Flowers Foods, Richards Group Develop New Sales Attribution Model

Flowers Foods, parent brand of Nature’s Own, Wonder, and Tastykake is sharing insights from a first-to-market program that allows for direct attribution of product sales to upper-funnel display and contextual video impressions.

The campaign was spearheaded by Flowers Foods agency partner The Richards Group along with Catalina and Amobee that enabled the agency to attribute sales from its digital media spend without the costly modeling by directly tying Catalina’s first-party data to ad campaigns.

“Many advertisers invest in very costly attribution models, but many CPG brands don’t have the budgets to afford this type of research,” explains Mary Price, media group head, Richards Group. ”Attributing media directly to sales is always tricky, especially when sales are brick and mortar and not online.”

At its core, this attribution product ensured Richards Group clients’ brand digital ads were tagged with Catalina’s proprietary pixel to enable their Multi-Touch Attribution measurement and in-flight optimization. This pixel ties the buyers that are exposed to the media to their in-store behavior, at the UPC level, to reveal buyer behavior patterns (trial, repeat, or new buyer) in a privacy compliant manner.



Previously, the data was implemented manually within the tagging structure. Now that Catalina will be directly integrated as part of Amobee’s larger in-flight optimization (IFO), all the data and optimizations will be automated within the process, enabling Flowers Foods and The Richards Group to track offline performance in real time.

“Other solutions measure against a specific retailer this solution is able to aggregate sales data from multiple retailers allowing for a clear measurement of digital effectiveness against in-store sales,” says David Lee, programmatic lead, Richards Group. “Additionally, most solutions are historically reporting output only while this product operates in real time allowing for media buying to be optimized on the fly by [the agency].”

To further validate this real-time attribution, the agency concurrently ran a traditional “lift study” using Catalina’s post-campaign measurement reporting that includes data from mass, grocery, convenience, and drug retail channels. Audiences are selected based on historical brand and/or category purchases, with only a portion of an audience exposed to the ads.

Then the exposed group is matched to the best subset of the unexposed group. With a control established, lift is determined by evaluating the difference between the groups.

All Flowers Foods brands experienced positive results with significant return on ad spending from this program, the company said.

Looking forward, The Richards Group expects to use this model for other CPG clients as well as a case study for new business development because the agency is now directly attributing a sales increase to its brand awareness digital media.



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