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Managing Marketing: The Marketing War Chest

Matt_Farrugia

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Matt Farrugia is the managing partner and co-founder of The Mutiny Group, a marketing technology company that provide brands and their organisations with an AI-driven data analytics platform to analyse and inform marketing and business decisions around marketing mix modelling (MMM) and return on marketing investment (ROMI) at the speed of data. He shares his journey from avionics tech-head to direct and digital marketing to today and the importance of data at every step of the way.

You can listen to the podcast here:

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Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing, a weekly podcast where we discuss the issues and opportunities facing marketing, media, and advertising with industry thought leaders and practitioners. Today, I’m sitting down with the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Mutiny Group, Matt Farrugia; welcome Matt.

Matt:

Good day, Darren. Thanks for having me.

Darren:

Well look, it’s an absolute pleasure and I have to say, I thought I was a bit of an anomaly having a science background and working in medical research at the Royal Children’s Hospital before having a midlife crisis at 26, and becoming a copywriter. But I see you actually started your working career as an Avionics Engineer at Qantas. How the hell did that happen?

Matt:

Great question. And yeah, I was probably the accidental admin to be honest, but I get asked this a lot. I had a passion for aircraft back then-

Darren:

Who doesn’t?

Matt:

As you do. And I thought that was the path that I wanted to head into. And I went through the whole process. I studied engineering and got into the avionics apprenticeship at Qantas and completed it. And I was a licensed 737 Avionics Engineer. And it was a fascinating time. I absolutely loved my time at Qantas. And then as you say, I think my interest evolved and back then in the nineties, late nineties, it was-

Darren:

Last millennium.

Matt:

Last millennium.

Darren:

All the youngsters out here, we’re talking about last millennium.

Matt:

Exactly. I bought myself a HTML 4 book, and I thought this internet thing’s going to be big. So, I’m going to teach myself how to code and build websites, which I did. So, I started this little … it wasn’t called a side hustle back then, it was just a hobby. And then I started building websites for friends and family’s small businesses and they started paying me. I’m like, “Oh, this is actually good fun.”

And then at the time, what I realised, I mean, avionics engineering at the time was going through a huge transformation of itself. And Qantas went public late nineties, and they had to downsize a big part of their avionics workforce in Australia and offshore.

So, we had the choice of going offshore or getting redeployed within Qantas or going back to study, I opted in for the latter, and went back to study multimedia, what it was called back then, Darren, and marketing at MIT.

Darren:

This is pre-digital, everyone talks about digital but multimedia, I think it was interactive media.

Matt:

The interactive media and DVDs were pretty hot back then. It was all about Macromedia and flash and those types of applications and Adobe gobbled up. But I found a real interest and passion for designing and being creative and the technology and creative coming together. And then from there, just got into various roles within what we would call client-side now, but working for consultants around the digital space, it was even called online.

Darren:

You would’ve been pretty hot probably back in those days because in those early days, people really had no idea what they needed. They just knew they needed someone that could work in that space. Didn’t they?

Matt:

So, I think back then, I had a real mix of skills in digital and marketing that were coming together. And I went through various roles with companies and consultants on things like portals and digital marketing really started to grow back then. And I think there was a big demand for what was called online producers creating digital properties, website, and apps and all of that kind of stuff for brands.

So, I landed a gig with SBS managing a lot of their online assets like the Tour de France and various other documentary and news platforms, which was just a wonderful job and environment to be working for. And at the time, SBS, they received approval to go commercial and start selling ads to generate revenue.

And I think a lot of that revenue, the first place it came from was online and I was tasked with selling and placing digital advertising on those online properties. So, the fascinating thing was with that money that we generated, being a not-for-profit was going back into the creation of content. And I just developed … another interest started to come through from storytelling and creating content, and in the digital environment.

And then it was there, I kind of was drawn to advertising. And a lot of my friends back then from the broadcasters and content creators, especially the SBS and the ABCs, they used to say, “Oh no, Matt, you’re getting lured to the dark side, which is advertising.”

