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Analytics Boost at Initiative

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Interpublic Group's Initiative is launching a new global business intelligence and analytics process designed to drive and assess performance through every phase of client media and marketing campaigns. The company has appointed Jeffrey Graham to the new position of worldwide director of performance to oversee its introduction to clients.
 
Graham is the newest member of Initiative's senior global management team and will report to Richard Beaven, the agency's worldwide CEO.
 
Beaven and Graham have known each other for a number of years, going back to their days at Publicis Groupe's MediaVest. Beaven was an evp in charge of the Procter & Gamble planning account when Graham joined that team in 2004 as svp, director of research and accountability.
 
Two years later, Beaven left for Initiative. In 2007, Graham left for The New York Times, where he led a 30-person team that focused on Web analytics and product development initiatives. Earlier, he was an svp at Dynamic Logic.
 
Commenting on the hire, Beaven (shown right) said: "Making performance central to all phases of the process is a truly differentiating approach in the marketplace." He added that the shop intends to be a leader in marketing performance, so that "clients can be assured of speed, efficiency and best results throughout the communications process."
 
Graham said that ROI and accountability tools have "tended to be after-the-fact measurement. But we feel a big need for measurement to be applied the entire process, just as you apply performance management for any business from beginning to end."
 
And performance measurement process should start, Graham said, with insights "and a framework of what is going to drive purchases and build a business. That means not having insights divorced from what you're trying to do."
 
The agency has developed an end-to-end dashboard system called Planet that will manipulate numerous sources of information, including data provided by the shop and its clients as well as third-party syndicated material to track, among other things, consumer sentiments about brands, marketing mixes, spending tabulations and sales results.
 
Planet, said Graham, "is a place where data and information will flow," and from which the shop can track consumer behavioral and attitudinal responses to client campaigns.
 
The process is designed to be near real-time, said Graham, so that, for example, "clients and agencies don't have to spend $100,000 [on post-campaign customized research] and wait six months for a read on" responses to particular brands and categories.
 
"It's an approach to communication and performance at its heart, and a redefining of performance," said Graham. "If you ask most people in the marketing community what does performance marketing mean, they're going to tell you it's direct response. And what we're saying is that marketing planning, all of it, needs to be about performance and managing that performance every step of the way, whether it's a coupon, a click-through or a brand-building campaign."