Picture: 123RF/OLEGDUKO
Picture: 123RF/OLEGDUKO

Imagine a world where marketers are empowered to understand what makes people consider and buy each of their brands, to know with certainty which levers to pull to drive the brand, and to be certain how to pull those particular levers.

Coca-Cola has achieved just this, through an insightful journey to leverage existing data to tell more meaningful stories about the metrics tracked and their importance for driving consumer behaviour. The frame the company has developed is relevant for all brands and can be replicated to provide insightful guidance for brand growth.

Knowledge and insights manager at Coca-Cola SA Jerusha Ramdeen explained the framework to delegates at the recent Pamro virtual conference. Titled Vision 2020 African Decade, African Data and African Growth, the three-day conference was made possible by Borderless Access, DStv Media Sales, Nielsen and Telmar.

Knowledge and insights manager at Coca-Cola SA Jerusha Ramdeen. Picture: Supplied
Knowledge and insights manager at Coca-Cola SA Jerusha Ramdeen. Picture: Supplied

Covid-19 shook the world, but it also served to remind us of the certainties – and one of those certainties is that data is power and consumers are at the heart of any brand’s success, said Ramden.

“In a world where needs are great but budgets are small, we should focus on how we use data to understand our consumers and keep them at the centre of what we do to deliver success,” she said.

The common mistake is to tend to forget that consumers are multifaceted and complex by nature and governed by both mental (emotional) and physical (functional) factors. Mental factors that drive consideration include salience, relevance, uniqueness and memorable or consistent messaging. Functional factors include price, presence and prominence. These factors form a key part of the shopper journey. Clutter requires distinctiveness, said Ramden.

Leveraging existing data requires all metrics to be on a brand level. Metrics can include brand love or brand trust, for example. “Having some metrics is better than none, and even proxy metrics can add, in terms of identifying how your brand is doing with regard to mental availability,” she said.

In terms of physical availability, the functional factors that drive consideration include commercial issues such as numeric distribution, share of visibility and out-of-stocks. Consumer issues that play a role include distribution perceptions and how readily available the brand is perceived to be.

It’s important to know the rules around metrics, said Ramden. These include allowing the metrics to trend over a long time, such as a year, to see the effects of seasonability; including key competitors for perspective; and using the same time period and scale of measurement for all metrics.

It’s important to link back which metrics matters and to have correlations to show the relationship between two variables. These measurements will help to establish whether the marketing investment is focused on the right space, how an impact is driven and whether the key performance indicators being tracked are relevant to the brand.

This framework helps to identify how a brand is doing in terms of consideration and conversion, ascertain which of the metrics matter for a brand’s consideration and prioritise efforts and recovery and growth.

“Holding data is potential power, but analysing and applying data is about controlling your destiny,” concluded Ramden.

To view day one of the conference, click here.

The big take-out:

Data represents potential power but when it is analysed and applied it allows marketers to control the destiny of their brands.

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