Gone are the days of developing a campaign based strictly on gut instinct and then waiting to see the results, for better or for worse. Opportunities now abound to access information on consumer habits and preferences, product acceptance and campaign effectiveness. Through loads of data – and smart interpretation –critical media and creative decisions can be made in a more informed manner than ever before. The trick is to find the right data, understand what it means and then put it to its best use. We talked to Luckie’s Director of Insights, Nicole Redeker, who shed light on that process in the context of marketing and human behavior.
Director of Insights is one of those titles that may require a bit of an explanation. What’s your typical answer when someone asks you what you do?
Our job is to understand our client’s objectives so that we can capitalize on the appropriate opportunities for data capture, curation and strategic analysis for critical insights that drive better business decisions and opportunities for cross-channel initiatives and optimizations. The best part is that I get to lead a team of passionate, multi-disciplined analysts whose individual contributions and collaborative input fuel an ongoing and informed relationship with our clients and their stakeholders. I’ve always believed in fostering an open information and communication policy with each other and with our clients, because it gets everyone thinking analytically without forcing them to fit within the confines of a spreadsheet or a dashboard. I like to see our clients and our people get excited about the data.
Have you always been analytical by nature or is it a skill that you’ve had to work to develop in school and in practice?
My friends and family would validate that I’ve always been analytical by nature. Since curiosity motivates me – in school, at home or in my professional career – I’ve always liked to get to the bottom of things. I’m adamant about starting with a clear objective and then working with everyone on how we reach it. I put great emphasis on finding the facts that are fundamental to the big picture when making any decision in life. My graduate school focus on supply chain and my professional experience continue to hone my analytical nature and my skill set to align with the evolution of digital marketing, media and technology.
Where does your role usually fall along the continuum of campaign development?
Ideally, analytics and insights should span the campaign development continuum. At the beginning of campaign planning, data insights are critical for identifying target audiences, setting goals and benchmarks, and driving messaging and media strategies. Throughout the life of a campaign, my team drives performance optimization through reporting and testing strategies. Post-campaign, analytics is critical to helping quantify campaign success and identifying key findings for future campaign planning.
How do you relate to, interact with and share insight with other agency departments, such as account planning, creative and media, in order to help shape specific recommendations to clients?
Analytics is a team sport. When everyone pulls together and objectives are aligned, the results can be remarkable. That is why we aim to integrate analytics throughout the campaign development process, allowing the analytics team to help other departments gain a deeper understanding of their clients’ business needs and customer segments at a more granular level. Our creative and media teams work hand-in-hand with the analytics team to identify insights that are relevant to the business problem at hand. Demographics, needs, behaviors and context are all available to inform the creative process, allowing other internal teams to generate ideas based on a more comprehensive customer understanding. Throughout the campaign, the analytics team shares performance trends and findings with internal teams to help drive optimizations and identify where strategic adjustments are needed.
“We aim to integrate analytics throughout the campaign development process, allowing the analytics team to help other departments gain a deeper understanding of their clients’ business needs and customer segments at a more granular level.”
At the end of the day, analytics is not the end result. Unless the findings are applied to improve a business result, the effort has not achieved its goal. That is why the larger team is encouraged to spend time brainstorming about what the analytical results suggest and how this information can impact the bottom line. Getting to this end result is often a lot harder than doing the analysis, but it is the ultimate goal.
What are some of the tools or processes that you use to optimize campaigns for maximum impact?
Better performance will mean different things to different clients. But it will almost always mean that different types of data should be isolated, aggregated and analyzed, depending on the specific case. Due to the variety of our client portfolio, we leverage a multitude of different tools and processes.
We believe that the discovery process is critical to all analytics work. By investing early in the process on data discovery, we are able to ensure that we go into an analysis with a full understanding of the data points and drivers, as well as having identified any additional data sources that can be leveraged to increase the value of the analytics output.
Additionally, we have found that individual level data is critical to truly uncovering consumer behaviors and drivers. Therefore, we have built several custom solutions in-house that allow us to capture more sophisticated customer data across multiple channels. These solutions are coupled with standard statistical packages such as SAS and SPSS, digital platforms such as Google Analytics and DoubleClick, and reporting platforms such as Tableau.
“Individual level data is critical to truly uncovering consumer behaviors and drivers. Therefore, we have built several custom solutions in-house that allow us to capture more sophisticated customer data across multiple channels.”
In order to foster a culture where performance is key, campaign data and insights are shared regularly with internal stakeholders through shared reporting dashboards, as well as cross-team insight discovery meetings.
What’s an example of a complex business problem that you’ve helped solve?
When working in dermatology, we had a prescription acne treatment franchise as a client who was dealing simultaneously with a new product launch and the expiration of a patent on one of its top products. We were challenged with driving trial and adoption of the new product, as well as shifting customers of the expiring product over to other franchise products prior to patent expiration.
For the mature product in the franchise, we leveraged sales rep call data and physician prescription data to segment physicians. Through analysis, we were able to identify which franchise product offered the best switch opportunity for each physician. That knowledge then provided the sales force with key message points during sales calls.
To support the new product launch, we applied user-generated response data to model where a consumer most likely was on the treatment lifecycle to customize messaging and touch points in order to achieve maximum impact from the client’s CRM program. Within one year, we were able to accelerate the time of a consumer’s treatment lifecycle by 400 percent, resulting in faster adoption of the new product, which allowed our client to meet its first-year sales goals within nine months.
It would seem that your job is more about helping pull the audience in rather pushing the product or service out. Is that accurate, or can it work both ways?
It definitely works both ways. Through data and analytics, we can better understand our customers, which allows us to create more relevant messaging and more targeted media plans. That, in turn, makes us more effective and efficient at reaching our target audience. On the other side, my team is also heavily focused on testing and optimization, which allows us to identify ways to increase conversion paths and ultimately sell more of a client’s products or services.
“The Luckie 7” is an interview series in which we sit down with people at Luckie to talk about areas of expertise and what it means to be part of a human experience agency. Want more from #LuckieHumans? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.