The Deliveroo Story

Back in 2014, Puzzle received a phone call from a company called Deliveroo. Francis, one of our founders, shouted around the office (which at the time potentially was a Weatherspoon’s pub) if anyone had heard of them. No one had…

They said they were looking for some help with their social. After some strong haggling over fees from Deliveroo’s side, we settled on a few hundred pounds to show them exactly what we could do.

CEO of Deliveroo Will Shu

Their brief for us was to bring them awareness and sales for what, at the time was a brand-new delivery concept only available in select areas of Chelsea in London.

So we started out building their social community by creating content, promotions and competitions that we then distributed through targeted paid media, mainly Facebook to start with.

Promoting a service that, by design, has a very small operational radius (a few kilometres from each restaurant) meant that at the start we ran into problems with precisely geo-targeting our content. Facebook didn’t quite have the right targeting tools available (and let’s not even talk about Twitter at the time). We needed to make sure the right message, be that promotion or competition got to the right group, in the right context and at the right time.

Deliveroo at Taste Of London

So we called up Facebook and started to work with their engineers in Palo Alto to develop a new way of targeting geographically. It meant that we could drop a pin on a map and target within a much smaller radius. It was more efficient for spend and performance (it saved them a good amount of money) but the main thing was to make sure we were giving customers the best user experience possible. The last thing we wanted to do was show great food to someone whose postcode wasn’t available for delivery. It also meant we could target multiple demographics simultaneously in the borough with different messages, creative and propositions that was most relevant to them.

The results we got back were astonishing.

For such a location-specific business like Deliveroo, this sort of targeting was a massive breakthrough. We could instantly change our messaging and targeting (by a click of a button) depending on things like weather, current affairs and local events.

Our approach was all about being as hyper-local as possible. We created content bespoke to the area and then used a series of tracked interactions, resulting in ads directing users to order on site. By creating a proven, tested and quick method, we used this to roll Deliveroo out across the UK firstly on a city-by-city basis then across Europe and finally into Asia.

As we continued to work with Deliveroo, our work went from mainly paid social for a few quid to full performance marketing, creating their eCRM, their first OOH, press and radio campaigns.

Their growth was rapid, for what was a 5 person team in 2014 2 years later they were over 1000 people across 12 countries. As they grew, so did the problems we had to overcome. The main problem we had was how do we help Deliveroo use what we weren’t learnt accessible to their marketing teams across the globe?

Deliveroo at Taste Of London

What we came up with was a unique marketing toolkit available to all their marketing employees across the globe. Alongside the interactive resource, we set up weekly marketing sessions in which employees could dial into to learn and brush up on their marketing skills and best practices. This sort of resource was critical in helping the marketing team scale at pace and allow consistent high-quality marketing across all markets.

Over the initial years working with Deliveroo, I’ll marketing activities reached more than 50m people and helped them launch into 12 countries across the globe.

If you want to learn more about the sort of marketing activities that allowed Deliveroo such quick success, we’d be more than happy to have a chat. Drop us a line on to see what we can do for you.

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