And about that time, I met Sean Cummins and the crew back then which were doing some fantastic stuff with the likes of Tourism Queensland and Virgin etc, and just had this incredible portfolio of clients and was exposed to some great campaigns, including there was one little campaign that we did back then that I had a very, very small part in, which was the Best Job in The World, which just, again, just opened up my eyes to what could be possible with ideas that are actually back then, it was kind of digitally led, but also incredibly a really, really simple idea.

Darren:

That’s a period where Cummins was CumminsNitro, wasn’t it?  And then it became SapientNitro and-

Matt:

All of that. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.

Darren:

What a baptism into the advertising industry.

Matt:

It really was, Darren, yeah. And there’s some fantastic alumni that came out of that era, in all facets and capabilities. And just watching that Best Job in The World campaign just explode the way it did taught me a lot about what could be possible in those channels and the power of creativity, especially, and then the role of technology to really get that out and amplify it the way that did.

And then from there, I think I kind of met a whole lot of other people and then found myself landing a gig at Wunderman and the George Patterson Y&R crew within WPP.

Darren:

It’s interesting because in many ways, you learnt the technology first as you said. You sat down and taught yourself HTML 4, and you know how to apply that onto websites and the like. Then you went to client and then publisher or broadcaster side, which is all — especially the broadcaster is long content.

And it’s one of the things that agencies will often struggle with, the discipline of the 15-second or the six-second ad or the 30-second ad is a real discipline. But when they need to go longer, it seems that they often struggle to sustain the engagement, don’t they?

Matt:

They do. And look, and I’ve worked with some fantastic copywriters. I mean, writing in long form versus writing in short form is a very different skillset. Then there’s editorial, which is really exceptional, long form. But we’re living in a world right now where you’ve got to tell a story in six-second formats as well. You’ve got six second formats, you’ve got 15 seconds. You’ve got this myriad of formats of ads that you need to squeeze in a story, and an idea.

Darren:

And then you were at Wunderman, which is really for many people considered the home of direct marketing because Lester Wunderman who only passed away a couple of years ago was in many ways, he wrote the manual on how to do and define direct marketing, didn’t he?

Matt:

Yeah, he did. And I really cut my teeth and I think being fortunate to work with Wunderman at that time, I mean, Lester was incredible. And I was on the tail end of a few concalls with him back then when he used to come to work every day out of New York. But here’s a guy who brought direct marketing to advertising and innovated so much within the space, including the 1-800 number, what he’s so famous for. And a lot of those principles now are still adopted for very successful campaigns.

Darren:

Now, look, one of the things about all of this is that technology has driven the changes in your career, and you’ve been a part of that both on the sort of technology side, the communication side, the broadcast side.

But the advantage of technology is the instantaneousness of it; one of the reasons it was called interactive media was our customers could actually interact with us in real time. But it’s also driven a huge amount of data, hasn’t it? And data has become the big gameplay for the advertising and marketing industry. Is this one of the drivers behind the Mutiny Group?

Matt:

Absolutely is. I think we are coming out of an era where there are so many data-generative things that organisations have, everything is generating data. Everything, from your wearables to your devices, to every channel you exist in, to your … so, it’s a bit of an analysis paralysis, with the amount of data that actually exists.

So, within that digital world, I think back when I was building my career in digital and going through these organisations and working in organisations on client side and agencies, the thing for me that I really started to look at, but also became a little frustrated about was digital or technology search was a department in the corner.

And what happened there is that digital department were most often than not, the ones who were managing the platforms. They were managing the solutions, defining the solutions, implementing the solutions, managing the solutions. And those solutions were generating all that data, and just generating such a rich amount of data, which within that was an incredible amount of insight.

So, the problem was for a long period of time, it was still very much defaulted to that department over there. So, if you wanted to access something digital or collaborate or build an idea, you needed to go and engage the digital department. And over the last 15 or so years, we started to hear about being integrated and agencies especially, we’re talking about, “Oh, we’re fully integrated.”

