The path to marketing effectiveness: Let the data talk

In the second of a series of four articles on marketing effectiveness, Marketing and Canon talk to leading global marketers about identifying tangible measures of success.

Rich Pleeth, CMO, GetTaxi

Location: London, UK

Pleeth is responsible for growing the GetTaxi brand in London, New York, Russia and Israel. In his role, Pleeth works closely with users to make getting around town a truly seamless experience. He is responsible for all GetTaxi's acquisition and retention efforts across the globe. He previously led the Google Chrome, Search and brand marketing for the UK, securing Chrome's position as the world's number one browser.

He executed an online and offline Chrome campaign using The Cambridge Satchel Company to excellent effect. He was the lead for Google UK homepage doodles, and launched both the Think Quarterly publication and Google's GetMobile initiative to help brands develop the mobile web.

Before Google, Pleeth worked on NPD at L'Oreal. In his free time he is a keen kitesurfer and adventurous traveller, recently crossing the finish line at the Mongol Rally, where participants race from the UK to Mongolia.

What does marketing effectiveness mean to you?

Marketing has changed so much in the past couple of years. It now plays a pivotal role in organisations to ensure continued growth. The increase in social media and online advertising means marketeers have had to evolve their skills at a pace never seen before. It's not all about page views and eyeballs on creative, now it's all about engagement, figuring out how many consumers are converting, and using the excessive amounts of data that we have at our fingertips to gain more insights.

What is the secret to optimising marketing effectiveness and making it a reality?

The secret is data. There is an astronomical amount of data available to collect, and marketers need to be able to study analytics like never before to understand the valuable insights available. Taking these insights and turning them into reality, and forming a clear strategy, are some of the biggest challenges that marketers face. Those who can translate this data will win.

What's the best measurement tool or technique in your armoury to ensure effectiveness?

For GetTaxi, we collect a lot of data in terms of who has taken their "First Time Ride" and who continues to use our service, and who our best users are. We can then target ads on Facebook and other platforms using these tools to look at particular traits of these people.

What are the biggest obstacles to marketing effectiveness internally and externally?

We have so much data that it can be hard to know where to start. We track many events in our app, and it takes time to analyse and gain the insights. Ultimately, this is a resource problem for us because we are a start-up; having someone devoted to insights would be incredibly beneficial to any organisation.

Another obstacle these days is that people are so afraid to fail, whereas I really encourage failure. It's such a good way to learn. Take risks, and maybe something will come of it, and we can then produce an amazing piece of work. If it fails and we've learned something, that's a big win as well. Just don't make the same mistake twice.

"It’s not about page views and eyeballs on creative, now it’s about engagement"

How can you ensure all customer contact and channels are effective?

This is extremely complex, but we track opening rates of emails versus the time we send them, along with percentage cost and ROI on all the ads we run by times of day and weather-related days (when it's wet or cold people take more taxis).

We also measure the engagement levels of our posts, as well as the times that we send out tweets and Facebook messages. All the data gained is shared with our global teams to ensure that we can become even more effective.

What's the most effective customer channel for your brand?

We have been involved in beta ad programs and saw tremendous results working with Twitter's new app-install platform. It was an incredible success for us.

We achieved an unprecedented click-through rate, which resulted in valuable installations, but these users then became repeat users, which is great to see. You can read more on the Twitter case study.

What is the most important piece of feedback you've got from a campaign and why?

We found that when launching campaigns it's so important to have the right messaging and creative.

We are very much in favour of testing. We test so many different lines of copy and only keep the best ones - it takes time but is so important when it comes to us attracting users.

If you ruled the world, what is the one thing you would change to help you ensure maximum effectiveness and engagement for your marketing?

It's very simple - I would make insights jump out from the excessive amounts of data that we have, so nothing would be

Dominic Grounsell, sales and marketing director, More Th>n

Location: London, UK

Grounsell started his career at Unilever on the marketing graduate training programme before going on to brand management roles with Lux and Dove.

In 2005 he became head of marketing for BT Total Broadband, then moved to Capital One in 2008 to be marketing director. Since 2012 he has worked for RSA and was marketing director for Personal Lines Insurance before taking up his current role.

Beyond his day job, Grounsell is an active member of The Marketing Society and chair of the ISBA Executive Committee. He was the Marketing Society's Young Marketer of the Year 2007.

What's the best measurement tool or technique in your armoury to ensure effectiveness?

There are two I'm particularly proud of: MarketingQED, an econometric platform we license and manage in-house; and MESH real-time experience tracking, which we use to track our brand and campaigns live and in situ via mobile phones.

What are the biggest obstacles to marketing effectiveness internally and externally?

Paucity of data and analytical capability in businesses often means there is a lack of insight around what to improve and why. The changing world of digital can make it hard to drive effectiveness, because most of the time it feels as if we have to run just to stand still.

How can you ensure all customer contact and channels are effective?

Deploying great creative and compelling propositions through well-targeted media is your best bet to ensure that your campaign will be effective. Once live, there are lots of clever ways to evaluate channels that allow us to understand and improve performance. That said, it's impossible to know for sure whether everything you're doing is truly effective - there are too many variables.

"I would love to prove the link between brand health and financial delivery"

What is the most important piece of feedback you've got from a campaign and why?

The results of some of my early campaigns showed that I had made the mistake of designing them around what I thought was cool, and not with the consumer in mind.

If you ruled the world, what is the one thing you would change to help you ensure maximum effectiveness and engagement for your marketing?

I would love to prove the link between brand health and financial delivery. Industry studies suggest a link, but these often lack credibility in a commercial corporate context. This inevitably drives a perception in some areas that building brand is "discretionary", which means it gets seen as a cost rather than an investment.

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