Three Brands That Used Data to Transform Their Media Strategies

Creating efficiencies

Logistics Drive
New Business

UPS is a numbers culture that quantifies virtually everything. Its trucks, for example, almost never make a left turn unless they absolutely have to, saving the parcel company millions of dollars each year by eliminating the time drivers have to wait at intersections.

The brand brings that same operational rigor to measuring the performance of its communications budget. After Ogilvy won the UPS business in 2009, its direct and digital unit OgilvyOne created a process to track performance metrics and attempt to tie the right proportion of success to specific actions—no easy feat given the longer sales cycles of B2B marketers.

UPS wanted to promote its capabilities beyond just shipping and opted to target small and medium-sized businesses needing help managing across their supply chains. OgilvyOne launched a “We Love Logistics” positioning for the brand whose centerpiece was a new research methodology that matched UPS’ brand-tracking survey to sales.

UPS was able to see what happened to shipping volume among customers who said they liked brand attributes more after seeing an ad. UPS was also able to analyze the sequence of events, beginning with ad exposure, subsequent willingness to take a sales call and purchase. The agency created a dashboard, UPS Live, to put in place tracking mechanisms that let the company see preliminary results of a campaign quickly. The Web-enabled dashboard integrates 81 data sources, supplying 300 metrics covering every channel UPS uses in the campaign.

Dimitri Maex, managing director of OgilvyOne and author of a recent book about data called Sexy Little Numbers, understands why marketers are easily overwhelmed by the barrage of real-time information.

“There’s a lot of dashboard fatigue where every vendor a client talks to will have a dashboard that looks pretty and claims to solve all their effectiveness and efficiency problems,” he says. “The technology around dashboards is great, but technology itself is never going to solve the issue. What is crucial is not the technology—it’s the planning for measurement. Most companies don’t spend enough time on the planning; they go straight to actual measurement, the data source and the tools. You need to have a conversation with all the stakeholders about what you are trying to achieve and then create a hierarchy of marketing and communication objectives, the metrics needed to meet those objectives and the tools for measurement.”

OgilvyOne’s analysis of UPS’ latest global campaign revealed that eight months after its 2010 launch, the ads drove more than 20 percent of incremental shipping revenue among target customers. What’s more, 77 percent of UPS employees said that since the campaign’s launch, they understood that using logistics, aside from pricing, is a driver of new business.

“It’s typical these days because you’re using so many different platforms and channels in your communications. All of them are generating their little pockets of data. The growth in data sources is going be exponential in the next couple of years because there is a lot of fragmentation,” Maex says. “That’s the easy piece, and it’s what everyone talks about in Big Data. But to me, it’s not that interesting. The hardest piece is making sure that what you’re tracking actually matters and ladders up to your objectives.”

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