What’s really important?

Lucy Vadasz: 900286226

In research conducted by Mintz and Currim in 2013, out of 438 managers only 25% reported on 8 of 10 marketing-mix decisions (2013, p. 27). Merely 16% reported on price promotions and only 10% reported on distribution decisions.

But with distribution decisions and price promotions so relevant in developing an integrated marketing campaign or pitching for marketing budgets, why are managers neglecting to include these insights in their reports? It’s because it’s time consuming, costly and frankly many marketers don’t know where to start.

Marketing metrics are difficult to report on for many reasons:

  • Brand equity isn’t measurable on the back of a campaign, it takes years to build. Brand scores and customer perception surveys take time to implement and evaluate, as well as $$$ (see brand equity composition in figure 1)
  • Above the line (ATL) advertising is difficult to measure. Marketers have tried trackable URLS and the fleeting scannable QR code. In reality, Google is the primary online entry point for consumers therefore direct response is often not attributable.
  • Digital data is complex and often not easily to translate into dollars. Formulas are available but not watertight and calculations take time and dollars. Additionally, online conversions may be missed and not attributed.

Figure 1: Aaker and Joachimsthaler 2000, p. 31

However, before looking at what should be reported on in marketing eyes, I want to consider why are we reporting? and who is our target audience?

Ideally, the metrics used in reports depend on the user of the data. So, when marketing management is reporting to board-level, marketers may choose to represent financial data such as Return on Investment (ROI), Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) and Return on Customer (ROC) (Ambler & Roberts 2009, p. 734). However, when digital marketing agencies are reporting to their clients, it may include marketing metrics, such as market share, loyalty and share of customers (Mintz & Currim 2013, p. 29).

So how would you demonstrate the value of digital marketing to your CEO?

10 years ago, your Chief Executive Officer (CEO) may rolled their eyes or cited wastage should you wish to invest in digital advertising. Now, CEO’s sit in meetings requesting spend on digital marketing, although their knowledge of the acronyms is often dubious.

cartoon-of-meeting-business-boss-says-let-us-explore-our-digital-options-eh1et8Today, digital marketing and social media plays a fundamental part in integrated marketing campaigns, not to mention ‘always on’ strategies.

But why now? What’s the benefit and why the demand?

It’s because it’s highly measurable AND allows for two-way flow of communication, otherwise known as a conversation with your customers.

Highly measurable

Impressions, page views, time spent on page are a few arbitrary inclusions in many social media reports. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean much to anyone, let alone the budgetary decision makers.

What CEO’s really want to know:

  • Conversion rate: although this doesn’t always indicate a sale, it shows movement down the sales funnel.
  • Channel source: where your customers are coming from. This helps to validate spend within your marketing strategy.
  • Lifetime value: as the old saying goes, it costs five times more to attract a new patient than retain one.
  • Marketing ROI: proving that what you spent on marketing can be returned through sales.

(Alley Watch 2015)

It’s about destination to sale

“Half of executives are not informed, engaged or aligned with their company’s social media strategies in any capacity,” Altimeter Group ‘The Evolution of Social Business.’

Account-level view of metrics through to conversion – this is what is important to CEO’s – company growth! Figure 2 shows that while traffic to site is important and content quality is vital in motivating users, this is expected success. The CEO wants know the outcome of the marketing efforts – warm leads, conversions and sales. It’s the end outcome that impacts the businesses bottom line.


Figure 2: Alley Watch 2015

So what does that mean for marketers?

So how do we prove to CEOs or the senior leaders writing our budgets that digital marketing is necessary:

  • Reframe digital reports
  • Connect social plan to organisational strategy
  • Encourage involvement in social engagement

There is no one-size-fits-all for marketing analysis… when it comes to reviewing performance, the analysis depends on the marketing mix and developing a cluster of metrics to suit.


Aaker, D. A., & Joachimsthaler, E 2000. Brand leardership. New York: The free press.

Ambler, T and Roberts, J 2008, Assessing marketing performance: Don’t settle for a silver metric. Journal of Marketing Management, 24, 733-750.

