Diageo expands marketing effectiveness tool to help navigate Covid-19

Diageo has added the latest data about Covid-19 with insights and consumer behaviour information to help improve marketing effectiveness during the pandemic.

Diageo is expanding its marketing effectiveness capabilities by embedding a broader and deeper measurement, Radar, within its Catalyst tool.

The drinks company, which owns brands including Bailey’s, Guinness and Johnnie Walker, is updating its capabilities in order to guide it through the ever-changing landscape caused by the pandemic. Radar, which sits within Catalyst, combines the latest data about Covid-19, including government politics and macro-economic data, with insights and consumer behaviour information.

That includes dynamic media pricing, as well as consumer indicators such as footfall and credit card usage.

The aim is to improve its ability to predict the gross profit outcomes of Diageo’s marketing investment, says global consumer planning director Andrew Geoghegan. And it does this across three, six and 12 month periods based on different scenarios and user inputted judgement. 

“In short we can pivot rapidly to where the consumer is,” he said, speaking during the Festival of Marketing.

He added: “Combined with our data sets it combines real short- and medium-term level [information] by country, region, channel, subcategory and price point.”

Marketing Catalyst has dual functionality. Firstly, it pulls together different data sources to determine the right budget for each brand based on potential profit and the performance of previous marketing programmes. Secondly, it assesses the likely impact of planned activity. 

This has become even more crucial as the drinks giant has looked to make the most of investment during Covid-19. In April, Diageo halted advertising and promotional spend that “would not be effective”, reallocating resources across the group “as part of mitigation measures”.Diageo halts ‘ineffective’ ad spend due to coronavirus

Geoghegan added: “Marketing delivers more detail in [having more] data. It also means we can optimise and inform decisions where a change in marketing decisions [is necessary] and [discover] where investment is best.”

However, he was also quick to point out the importance of having human analysis on top of computer generated data. He explained: “Ultimately marketing is not about spitting out an algorithm from a computer, it’s about combining business objectives, brand activation and creativity, which is then turbo charged [by data].”

He concluded: “As marketers we always need to speak the language of business not marketing theory. So we grounded our work in profit.”

Andrew Geoghegan was speaking at the Festival of Marketing. His session, as well as the rest of the agenda, is available to watch on-demand for those with a digital pass. To buy a pass visit www.festivalofmarketing.com/buy-your-pass.