In Issue #297 of The Hustle newsletter, they unpack The Failure of the Domino’s 30-minute delivery guarantee. It’s a fun read. One paragraph especially caught my eye. Domino’s CEO Thomas Monaghan talks about the delivery guarantee in contrast to their marketing investment. Below is the excerpt from the newsletter:

As he described in his autobiography Pizza Tiger, he considered the 30-minute guarantee to be part of a “defensive mindset.” Instead of spending heavily on marketing, he believed that Domino’s would grow its base by consistently meeting customers’ expectations.

The Hustle

Think about marketing investment and the intrinsic value of a product or service as a sliding scale. For instance, if a product is crap, the investment in growth may be too costly. Moreover, you may need to rely on scammy tactics and false advertising which is unethical.

On the other end of the scale, you have a product offering amazing value. It fits seamlessly into your customer’s life. Hence, giving a majority of its growth momentum from word of mouth and referrals. Therefore, marketing spend can be focused on maintaining awareness or refreshing the brand. There is no need for the typical exercise of coercion or bribery in exchange for a purchase.

Of course, most products and services are somewhere in the middle. I love the Monaghan excerpt because it’s a great reminder. Consistently meeting customer’s expectations is value-driven marketing without the price tag. Often, marketing departments are tasked with polishing and shining whatever product is in play. However, effective growth requires much more than powerful ad campaigns, influencer partnerships, and referral schemes.

Are you consistently meeting the customer’s expectations? Are you providing consistent value with each purchase or interaction? All marketing is short-lived if it’s not backed with substance.