Marketing Game Changers 2022: Pizza Hut’s Beverley D’cruz

Chief brand officer, Pizza Hut Middle East and Africa

Years in position: 2.5 

Years with company: 16 

Size of department: 15

Previous three jobs

Chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut UK

Marketing director, KFC Canada

Digital marketing director,
Pizza Hut Canada

Recent campaigns

Pizza Hut partners with PLG on Gaming

Pizza Hut and KFC collaborate

Pizza hut and Earth Hour

What is your objective in your current role?

My goal is to grow Pizza Hut in the region by focusing on RED: relevance, ease and distinctiveness.

Do you have a guiding principle?

I live by the mantra of ‘Be kind, be courageous, be awesome.’

How do you make agency relationships work?

I believe in honesty, transparency and partnership. I see my agency partners as an extension of my team.

What work do you wish you had done?

I love being disruptive and I do the work I have on my wish list. There are two pieces of work that I have found most exciting, and I wish I could do more of. One was Open Kitchens at KFC, where we invited consumers to come to our kitchens and cook with us to bust the myth that KFC uses mutated chicken. We also met with farmers and had lunch with them on a farm. The second piece of work is LeadHERship in Africa, where via marketing my team and I get to affect the lives of 150 women.

Who inspires you professionally?

I find Michelle Obama super inspiring. Her book Belonging really resonated with me. I love how as a strong, smart woman she led from the back and supported Barack.

What is the biggest challenge in marketing at the moment?

Authenticity. As brands and marketers, we try too hard to sell to our consumers. I wish for more honesty and transparency.

What is the next big opportunity in marketing?

The next big opportunity in marketing is to truly understand the psychology of our consumers. Psychology and technology work hand-in-hand, and by understanding one you get better at the other. In a world of information overload, online anonymity, more peer influence, shorter attention spans and customers being more empowered, it is critical to understand our consumers better 

What can we expect to see from you and your brand in the next year?

You can expect to see disruption. We are on a journey to make Pizza Hut the fastest-growing, most loved brand in META. Fasten your seatbelts.

Recent achievements

Re-entry into KSA with a new partner winning minds and hearts of Saudi consumers.

Opening the 100th store in Turkey in 2022.

Launch of social purpose programme in South Africa called LeadHERship.

Rapid fire

  • What are you craving?
    Coke Zero.
  • Who are you hiding from?
    From negative people that suck the joy out of life.
  • What app are you glued to?
  • What are you playing?
  • What are you listening to?
    I love listening to podcasts, and my go to fav listen is Shagged, Married and Annoyed
  • What are you reading?
  • What are you watching?
    The Crown.
  • Where are you travelling?
    Last pleasure trip was to the Maldives. Last work trip was meant to be Nigeria.
  • What is your good habit?
    I love lifting weights and am at the gym seven times a week.
  • What is your bad habit?
    I love food. My job doesn’t make the issue easier.

Agency reference

Fadi Yaish, CEO and chief creative officer, and us

Over the last 12 months, we’ve had the distinct privilege of working with Beverley D’Cruz. In that time, she has proven herself to be every agency’s dream client – generous both with her time and her advice. Under her watchful eye, she skillfully guided numerous Pizza Hut marketing teams from all over the region and unified them into a single unit operating as one.

As a marketeer, she demonstrated a penchant for taking chances on big ideas and empowered her colleagues to think outside of the (pizza) box, inspiring those in her charge to ever dizzying heights of creativity and professional fulfillment. Her passion and enthusiasm for her industry are infectious; her presence, an unwavering source of knowledge and leadership that guided her team through the tumultuous times as the QSR industry grappled with the fallout of Covid-19.

While running a marketing department in favourable economic times may be simple, it is the hard times that really prove to be the ultimate trial by fire. And it is in precisely those fraught moments where Beverley’s indomitable spirit shines brightest – a calm and measured voice of reason, maturity and tactical brilliance that inspires all those who are lucky enough to work with her.