Latest Case Studies - Holmes & Cook - award winning experts in evaluating marketing effectiveness 

Should marketing funds be directed into above the line or below the line activity at certain times of the year? 
Primary questions 
 
Whether their large spend on direct marketing was providing value for money or whether it would be better to divert funds into above-the line media? 
 
Which media should be used at which time of year? 
 
Whether consumers shopped across categories in response to particular pieces of communication? 
 
Approach >> 
Modelled sales for four main departments and established how each had responded to the various activities. Given the scale of the Christmas sales peak, it was also crucial to determine the messages most likely to have the broadest impact at Christmas and how long those effects lasted, so that Christmas media could be timed for maximum effect. 
 
Applying the models >> 
 
Models mounted in Excel based planning tool. The client's media agency use it to run scenarios and inform their planning team. As competitor data was not particularly comprehensive, the client has used, and is using the model to track actual sales against model expectation to provide a warning of periods when sales are underperforming relative to where they should be given performance of known factors (media, weather, promotions etc.) 
 
 
Which has a higher rate of return, media advertising or trade activity? 
 
Primary questions 
 
How the rates of return compared from media advertising and from trade activity? 
 
Were promotions particularly profitable in any one of the key accounts and were particular types of promotions especially effective? 
 
Approach >> 
 
Modelled sales at total brand level, product level and for leading key accounts. The brand level analysis enabled us to understand the overall impact of promotions (net of switching between sizes or key accounts), whilst the other models enabled an examination of the profitability of particular actions and identified the contribution played by specific promotions. 
 
Applying the models >> 
 
National accounts teams able to use results to help them plan a more effective promotional implementation with individual accounts and to ensure that they achieved the necessary requirements. The marketing department uses the models to inform pricing strategy, media budgets and for setting and auditing brand targets. 
 
Evaluation of an integrated campaign to understand what works and what doesn't. 
Primary questions 
 
How have various communication messages affected particular Key Performance Indicators? 
 
Which are best at which job and which movements in brand health measures translate to business results? 
 
How does an integrated campaign work? 
 
Approach >> 
 
Initially awareness and consideration were modelled until there was enough sales data to draw reliable conclusions as to sales effects. Models have been updated and new models have been added over time to investigate different aspects of business, brand health and customer satisfaction and to see whether these can be meaningfully linked. As time has passed and the models have proved themselves, more complex analysis has been possible and more difficult questions have been addressed. 
 
Applying the models >> 
 
Because of the high level of integration of this campaign. It has always been necessary to use econometrics in conjunction with other research e.g. brand and advertising tracking. This has produced a good understanding of not only which messages are working but why and how. The models have shown which messages have produced lasting effects on sales and which have been more transient. 
 
How effective was a TV advertising campaign? Did added ambient media activity improve the effect? 
Primary Questions 
 
Did the TV campaign in question have the desired effect? 
 
Did the regions of the country which also undertook ambient media campaigns benefit especially? 
 
Approach >> 
 
The modelling was at regional level. Regions were classified on a range of criteria in order to weight the media received. The regions were then matched and paired thus enabling us to filter out a variety of macro effects and idenitfy any media impacts. 
 
Applying the models >> 
 
The models enabled us to quantify both TV and ambient effects and assess whether this had been an effective use of funds. They informed media planning for the second phase of the campaign which addressed multiple issues. When we subsequently evaluated the secondary campaign, the sheer complexity would have made it impossible to identify a communications effect had we not used the results from the first campaign to ensure that there were differential weights across media and regions. In this second round of analysis we also examined displacement effects i.e. the extent to which communication for one issue adversely affects another. 
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