Mintz, O and Currim, I 2013, What drives managerial use of marketing and financial metrics and does metric use affect performance of marketing-mix activities? Journal of Marketing, 77, 17-40.

Webber, C and Solis B 2006, The Evolution of Social Business’ Altimeter Group, United States.

Alley Watch ‘6 Online Marketing Metrics You Need to Know’, 1 December 2015, retrieved 27 September 2016 <http://www.alleywatch.com/2015/12/6-online-marketing-metrics-need-know/>


“There’s no value in selling things anymore,” – Phil Knight

Nike is no stranger to selling a lifestyle. ‘Just do it!’ has been the manta and tagline behind the brand since its inception in 1964, 52 years ago. Nike’s new softer approach, Better for it aims to inspire women by uniting subcultures, celebrating insecurities and helping women be the best that they can be. Nike’s 2015 commercial, Better for it, beautifully captures the inner dialogue of women’s internal struggle with exercise, self-criticism and ultimately the celebration for the achievements.

#betterforit is about the power of women to motivate and push each other to the next level. The advert follows a young female gym-goer critiquing the size of her arms, another one intimidated by the models/actresses on the exercise bike in front of her and an aspiring marathon runner pushing through mental doubt in the early stages of a run. Nike’s actual product range is never mentioned. Its products portfolio ranging from running shoes, to outer wear, lounge wear, sporting equipment is never mentioned. This brand doesn’t ‘sell’ those tangible goods, it ‘sells’ fitness, confidence and motivation.

The beauty of story telling

Nike has a gift in telling compelling stories in an emotive, authentic, genuine fashion. That’s how we as humans communicate – why would brand communication be any different?

If you visit one of Nike’s ten Instagram accounts, you experience the brand story pretty much told exclusively through online video (OLV). The stories are simple and direct, honest and deliver beautiful imagery – click here for six other great storytelling examples.

Why women?

Nike uses its own customer-centred fitness app to learn more about its market, cleverly and intentionally motivating brand advocacy, driving profit and gaining the competitive advantage. Nike+ Running is used primarily by females, accounting for 54% of users, who have logged more than 50 million runs covering 170 million miles.

Nike’s decision to move away from the male dominated basketball culture can be attributed towards the growing demand of the women’s footwear and apparel industry. Nike’s women business is expected to reach $11 billion in revenue by the end of 2020, compared to $5.7 billion in 2015.


The Nike swoosh

The shape depicts an arc of movement and speed and is now one of the most recognised logos in the world. Even from its inception, there was nothing product-focused about Nike. From mythological eras, Nike is the Winged Goddess of Victory. The associations are flight, victory and speed. While the brand still represents these things, it now carries with it affiliations of gym class, brunches and river strolls. Nike founder, Phil Knight famously said, “there is no value in making things anymore”… it’s all about the lifestyle. Nike’s logo is a symbol of athleticism and fitness – it says “I’m motivated” without having to prove exercise.


Brand behaviour

Nike is one of the most effective communicators of the holistic sporting goods range. Its Air Max range is for the casual cool dude, the Flyknit for the stroll to the yoga studio and the Pegagus for those who actually want to run.

Nike connects and interacts with its consumers through multi-channel experiences. Their social media accounts encourages brand advocacy. Its apps create subcultures of fit women uniting through online forums such as Nike+ Training Club. Taking the online subcultures into reality, Nike has recently launched #betterforit women’s events: marathons, group workout series and yoga to further connect with its users and create brand champions for life.

The competitive edge

You’re a Ford or a Holden, a Vegemite or Marmite and a Nike or Adidas. What Nike has done better than its competitors is connect with its customers and create an aspirational lifestyle. In reality, Nike and Adidas aren’t dissimilar – they both design, create and sell athletic goods. In fact, when it comes to the Boston Marathon shoe count, almost 50% of competitors were running in Asics or Brooks.


Nike doesn’t talk about its products, services, growing number of smartphone apps or millions of dollars spend on R&D. Nike has the insight not to interrupt online users but to grow with them, train with them and inspire them. The brand has evolved almost seamlessly, promoting the benefits not features, helping customers enhance their lives, not through buying products but by buying into the lifestyle.

