Festival Intelligence: Winning the race for relevance through data-driven marketing | M&M Global

Festival Intelligence: Winning the race for relevance through data-driven marketing

As the global marketplace becomes increasingly more complex and customers demand a more personalised experience, data-driven marketing is a no-brainer. But data alone is simply a collection of numbers. Only by analysing this data and turning it into real, actionable insights that power and inform a campaign, can marketers truly benefit from the data revolution. 

A 2011 study of 179 companies by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson found that those who used data-driven decision making within their businesses performed 5-6% better than their peers. Therefore, it’s clear that it’s a valuable problem to solve. A more recent Forbes study showed that companies who adopt data-driven marketing are more likely to have an advantage over the competition and increase profitability, by as much as six times year-over-year.

But with so much data now so readily available at marketers’ fingertips, one of the biggest challenges remains to be around knowing what to do with that data. Bringing together data from a variety of sources (sales, marketing, market research, digital and beyond) and integrating that into your marketing function does not come without difficulties but when used in the right way, great analytics can reveal and achieve wonderous things.

“If you look at data today it’s often stale, sitting in different databases and it’s hard to activate it,” said Jacob Lachmann, CEO of AudienceProject, speaking at the Festival of Media Global earlier this year. “And really today it’s not about finding data but figuring out what data to use. Data = dollars but for data to equal dollars, you need to be able to activate your data. You need to step into someone else’s data ecosystem to bring that data to life.”

Shortlisted entries for the ‘Best Campaign led by Data’ category at the M&M Global Awards 2018 uncover a few recurring trends around how data is being used to create effective marketing campaigns. This specific category was dominated by the FMCG, automotive and travel sectors with Europe and North America leading the charge.

The most notable thread stitched through all the entries was: Relevance. Data is the fundamental component to creating relevant and customised experiences, so it goes without saying that creating a strong strategy that centres on relevance with content, as opposed to just creating content, will resonate and lead to better customer experiences.

The wonderful benefit of digital means that marketers can consistently monitor and optimise how a campaign is performing, giving a much clearer picture of what’s working and what isn’t and enabling them to prioritise both messaging and expenditure in the right channels. Taking into account not just accurate and real-time data but understanding this data will help achieve optimal efficiency.

Another consistent element of the shortlisted entries was how data is being utilised to achieve sales objectives. Identifying data and opportunities to leverage for cross-selling, combining online and offline data to match audiences, along with historical data, third-party data, external triggers, contextual and behavioural data allows for much greater targeting and, therefore, relevance.

John Dawson, MD of ScanmarQED, says: “We know that data-driven decision making is really impactful and valuable. We have a tremendous amount of data and our industry is kind of at the forefront of what’s possible with data. The speed at which we are able to move data around and to bid on advertising opportunities, we’re pushing those technological boundaries but there’s still a tremendous amount that we can do with the data. We need to be a bit braver and ask: what can we do with the data we have? Can we test it? Can we learn from it? Then, we can achieve more.”

Consumers are calling out for personal and relevant communications and relationships with brands. By being smarter with data and digging a little deeper to uncover the real insights, there is a huge opportunity to increase relevance with users, boost brand perception, ROI and, ultimately, sales.


We put the spotlight on two M&M Global Awards 2018 shortlisted entries, which highlight this trend:

Aveeno Data-Driven Masterbrand | Aveeno | J3 NY | US

Shortlisted for: Best Campaign led by Data, The Effectiveness Award


Although AVEENO® is one of the largest players in the skincare category with segments spanning from body lotion to haircare there wasn’t much cross-portfolio purchasing. In fact, despite positive growth for the brand year over year, 81% of AVEENO® buyers were only purchasing in one segment and only certain product lines were leading the pack. 

In order to generate continued growth for the brand, agency J3 NY needed to concentrate specifically on franchise buyers, driving retention and loyalty with these core consumers to ensure all AVEENO® products were top of mind. It would look to the data – specifically loyalty card data. From this information, it could make messaging more relevant and customised to franchise buyers based on their previous shopping habits. It would then leverage this data to understand what buyers weren’t purchasing and serve addressable creative to make those products more relevant for them.

Once the audiences were defined, the agency layered addressability into the creative to customise the messaging not only based on the audience segment, but also based on real world triggers like UV index, wake up/bedtime routines, retailer locations, FSIs in market, season, and contextual environment. Budget was spread across desktop and mobile channels and in tandem with over 13,000+ pieces of unique and engaging addressable creative to launch a comprehensive media and creative strategy.


Toyota Hybrid: Not a Moment to Lose | Toyota | The&Partnership | Europe

Shortlisted for: Best Campaign led by Data


The car buying journey is always complex, and hybrid adds many additional questions. To address this varied challenge, The&Partnership used m[Insights], GroupM’s proprietary digital insights platform, fused with a bespoke hybrid survey of 10,000 people across Europe to provide an in-depth look at hybrid consideration and barriers. This offered the best of both worlds: identifying the underlying attitudinal reasons for purchase or rejection that behavioural data alone cannot surface, whilst combining this with a real-time view of the scale & behaviour of each cohort.

To bring hybrid out of its niche, it had to update perceptions. While this became the foundation of the creative brief, the agency was also clear that it didn’t need a traditional campaign, it needed a creative platform with a far broader suite of creative assets, to address all the hybrid barriers identified earlier. The creative ideas would familiarise hybrid, by shining a light on the many and various people who had already made the choice to drive one, a desirable, yet accessible movement. It was summed up with a simple statement: We Choose Hybrid.

Within the creative platform the agency developed assets to meet each of the respective audience tasks: relevance; education; leadership; and conversion. To fully understand the real-world scale of the communications challenge, it mapped Toyota intent against hybrid intent. This created a simple set of quadrants that held a powerful amount of audience data: real-time behavioural scale supported the rationale for both media & production investment, and the barriers to or reasons for adoption directly led to the roles for communications.

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