And what that meant is that they got a digital person and plunked them in an account service, for example, or they got a creative and they called them digital because they had digital skills. But the thing that was missing was that real natural integration and flow with data because as we know, within that richness of data lives a whole lot of insight.

Darren:

Yeah, it’s interesting though, Matt, because you would think that creative agencies, as they’re building these platforms and engagement interfaces, let’s call them — there’re ways of engaging and they can collect huge amounts of data, but it’s really not the creative agencies that are doing it, is it? It’s the media agencies.

It seems that it’s almost defaulted to the media agencies, perhaps because traditionally, they’ve had access to some data that suddenly they’re the ones that are also taking on board the whole responsibility as much as they can for data.

Matt:

So, Darren, you’re exactly right. And we see this all the time. And I think if I was to start an agency again tomorrow, for example, I would absolutely put data at the very, very centre and then weave it through the whole organisation.

I think the analogy I kind of talk about quite often is if you remember back in the early 2000s it is when digital really started to enter more of a commercial sense for businesses, and e-commerce really started to be born and grow, and Amazon was just starting to come out, they were selling a lot of books back then.

But if you had a website and you needed to understand how that website was performing, and you wanted to improve that, or at least just validate… or get a sense of your return on investment for all that money you’re spending on your website, you needed to call your IT department or your digital and tech agency and you’d request a report.

They would have to go into the server logs and look at all the clicks and the raw data. And back then, there was all sorts of platforms called all stats and whatever. And it was a very technical thing. You have to raise a ticket with your IT department to pull out server logs to tell you how the website’s performing.

And then soon after, there were analytics companies really starting to arise and see the need for that and say actually businesses need to optimize websites much quicker. They need to see what’s happening. And then the real champions at the time that really said, “Guys, everyone, industry, here’s a solution” was Google Analytics.

So, Google analytics came out and said … they acquired a company back then. I think it was called Urchin or something like that. But they acquired a company and they said, “We’re going to lead the way for analytics, digital analytics” and they open sourced it and it was free. And you could integrate analytics so easily by inserting tags in your websites.

So, you had access as a brand and as a business, you could log in and then easily extract your report and email it and get scheduled emails of reports daily, if you like. And what that did, it really fast-tracked transformation with eCommerce and UX experiences with how websites optimise so quickly. And we saw technology shift from being just really, really complicated flash interactions and animations to really highly usable, really rich UX and really customer experience became important and highly valuable.

So, fast-track 21 years and my analogy leads us to where we are. As in if you’re a marketer, if you’re a brand and you want to know what’s going on within your marketing investment, more often than not, over the last 5 or 10 years, you would default to your media agency and ask them because that’s where the data sits. Or actually more often than not, also consultants.

And it might be external consultants or they might be a data department that you have buried within your organisation. So, what we saw happening was if you wanted to get a read on performance and return on investment so you can optimise things or at least prove to your CFO or your C-suite that what you’re doing is not just the arts and craft department — you build those reports but they would take six months or more.

We’ve had some customers at the moment on our platform who have come from producing these reports from eight to nine months. Now, they produce them weekly, and they have access.

Darren:

And look, I was going to say, this is one of the issues, it’s not just the agencies that are incredibly siloed when it comes to data. Some of the biggest organisations that we deal with, if you talk to the marketers — and let me clarify that, I mean, the marketing communications people about data analytics, they go, “Oh yeah, that’s a department.” And they point across the floor and down three levels. That’s where it sits. That there’s these people that-

Matt:

You are absolutely bang on. And the organisations that are really winning today in many categories globally, the number one thing that … I’m seeing it everywhere, I’m reading a lot about it, I’m sure you are as well; is speed. Speed is how you win in today’s environment. And also, whether it’s speed to insight, speed to market, speed to innovation, etc.

But the way you do that is data is the thing that can fuel that and get you to that insight and getting access to that data is another thing. So, it’s not data itself. It’s not just the data because everyone has the data. It’s more around the capability and how that capability sits within your organisation to your point, exactly.

