Interviews

Beverley D’Cruz, Sales & Marketing Director, Pizza Hut Europe & UK

"In a world where consumers are getting busier and have less time to engage, they don’t want to be talked at, they want to be talked with."

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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Beverley D’Cruz is, for want of a better turn of phrase, incredibly well-travelled. Having only moved to the UK 18 months ago, her 17-year career has taken her from Pakistan to Dubai and Canada for work, and to 37 other countries for play. After studying finance and economics at MIT, it was a chance moment during a Unilever internship in Pakistan which led her to marketing.  Having decided that marketing was a lot more dynamic than finance, she pitched herself to the senior team and they agreed to let her try her hand at marketing. Pakistan-born, D’Cruz believes that experiences are essential when it comes to enriching your mind and thus to innovating. For her, travel has provided her with those experiences as, “the more you feed your brain, the richer you are.”

One of my mantras is, if you can lead and you can think, you’ll be able to do it.

Beverley D'Cruz

From Unilever, D’Cruz moved to Yum in Dubai 12 years ago, setting up shop there for five years. After that, Canada came calling and the Marketing Director position occupied her time for a couple of years. When asked if moving countries mattered from a brand perspective, she revealed that “Being part of a global brand means that when you move the brand remains familiar, but you are faced with a new consumer and new challenges.” She was made Ecommerce Director at Pizza Hut which, she admits, was a new challenge for her. Happily, D’Cruz relishes solving complex problem and so set about teaching herself the tricks of the trade. As she reveals, “one of my mantras is, if you can lead and you can think, you’ll be able to do it.” The proudest moment of her career she maintains, is watching the E-commerce business in Canada go from strength to strength, specifically from 9% of the business being online to it now being around 50%.

Being part of a global brand means that when you move the brand remains familiar, but you are faced with a new consumer and new challenges.

Beverley D'Cruz

Eighteen months ago, she arrived in the UK, her two young sons in tow, to take over as Sales and Marketing Director of Pizza Hut and to lead the brand transformation. It’s the brand’s unique culture, she says, that has kept her there for the last 12 years. “It’s an environment where you play hard and work hard,” celebrating everyone’s achievements by recognising their individualities. 2018 was the brand’s most successful year out of the last five in the UK and D’Cruz only hopes to better that starting with the launch of their latest campaign launch from Iris, ‘Now That’s Delivering’. As she says, “the new communication platform is bold, courageous and a bit tongue in cheek.”

It’s clear that D’Cruz’s movement around the world has only served to enhance her working life. She and her husband are avid travelling foodies and make a concerted effort to try every new cuisine when they visit a country. It’s part of the job of course but you get the feeling, she’d probably do it anyway as her belief is, “the more you know, the more you can innovate.”

Creativebrief: As Sales and Marketing Director at Pizza Hut Europe & UK, what is your primary focus?
Beverley D'Cruz: Pizza Hut in the UK is on a mission to be the easiest, fastest and tastiest place for pizza. Key to this is making our customer experience second to none and making sure every interaction with Pizza Hut is fun, flexible and right on time so our customers always have a great experience. My primary focus is bringing this mission to life. Whether that be launching new products (watch this space!); making sure our customers can access the best value deals via our Deal Bot or our £5 favourites; working with our digital team, Pizza Hut Digital Ventures, to optimise the website and app to make it easier for them to order their favourite pizza; or our most recent innovation in the UK, the Hut Rewards Loyalty programme.
Creativebrief: What has been your best work in the last year?
Beverley D'Cruz: My best and most fulfilling work has been empowering, leading and supporting my brilliant team who are full of passion, pride and motivation in their work. We have a very exciting 2019 planned and I am looking forward to sharing the journey with them. Creatively, without a doubt the ‘Now that’s Delivering’ campaign has been my favourite thing to work on this year. The campaign highlights all the customer focused initiatives that the Pizza Hut UK team has been working on for the past year including the Hut Rewards loyalty scheme, £5 favourites value proposition and our thirty Minute Speed Guarantee. The campaign heroes these messages in a cheeky and challenging way to position us as the benchmark in delivery. We are excited about how it’s being received by current and new customers. There is a lot of opportunity to evolve going forward!
Creativebrief: What do you think makes a successful client/agency relationship?
Beverley D'Cruz: I am a big believer of ‘The more people know the more they care’. I see any agency we work with as an extension of our Brand Team and we work with them in a fully integrated, transparent relationship with regular contact. Each week a member of the Iris team will spend a day in our office and we regularly visit them in London to brainstorm, meet and share ideas.

In a world where consumers are getting busier and have less time to engage, they don’t want to be talked at, they want to be talked with.

Beverley D'Cruz
Creativebrief: What are your ambitions for Pizza Hut over the next few years?
Beverley D'Cruz: Pizza Hut has big ambitions for the next few years: we are on a mission to be the easiest, fastest and tastiest place for pizza. We will to focus on giving customers even more choice and flexibility to enjoy our delicious pizza when, where and how they like them. We’re investing in technology to pull ahead of the competition, cutting order times and improving driver effectiveness for a delicious pizza every time. We’re rejuvenating our Huts for a fast, flexible dining experience. We’re doing more to show how much we value our customers and giving them more options to enjoy our food when and how they like it. Whether it’s a special gathering on the weekend, or mid-week family dinner time, it’s food for all occasions.
Creativebrief: How do you see the advertising/marketing landscape evolving over the next few years?
Beverley D'Cruz: In a world where consumers are getting busier and have less time to engage, they don’t want to be talked at, they want to be talked with. The work we create as marketers has to be bold, courageous, honest and gritty and most importantly breakthrough.
Creativebrief: What piece of advice do you give to the junior members of your team?
Beverley D'Cruz: We have a wonderful program called Achieving Breakthrough Results (ABR) within Yum! Brands, Pizza Hut’s parent brand, and through this program we work with different tool cards. A few of my favourite ones that I often give to my team are Shoot for the Moon - if you aim for the moon you will fall on the trees but if you aim for the trees you will fall on the ground. And Choose your mindset - you choose to have either a growth or a fixed mindset. It’s yours to pick but having a growth mindset will help you achieve better results.

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