Silos Brimming with Data
Since the dawning of the information age, Brand Managers have been inundated with reporting from a myriad of different agencies and independent data vendors. Intuitively, one might think an organization with more data (or more raw materials) is inherently better off than an organization with less. But the best marketers know it makes no difference if their silos are brimming with data or with grain – the success of any enterprise depends on its ability to efficiently process materials and distribute a salient product.
Data, much like grain, cannot be consumed from inside a silo. So in the case of the Brand Manager, it begs the question how can a company’s data supply be intelligently synthesized and made actionable in a business context?
The Connection Index
The Marketing Intelligence practice at Organic found the answer to the dilemma of the data-inundated Brand Manager…but it wasn’t simple. The solution – known as the “Connection Index” – is a proprietary application of tried and true advanced mathematical tools (like statistical data reduction, multi-variate factor analysis, and other quantitative voodoo) in the digital space. In essence, it’s a custom-modeled encapsulation of several KPIs baked into a singular measure of significance.
At its most basic level, the algorithm evaluates interactions between a vast set of fast-moving digital data sources, and determines which channels drive the most intense consumer connection with the brand. Ultimately, the algorithm produces an easily-tracked score that can be used to map connection to a brand throughout marketing campaign cycles.
The Proof is in The Pudding
Although the product was never positioned as a full-blown forecasting tool or marketing mix model, clients wanted to understand how it could be used to inform budget allocation decisions and future optimization initiatives. At first, the team looked for correlations between brand sales and digital engagement. But it didn’t stop there. Organics’s Advanced Analytics team decided to undertake a Granger Causality study, and were able to demonstrate a causal relationship between the Connection Index and fluctuations in future brand sales.
This causal relationships now serves as the foundation for the CI’s forecasting capabilities, something the team plans to continually recalibrate over time.
The Holy Grail of Digital Marketing
In the words of a Senior Brand Manager for a $20B CPG company that recently purchased the product, “this is the Holy Grail”. For the first time, the company had been able to directly attribute the impact of its online marketing initiatives upon offline sales. Additionally, the brand team was able to leverage the model outside the digital realm to inform its CRM strategy and reprioritize consumer segmentations for outbound email campaigns.
Looking ahead, as brands invest more and more resources in diversifying their digital ecosystems, they’ll have increased demand for tools that help make sense of the millions of interactions occurring between paid/earned/owned channels. And in turn, solutions like the Connection Index will continue to gain traction due to their real-time predictive properties and consumer insight.
For more information and a detailed analysis of the Connection Index, please visit Organic SVP of Strategy, Media & Analytics Steve Kerho’s Fast Company column here.
Ben Kaufman is an Analytics Manager at Organic