dunnhumby’s media-activation arm will soon rebrand as Connect Media. Jenny Whelan spoke to Danny McGrath, Connect Media Lead, to learn more.
A market leader in customer-data science, dunnhumby will soon be rebranding its media-activation operation as Connect Media. dunnhumby already uses the name Connect Media in a number of different markets around the world, and it is launching in Central Europe in January.
There is more to this than just achieving uniformity. The Irish rebrand is designed to highlight how the team can help both brands and retailers evaluate and understand every step of the consumer’s journey. These learnings can be used to design and execute marketing campaigns to target different shoppers in the most effective ways possible.
Danny McGrath, Connect Media Lead, explains, “The main reason we’re changing is because we know shoppers are evolving. The journey is different to what it was when we were simply dunnhumby media, which was very much based around two things: the Clubcard and point-of-sales material.
“What we’re seeing now is that customers are expecting a through-the-line approach to marketing, especially online,” says McGrath.
He says that today’s shopper will often look at specific products online, check a retailer’s own online channels to see if they have it in stock, and also expect some kind of in-store trigger to prompt the final sale. He also says that it’s important for campaigns to be designed for the maximum effect online, as well as in store, rather than just one or the other.
“It’s that type of thing that we want to focus on more. It’s not just activating in store or activating digitally – we’re attempting to bring together campaigns that go from the discovery stage to the purchase stage, and even the decision about whether or not to buy something.”
McGrath explains that being able to follow and think about the overall customer journey “enables us to learn and evolve, and change the way we approach things”.
There is good reason for this, as McGrath points out that there is now a customer demand for brands to be able to speak to them directly and in a personalised fashion across the shopper journey. This is where dunnhumby’s media-activation arm, soon to be Connect Media, will really be able to shine when it comes to planning campaigns.
dunnhumby has been known as a leader in activating campaigns for some time.
McGrath notes, “We are brilliant at that. If you come to us with a plan, we have excellent compliance rates, and we’re very proud of that.”
He adds, however, that the company is even better at taking insights from the huge amount of data to which it has access, coming up with a plan and executing it, as well as reviewing it afterwards.
“We really want to utilise that USP,” he says, “so instead of just being known as an activation company, we want to be known as the plan, activate and review company, which can then inform future planning.”
Planning For Success
This renewed focus on planning along with activating promises to be a boon for dunnhumby/Connect Media’s clients.
McGrath explains how Connect Media, with dunnhumby can help, saying, “There are two areas that give us a unique advantage in planning. We have our traditional Clubcard database, which gives us all the insights around the shopper – what they have done in the past and how they have responded to previous activity. With this data, we can also predict a pattern. We can understand how a customer is shopping and then see what their next step is likely to be.”
He notes that being able to see these patterns can help with the important area of consumer trends, saying, “One of the more interesting applications of that is in looking at the ‘evolution of taste’. If a customer gets into a category like beer, they might start with the more traditional beers you would see, and then they start to dabble in craft options, and trying new brands.”
By understanding the ways in which these consumers are becoming more open to other beer brands, both the team at Connect Media and the brand will be able to play off key USPs and whether those are related to quality or price, to effectively suggest to the shopper, why not try this next?
Secondly, Connect Media has an invaluable planning tool with its Shopper Thoughts panel. On this, McGrath says, “What we are now doing is a step change in how we work with this solution. What we usually do is use it to ask a consumer what they buy and why they might buy it, and build on that to understand the when, where and how as well.
“Now we’re starting to ask them more about their media consumption and behaviour, so it’s not just about what attracts them in store, but it looks right across the customer journey.
“One of the unique things we’ll be able to offer is media-consumption data by category or brand, not just overall market data. We can look at one brand versus another within the same category and say, ‘You actually have completely different target markets.’ It may overlap in a small way, but where those shoppers consume their media and where they see advertisements may be very different channels.”
Accurately measuring the success of a campaign is arguably as important as planning and activating it to begin with, and aside from initial value sales, there are many ways of looking at this.
When it comes to the review process, Connect Media doesn’t just need to rely on case studies. Instead, it can use its data to give feedback on individual campaigns. On this, McGrath explains that there are three components involved in creating these evaluations: impressions, value-sales impact, and customer response.
Impressions refer to how many times the brand’s media is seen. It can see, for example, if it was activated across multiple channels, and were customers who saw it on two or more channels likely to buy the product? (McGrath notes, “From our evaluations, the answer is yes.”)
Looking at the value-sales impact reveals whether or not the media campaign generates additional sales for the brand.
McGrath says, “We compare your activation versus a representative control sample to measure the difference. On average, our campaigns are generating uplift of 10%, with multichannel campaigns reaching 12%.”
Finally, the customer-response component asks if the brand gained new customers through its media campaign. It also examines a campaign’s impact on weight of purchase and the subsequent repeat-purchase rate of customer types. This can be measured in comparison to a control group, to understand the genuine results.
McGrath says, “With our evaluations, we can benchmark every campaign against the average results overall, or for a specific category. This allows us to inform plans for future campaigns, as we can take best practice from across categories and aim to improve a client’s results, depending on their objective.”
What it boils down to is this: Connect Media will give its clients greater insights and support than ever before.
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