Why the ‘human element’ is core to DoorDash’s business

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DoorDash’s Chief Marketing Officer Kofi Amoo-Gottfried joins Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi and Rachelle Akuffo for The 2024 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to discuss what gives DoorDash (DASH) a competitive edge, the logic behind its marketing strategies, and more.

Amoo-Gottfried elaborates on innovation in their marketing: “From a marketing perspective, a lot of what we are doing is thinking about how do we story-tell around the products that we are bringing to market? How do we story-tell around the new categories that are on DoorDash? So for the Super Bowl this year, we did this incredible engagement called ‘DoorDash All The Ads’…If DoorDash can deliver everything, DoorDash should deliver you everything from every ad advertised in the Super Bowl, and we are going to do it all to one lucky winner. We ended up with 8 million entries. The level of social engagement was absurd.”

When asked about automation and whether or not users could see robotics added as a delivery service, Amoo-Gottfried states: “If you think about our business, like delivery, you are actually always going to need people on either side of this. You’re going to need someone to go into a store, you’re going to need someone to go and meet a customer, so there’s a very human element to our business that we think is actually core to why this business works.”

For more of Yahoo Finance’s coverage of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, click here.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Asking for a Trend.

This post was written by Nicholas Jacobino

Video Transcript

Joining us now on Yahoo Finance is Kofi and we’ve Gottfried Doordash.

Is CMO a pleasure to have you joining us out here in Cannes?

So as we’re looking at Doordash is a company of $46 billion market cap.

What do you think gives you your competitive edge?

We’re looking at the stock price still up here today.

Well, I think there’s a number of things the way we tend to think Think about our business is through, like the key inputs, right?

So, like, what do customers come to us for?

And we think about customers through every side of the marketplace.

So on the consumer side, people are looking up to us for convenience.

Are we delivering that we have the right selection, the right price, the right affordability.

In most instances, we beat our competitors on those.

So if you think about, for example, non restaurant, um, stores we have the most in in the country.

We have the most restaurants on the platform.

So the selection on doordash is significant.

Um is a significant competitive advantage.

We also think about pricing over time.

We wanna bring prices down, and so we believe that we have the right pricing strategy we bring That brings people back to the platform.

Um, but then we also think about like, quality.

So when you think about being able to actually, if you order there’s a delivered on time, do you get what you ordered?

And so we really focus on all of these inputs.

Um, And when things go right, which they will when they go wrong, which they will do we make them right.

And so we work across all of those surfaces and we think we consistently from an operational perspective, um, outpace competitors on those dimensions.

Kofi, I’m an avid user of your platform, and I’ve noticed over the past year things just seem more expensive, but I still use it anyway.

II, I need these things delivered.

We’re all busy.

People help folks understand why some of the prices have gone up.

And what’s the end game?

Yeah, So from our perspective, if you think about Doordash, the way to think about us is as a platform.

So we don’t control pricing from a merchant perspective.

So as inflation has happened, merchants have taken price, right?

So if you look across our business, whether it’s our large enterprises or our local businesses.

Their costs have gone up, so they’ve taken their prices up.

Our fees year over year have actually gone down because we think about how do we consistently lower the barrier?

If you think about one of the reasons people don’t order on a platform like ours, it’s going to be priced.

We’re consistently focused on bringing that hurdle down where we control it.

Um, we also have products like Dash Pass, which is our monthly subscription product, which, if you use doordash all the time where this was going to.

Because if you use doordash and you’re worried about price, you should have this product.

Sir, it’s a good job.

It’s true.

It’s a good job.

So I want to talk about how you’re expanding innovation wise.

I know there’s been expansion, especially when it comes to things like alcohol delivery.

What are some of the other ways that you think you’re getting the edge when it comes to marketing Doordash innovations?

Yeah, so I think there’s a number of things there’s the product itself and then there’s the marketing, so like one of my favourite products that we’ve launched in the past couple of years is double dash.

So if you’ve used doordash, you’ll be familiar with this where you make an order, and then we tell you, Hey, in the next 10 minutes, if you wanna add something else to that order, um, you we will not charge you for that.

Now.

Those types of products are like doing incredibly well, and they’re doing two jobs, one helping you grow your basket as a customer but also helping families actually order from multiple places at the same time.

So in my family, no one can agree on what to eat for dinner.

I have two young kids.

They always want chicken tenders.

I’m not interested in that.

That’s not like mine.

That’s not what I wanna do.

And so products like Double Dash actually allow you to order from more than one place at once, and we’re seeing that that’s driving tremendous value for the customer.

We’re also seeing that, um, it’s introducing people to new categories.

Right, So you come in and maybe you bought, uh, a burrito, but it’s actually Valentine’s Day week.

So I’m not saying would you actually like to get flowers now?

And so it’s introducing you to these new things that we have on the platform.

So, like, I love that product.

Saving some arguments, the burrito.

I’m definitely getting the burrito.

Um, but then we also think from a marketing perspective, a lot of what we’re doing is really thinking about how do we story tell around the products that we’re bringing to market?

How do we story tell around the new categories that are on doordash.

