Day One of ARF’s “Attribution & Analytics Accelerator” event offered intriguing marketing modeling case studies from four major brands, Microsoft, Mazda, Trojan, and Cotton Inc., along with their analytics partners. They revealed how they are embracing additional science and mathematical techniques with the art of understanding and optimizing their marketing investments from a truly holistic perspective to address an incredibly complex customer environment.
The event is being jointly run by ARF and Sequent Partners. Sequent Partners are acknowledged as the industry experts in this arena which includes marketing mix modeling (MMM) Nielsen, the day’s sponsor, concluded the session with insights and a plea to manage marketing budgets long-term based on building and protecting brand equity even in such “unstable times.” Refreshing and so critical!
Under the guidance of Session Leader Greg Pharo, global director, media analytics & advertising research, The Coca-Cola Company, the four very different brand modeling approaches presented underlined the difficulty of including and reliably sourcing the extensive data elements required of any valid modelling approach to understanding a brand’s marketing drivers and how to optimize them over time.
Kathleen Magnuson — senior data and applied scientist, customer & market research, Microsoft reported on how the company has unified separate success measures (KPIs), derived from separate systems, managed by separate research teams. with a holistic approach. Their need was to incorporate both short-term and long-term outcomes with a more granular model based on both direct and indirect effects. In her presentation, “Realizing the Full Value of Advertising: A Granular MMM Success Story,” she suggested that they are now able to make “intense” data-based decisions about the right balance between brand-building advertising (long term effects) and promotion (short term effects).
I’m not sure where their greatest weakness, in my opinion Customer Support, comes in the mix, but…
Mazda faces a classic multi-faceted marketing challenge: How to drive brand predisposition, motivate the consumer along the path to purchase at the showroom with a willingness to pay a premium price. To address this complex puzzle, exacerbated by multiple layers from manufacturer to dealer associations to dealers, Mazda has synthesized analytic insights across carlines and markets to optimize resource allocations.
Satya Menon, managing partner, ROI practice, Kantar, Brad Audet, CMO, Mazda and Eric Uchida, senior vice president, data, analytics & technology, Garage Team Mazda presented, “Generating and Disseminating Analytics Insights.” This marketing approach is now helping to maximize the full value (ROI) of marketing for brand growth across upper and lower funnel strategies at the right time to drive business success for all parties. Paralleling other brands, Mazda is clearly becoming a more data driven marketer via an omni-channel holistic customer knowledge center to ultimately drive dealer traffic. A key enhancement that Mazda is now realizing is, “Integration of customer journey perspective in audience targeting.”
Dan Bracken, vice presidentconsumer engagement, Church & Dwight, and Greg Dolan, CEO and Co-Founder, Keen Decision Systems, shared, “How Trojan Harnessed Its Full Marketing Horsepower.” Trojan’s marketing team is leveraging priors from attribution studies, household panel measures and store-level trade analyses to create what they believe is a comprehensive and complete view of the brand.
Their emphasis was on building a more forward-looking predictive analytics model to establish a continuous optimization system which informs ongoing decisions. Critical for any brand but especially a market leader that has 60% market share. However, their marketing performance by media platform analysis may need a more detailed technical appraisal?
Cotton Inc. has a unique marketing dilemma--No sales data, they are an association! So Kim Kitchings, senior vice president consumer marketing, Cotton Incorporated, underlined its ROI proxies, including “check-the-label” and “intent to buy” in her presentation, “Measuring MORE of the Marketing Metrics that Matter.”
Jim Friedman, CEO, Marketing Attribution Partners reviewed how the firm built a model that encompasses all the steps in the consumer journey to sales. It demonstrated the sheer complexity and difficulty involved with meaningful, rigorous data capture, including direct and indirect and immediate versus longer term effects. Yes, this is “hairy” stuff! But it is hopefully no longer smoke and mirrors.
Kim identified two sound conclusions from this on-going approach. This kind of intricate detailed analysis improves segmentation of consumers. It opens richer discussions with their agencies.
With brand being one of our most valuable assets, finding the balance of protecting brand equity while driving immediate growth—all within a very uncertain global economy—is incredibly challenging. However, it is possible with the right mix of proven band + outcome metrics and normative benchmarks to fuel your full funnel marketing plans.
Tsvetan Tsvetkov, senior vice president marketing effectiveness, Nielsen offered the most thought-provoking presentations of the day – “Brand Stability in Unstable Times: Managing Your Marketing for the Long-Term.” Built over many years of data capture and analysis, Nielsen’s resulting insights were used to remind the audience of the sheer importance of a marketing attribute which has often been lost in the social digital and sales worlds of “now” – brand equity. He suggested that marketers can use past performance data and benchmarks to plan and make predictionsfor a very uncertain future. Experience has demonstrated that achieving a greater share of projected growth can be achieved by understanding brand equity, the long-term effects of media and using normative outcomes and benchmarks. Two cornerstones Nielsen has derived: >10% of ROI variation is driven by socioeconomic factors; brand equity drives ~10% of sales. In short, protect your brand by building brand equityby applying data to maneuver through uncertainty.
In what may be a recurring theme over the next 3 days, “media” was often identified as a key ad investment/driver variable along with media ROI’s. It is noted that in the US, with the exception of Out-of-Home (GeoPath markets) and Radio (PPM markets), “viewing,” “hearing” or audience ad “exposure” is not measured and consequently has no data source.
And yet at the recent asi Conference in London, Karen Nelson-Field of Amplified Intelligence wisely stated, “Without viewing (“seeing” or Eyes-On) there will be no chance an ad can work.” Mike Follet, Lumens, emphasized, “It is unreasonable to ask media to guarantee an outcome as they would be taking on risk that they neither control nor are accountable for.”
While these approaches have made great improvements and become more sophisticated according to Sequent Partners, perhaps they are still doing precise things with some rather imprecise (or misunderstood or misrepresented) data? Stay tuned for my Commentary on Day 2.