Author: Lucy Vadasz (900286226)

Distinguishing the good from the Sh**z

Vinomofo has become the type of brand that you want to have a laugh with, share your favourite wine with and importantly buy wine from. Since its relaunch in 2013, Vinomofo has not only built an exclusive wine club and cut out the middleman, it has obtained your trust, became your friend and also made buying and reordering wine easy.

How do I know what the ‘Fo to buy?
The wine world shouldn’t intimidating! It should be the entrée to your roast lamb by the fire… But with almost 2,500 wine producers Australia-wide and 30 billion litres of wine produced worldwide, you can understand why consumers are experiencing ‘purchase anxiety’.

Founders of Vinomofo, Justin Dry and Andre Eikmeier, understands the complexity when it comes to buying wine. Influenced by inflated prices and a saturated market, they decided narrow the consideration set themselves and help to make the purchase phase really easy (Iacobucci, 2014). These self-proclaimed ‘wine geeks’ only sell wines that they love, hence the beautiful amalgamation of reducing consumer choice and trusting credible opinion.

Author of ‘The Paradox of Choice’, Barry Schwartz likens the dreaded feeling of choosing between the 2,500 wine labels with paralysis. With the abundance of choices in the market, it produces paralysis rather than liberation. And with so many options to choose from, people find it difficult to choose at all (refer to the 8:00 min mark).

(I won’t go into it here but Schwartz goes on to explain that even if we manage to overcome paralysis, we often end up less satisfied with the result, even if it were a good one. This is due to fear of what could’ve been (opportunity costs) and escalations of expectations.)

Too many grapes in the bottle and making it easy…
No longer are bottle shops boutique corner stores. Bottle shops have become Bunnings-esk, stocked with wines from all over the globe, every region, vintage, grape and part blend. Broniarczyk & Griffin add to Schwatz’s point that while large assortments of goods offers freedom of choice and the opportunity to experience new product, these same factors make it near impossible to formulate and back a decision.

So how does Vinomofo do it? It offers you the ‘Magnificent 7 box set’ or entry into their membership clubs, making the purchase consideration really easy.

These exclusive clubs, ‘the cube’ or ‘The Original Club’, means that you really don’t need to think at all! As a member of The Original Club, you’ll get a dozen hand-selected vino – red, white, or mixed – curated to your personal taste, delivered free of charge to your door every 3 months.


A blend of your own
In 2014, Forbes Magazine said that personalisation was going to shape consumer behaviour in the years to come. “Personalization has been taken out of the hands and tastes of consumers. This is not just bespoke you select – it is also bespoke that selects you,” (Barkworth, 2014).

Smart technology has made it possible for Vinomofo to provide a personalised experience to its now 400,000 members. Earlier this year, cofounder Justin Dry, spoke with GQ Magazine about the companies custom-built software which uses a ‘purchase propensity model’ to help determine what a visitor to its site will most likely want to hear about or buy online.

“All our offers are tailored to browsing history, purchasing behaviour, where customers are visiting on the site, what they are looking at,” Dry said.

Instead of sending customers generic ‘deal a day’ emails, Vinomofo can push its selection of wine offers out to the people they are suited for. If you like a Sauvignon Blanc, chances are you’ll hear if there’s any deals on good ones.

The website, likewise, adapts itself to individual users. With each visit, click or scroll, Vinomofo’s technology is working to better the customer experience.


(How do they know I like red wine!?)

Sounds complex right. Well it is! But the brilliance behind this technology means a better customer experience, hence improved likelihood of purchase satisfaction, WOM referrals and repeat purchases.

A 2006 Bain study suggested that “reducing complexity and narrowing choice can boost revenues by 5-40% and cut costs by 10-35%.” So not only is Vinomofo improving customer experience, it’s also potentially improving the bottom line.

On a side note: I had a look more fun writing this than I thought I would. And I ended up with a dozen of Australia’s finest… Cheers!


Author: Lucy Vadasz (900286226)

Unlinked references:

Iacobucci, D. (2014) Marketing Management (MM), 4th Edition, South-Western, Cenage Learning, Mason, Chapter 2, Customer Behaviour and Chapter 14, Customer Satisfaction and Relationships.