny Cobelli, the future is bright.

“There’s a lot of confidence. Because it’s in-house, we know how people feel, we take temperature checks with them, and we can offer experimentation. That’s what the internal teams appreciate,” Jenny says. “The culture of having a creative team in-house is good for any business. We are sharers, and it’s exciting work, and there is a creative eye on everything.”

Canto’s Andrew Hall and Domino’s Jenny Cobelli spoke at an In-House Agency Leaders Club webinar hosted by IHALC Co-founder Patrick Burgoyne. You can watch the session here.