When Measurement Meets Activation: A Nestlé Case Study
By Jennifer Pelino, Global Media, IRI
In marketing, we hear a lot about the importance of personalization but also live in a world where major brands still rely heavily on mass-marketing approaches. And personalization is often added incrementally, making the full power of its impact sometimes hard to gauge.
At the Advertising Research Foundation's recent Attribution & Analytics Accelerator event, I presented with Nestlé on a plan that linked a personalization-based approach to sales lift in a very clear and effective way. The program, which Nestlé conducted in collaboration with IRI as its data partner, along with its agency partners, was designed to answer specific questions such as:
- Does personalized creative drive a greater sales impact than a generalized marketing approach?
- What impact, in terms of return on advertising spend (ROAS), does reaching consumers at the most opportune moments have?
- Can ad delivery be effectively and efficiently optimized using real-time data triggers such as the weather or time of day?
- Does our seasonal advertising work? Is it resonating with consumers and driving incremental sales?
Nestlé used IRI Lift, IRI partner data, and data analysis of test and control groups to assess monthly media performance by linking ad exposure to offline sales per household. Separate models were executed for key metrics that included:
- Dollar sales per household
- Household penetrations (% of households buying the product)
- Number of purchase occasions per buying households
- Dollar sales per occasion
To increase penetration, the focus was on prospects with defined conversion barriers – specifically, current loyal Starbucks consumers who are in a life inflection point for at-home coffee products, visit Starbucks cafes and also purchase at-home coffee products from competitors. (Nestlé purchased the retail arm of Starbucks in 2018.)
Nestlé created targets based on these criteria using IRI's purchase data, which includes the world’s largest CPG loyalty card dataset covering 117 million households across 93% of the U.S. The prospects were then separated into two groups.
Phase One: Target Toward Light/Non-buyer Prime Prospect Groups With Conversion Objective
Two messaging types were tested with both prospect groups – inspirational (focused on more meaningful coffee moments) and functional (about making a better cup of coffee). The results demonstrated a significant increase in lift by focusing on these strategically selected audiences with the right messaging.
By Focusing on the Right Audience, Phase 1 Results Proved Positive
The next phase of the study used dynamic creative optimization that layered purchase-based data and real-time factors such as time of day, weather and seasonality on top of the existing focused prospect groups and personalized creative.
An automated decision tree helped serve very targeted, relevant messages to the right subgroups of these two prospect groups based on their recent purchases, pages they have viewed and other data. This included always-on targeted digital banners that proved to drive measurable sales lift of between 5% and 8% a month. Overall, the new, highly personalized approach enabled Nestlé to achieve a verifiable increase in sales lift of 200% to 300% compared to the previous non-personalized approach.
Key Takeaways and Recommendations
The Nestlé study demonstrates the value of effective personalization toward better marketing results and provides a basic blueprint that marketers can employ in their own campaigns:
- Start with the right targets and create messaging designed to resonate with them.
- Evaluate your data and findings to confirm you are reaching the right targets based on your objectives.
- Test and learn by using new data points to refine your messaging and targeting and layer on even more personalized messages.
- Deliver real-time activations and customized messages to deliver additional unique value-adds.
- Continually measure your campaigns in flight using IRI Sales Lift results for dynamic campaign optimization.
Using this approach, you can leverage the power of customer data to boost the personalization, agility and ROAS of your own marketing programs. To learn more, reach out to your IRI representative or IRIMedia@IRIworldwide.com.