A major shift in the world of marketing has been occurring over the past couple of years, and now that 2018 has begun, the trend is more clear than ever. More marketing firms are realizing that a singular focus on the justification for ads isn’t enough for the modern market and customer. What’s needed is a focus on consumer data and marketing effectiveness. This comes at a time when more than a few companies have been reviewing their marketing budgets to determine where their money is going and how effective their investment has been so far.

One way that companies are restructuring in order to maximize the bang for their buck is by creating marketing effectiveness units. For example, insurance company Direct Line Group has a marketing effectiveness team of four people with backgrounds in analytics and econometrics—in addition to the broader insight function team at the company. “What we are doing is bringing together our brand metrics, all our tracking, with our econometrics so we are really able to look through the [long- and short-term] lenses,” says Ann Constantine, head of insight and marketing effectiveness at Direct Line. Even tech giant Samsung has an effectiveness team of two people: one to review econometrics and modeling, and the other to review digital activations and capability.

Beverage company Diageo is another example of a business wholeheartedly embracing the change to customer-driven data collection and implementation of more effective marketing practices. In 2016, the company launched their Catalyst software—a program designed to provide instant data to marketers to help them make timely strategic and planning decisions—and within 18 months, all 1,200 of the senior executives and marketers had been trained on how to use the new program.

Andrew Geoghegan, the head of global consumer planning at Diageo, stated that the purpose of these changes was to “creat[e] a culture and ways of working and thinking. What we have done is enhance something that would be a core competence in every great marketer. The ability to turn strategy into execution is something that is enduring, but what is new is our ability to put micro-level analytics into that workflow and conversation.”

It’s exciting to see the focus shift to customer-driven data in marketing, and it’ll be interesting to see how this trend progresses in the months to come.

Featured image: Marketing Stratagy by Unknown, Blue Diamond Gallery

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