Post Categories: March 2016

Expert Viewpoints: Getting the Most Out of Analytics—It’s All About Alignment


By Kristen Baird, Senior Director of Insights & Analytics, Interactions

One of our biggest strengths at Interactions is the access we have to robust information, thanks to the strong partnerships we have with our retailer and brand clients, as well as the resources and global perspective of our parent company Daymon Worldwide. But to turn that information into insights that can help our clients achieve their goals and improve the effectiveness of their events, we need to be fully aligned with their objectives and initiatives at all levels of their business, throughout the process.

This process begins at the very start, when Interactions’ Account Executives are working with a client to develop a new program. The Account Executive needs to be very clear on what the program’s objective is. Every program we execute, we want it to be measureable. But in order to build the yardstick, we have to know what the client ultimately wants to get out of the event. For example, if a customer wants to increase brand awareness, measuring sales lift isn’t going to show that. Consumer awareness surveys done pre- and post-event, however, would.

Best practice tip: Ask the client what the objective is. What is the desired outcome of a program or an event? This is the key to developing a targeted program—and to measuring its effectiveness.

Clearly understanding the clients’ goals from the outset also allows us to leverage insights to create a targeted consumer program to achieve results. We can use category and consumer insights, as well as lifestyle/life stage demographics to determine the best way to engage customers within a specific category. We can also leverage demographic and shopper data to determine the best stores or markets to execute the program. Every one of our Account Executives has access to our in-house analytics team to put together background on any kind of initiative like this.

Once a program is in place, it’s up to our Operations teams to use the insights we gather to ensure future events continue to drive the clients’ goals. Learnings from our post-event reporting should be considered when answering the question “how can we make the next event more successful?” We also should meet with our customers on a regular basis to recap events and ask about future initiatives. That means asking about promotions, special events, seasonal tie-ins—and the alignment process begins all over, again.

Best practice tip: Look beyond single events to create an ongoing program in support of our customer’s focus initiatives.

When it comes down to it, if we’re aligned and planning the right products in the right stores, at the right times with the right message from the right Brand Ambassador, that produces the most effective results. Using analytics in a well-defined and purposeful way can get retailers and brands to that “right place.”