Specsavers builds platform for marketing optimisation

specsavers_2High street optician Specsavers is turning to data science techniques to transform its marketing mix optimisation strategy and build a detailed understanding of the drivers of media performance for both short-term trading activity and longer-term brand building.

The retail giant has handed the three-year project to global data consultancy Ekimetrics, which will work across online and offline channels, including TV, CRM and Specsavers’ growing digital activity.

As part of the programme, Ekimetrics will help Specsavers to build a data automation infrastructure, designed to provide Specsavers with “one version of the truth” on which to base all marketing planning decisions and respond to a changing landscape and the business questions that arise as a result.

In addition, Specsavers teams will have access to a digital optimisation platform to plan and forecast their marketing spend and expected ROI.

The platform will mark a major step-change in Specsavers’ approach to data-led marketing by ensuring analytical insights are embedded into the organisation’s decision-making process across all inhouse functions. Ultimately, the platform will aim to provide a framework that predicts growth while optimising marketing spend.

The Guernsey-based optician is one of the pioneers of inhousing, having first set up its internal creative function in 1988. It also recently moved its CRM account back to inhouse, after working with Rapp (then Proximity London) since 2016 on the strategic and creative development of the programme.

Specsavers still works with a number of outside agencies, including Brainlabs, iProspect and MG OMD, although its long-running “Should have gone to Specsavers” advertising was also devised inhouse.

Specsavers senior insight manager Iain Stanfield commented: “Ekimetrics’ business-first approach to this substantial transformation programme impressed us from the outset. The team carefully considered all elements, from the roadmap to implementation and training.

“The ability to refresh models more frequently and responsively will help us to establish a stronger marketing effectiveness culture. Marketing contributes significantly to the Specsavers brand position and sales growth.

“We strongly believe that a data-driven approach will help us go beyond our current trajectory of organic growth by anticipating changes in market conditions and consumer behaviour.”

Ekimetrics UK managing director Matt Andrew added: “Specsavers’ marketing campaigns are iconic. The turmoil of recent years has seen huge changes in buying behaviours, which is why forward-looking brands like Specsavers are rightly investing in building up their in-house marketing mix optimisation (MMO) skills.

“MMO is a journey, not a destination, and requires constant evolution to drive lasting change. The team at Specsavers has the long-term vision to realise this and understands how maturing their data analysis can help shift the needle.”

Founded in 2006 by former DDB analytics and marketing performance chiefs Jean-Baptiste Bouzige, François Poitrine and Paul Seguineau, Ekimetrics claims to be one of the world’s largest independent AI and analytics firms with offices on three continents.

It employs more than 320 data experts and industry specialists, and works with Publicis, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Databricks.

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