Um, so for the Super Bowl this year, we did this incredible, um, engagement called doordash All the ads.

And there was a really simple thought, which was like, If doordash can deliver everything, doordash should deliver you everything from every ad advertised in the Super Bowl.

And we’re gonna do it all to one lucky winner.

Um, we ended up with 8 million entries.

Um, and the level of social engagement was honestly absurd.

Like there are people that are sending videos saying I missed the end of the game because I spent four hours working on trying to figure out this door dash code.

So a lot of what we try to do is like, how do you drive engagement?

How do you drive action.

How do you provide value in every interaction?

And we find that that tends to work.

We headed towards a decade of humanoid robots showing up at the door, delivering us our goods because I the the the speed at which a I is moving and something that I think we’ve been reminded of here can.

It’s absolutely mind blowing.

I mean, I don’t think that that’s I would hope that that’s not the future.

Um, look, we we So if you think about the core of our business, it’s about empowering local economies.

That’s the mission.

Tony’s foundational thesis was like walking around.

I found a Tony Shu’s thesis, um, walking around Palo Alto, talking to restaurant owners, talking to small business.

And again, how do we help?

And you think about a world that’s moving online, a world that’s like if you’re a local business, you’re losing foot traffic.

The core job that Doordash tries to solve is like, How do we keep these business in business?

How do we keep earnings in the economy?

How do we help people in the local neighbours earn?

So whenever we think about A I technology is actually an augmentation of humans, right?

We don’t.

And if you think about our business like delivery, you’re actually going to always need people on either side of this.

Like you’re gonna need someone to go into a store.

You’re going to need someone to go and meet a customer.

And so there’s a very human element to our business that we think is actually core to, like, why this business works.

Well, I was gonna say, in terms of expansion plans, then how do you see yourself scaling and replicating the business in some of these areas that don’t have access to doordash?

Yeah, So there’s a couple of ways, um, so we can think about within country and then out of country.

So if you think about the United States today, um, we probably covered 90% of the United States with our product, So there’s still even places in the US, Um, that by virtue of like, where the place is whether it has enough selection from a merchant perspective, whether it has enough, um, gig worker, um, people that wanna do this type of work, So the place in or just might be very remote, right?

So even within the US.

There’s like opportunity for expansion.

Um, but then another way to think about it is if you look at our business, um, regardless of our market cap and you look at the total category just of the restaurant business, if you add up all third party delivery partners, it amounts to less than 10% of the total restaurant business.

Restaurants are still very much an online, uh, in house business.

So even in that core category, we think there’s massive opportunity for growth.

Um, and then you look outside the US.

Um, we’re in Canada.

We’re in Australia.

We’re New Zealand.

Um, we acquired a Finnish food delivery company called Volt a couple of years ago that operates in about 23 European markets.

And those same opportunities, even in the core business, exist everywhere else.

And then you start to lay on top groceries, convenience, alcohol, beauty.

We just launched Alta on doordash.

I mean, so you get to this place where you start to become a place that’s able to provide everything to everyone, Um, and to help those businesses do well to help the gig workers do well and to give the customers the con, uh, convenience they’re looking for.

This is the first time doordash has been on Yahoo finance.

Uh, really?

So we were looking forward to to welcoming.

Yeah, so but you have a very the.

The company has a strong following on our platform in the time we have left.

Share with them.

Your personal leadership journey.

How did you get in the suit?

Oof!

Um, how did I get here?

So, um, Rochelle and I were vibing on this earlier, so we’re both Ghanaian.

I was born and raised in Ghana.

I moved to Ghana when I was 17 year old, um, as a college student.

So I left my country 17 years old, came here by myself to go to college.

Um, and then after college, I actually never thought that this is what I would be doing.

I you know, I studied economics.

I actually thought I’d be I’d be a finance guy.

That’s what I thought I was gonna go do end up on Wall Street.

Um, and I ended up doing an internship my junior year in college at a ad agency called Leo Burnett.

And I fell in love with this business because it was creative.

It was about commerce.

It was about driving business.

It was about consumer culture.

It was about psychology and sort of like had this puzzle of things that I enjoyed but didn’t quite know existed in a job.

And then, since then it’s been, you know, I spent the first half of my career on the agency side, and then the last half has been at places like Meta a place like Bacardi.

And then in the last five years, um, I’ve been I’ve been at doordash, but, like what drew me here was our founder.

What drew me here was our mission.

Um, you know, I’m I’m a product of access, right?

Like I’m a I’m a kid Who honestly, if if I was to say, like, if I thought I would be here today, I’d be lying to you, right?

Like I came to the US because of a financial aid scholarship.

That’s the only way I could have gone to college in the States.

And in a lot of ways, I think what doordash does is it that is, it provides access.

So that’s what drew me to doordash.

And it’s why I’ve stayed Well, we love the work that you’re doing out there, you know, thanks to Doordash.

Now I can get Ghanian food delivered.

I don’t have to get up and cook it myself to go anywhere.

It’s coming to you.

Go, au Godfrey.

Thank you so much for joining us.

Doordash is CFO.

Thank you for your time.

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