Like it’s not just having the data team well over there. It’s how is that data capability embedded into your team and your workflow so they can access that insight that matters when they need it.

Darren:

Matt, I think you hit the nail on the head with the word “access.” I think the first thing is how and when do I get to access the data in a format that actually drives decision making? Because here’s the other thing; you have these conversations with various people, agencies and on the client side, the marketers, and they’ll talk about either data being used to give insights for developing campaigns.

Or some will talk about using data to optimise campaigns. Or some will talk about using data to learn the lessons of what to do and not to do next time. And they talk about as three very different pieces, but in actual fact, it’s all part of the one, isn’t it?

Matt:

Absolutely. And it’s all part of the one. I mean, data, it’s part of life and the same way technology is a life force. Our relationship with technology, it’s part of our lives. It’s part of our clothes. It’s part of our accessories. It is the way we do banking. Data is all around us and it should be the same. It needs to be accessible and it’s just there, and it should be there.

And it’s not the data, it’s more the insights that you can extract and read from it and put it to use. And then again, I mean, all insights are absolutely fascinating, but absolutely useless until they’re actually used.

Darren:

And look, that’s one of the things, is it’s the format that the data is presented in because ultimately, and I know you’ve talked about this previously. But the whole purpose of these insights is to present the data in a way that actually informs decision making. Because while everyone talks about AI and machine learning and the like, what that’s really doing is digging into the data to find the insights.

Ultimately, there’s going to be someone who needs to be informed of what those findings are so that they can make decisions and make them in real time.

Matt:

You’re absolutely right there. And I think in the world that we operate in, I think if you look at the way marketing ROI or things like media mix modeling were achieved and still in the most part are, like as a study, it’s more of a research study and that research study is undertaken over a period of time. It can be anywhere as I mentioned earlier from three months to 12 months, in some instances.

And then at the end of that study, the more often than not, the outcome of that study, is a very large PowerPoint deck. And you look at that PowerPoint deck and to your point, like if you’ve got a PowerPoint deck and it might have some incredible, absolute golden nuggets of insights that can transform your business, but it’s 250 pages and you’ve got to get your marketing coordinators to format it first to make sure it’s on brand because you’ve gotta present and do a road show to everyone.

And you’ve got to do an ELT version and you’ve got to do a C-suite summary pack, and there’s a whole lot of effort to get to that. Whereas the way you go to access those insights is sit there and read that 250 pack. But in the meantime, the world shifted. The media landscape in particular has slightly shifted beneath your feet.

And there might be new competitors in market. There might be new channels that have emerged. There might be new sponsorship opportunities, etc. So, that speed element of how you respond to those changes now is more critical than ever.

Darren:

Yeah, and a good metaphor for this is so much of the use of data in organisations and particularly marketing, is like driving down the freeway at 150 miles an hour, looking in the rear-view mirror to see what you ran over because it’s all happened before. It happened back there. Whereas what you actually want is literally – and I know this word gets overused, but you need the dashboard.

I think in avionics, it’s called telemetry, isn’t it? You need the telemetry there so you know where are you going? Do I have enough fuel? What are the obstacles in my way? Has that volcano erupted or are the headwinds going to use up more fuel, so you can actually get to your destination. Is that a reasonable metaphor?

Matt:

It absolutely is, mate. And I think while we’re on the aviation metaphor, I think in avionics or aircraft — I can’t believe I’m using aviation metaphors here, but let’s go with it. Within an aircraft, you’ve got good oil and you’ve got bad oil. And good oil, all your instruments are going to fly absolutely as they should. And there are going to be no errors coming out of all your instruments and your mechanical parts.

But bad oil can really cause damage. Bad oil can lead to incorrect readings in the cockpit. You might have machinery failures, etc. And in that context, bringing it back to within marketing, you’ve got good data and you’ve got bad data.

We see a lot of trash data for example that marketers initially get really obsessed about and what we help them with is structuring that data to ask the question, “Well, does this really solve the problem that we’re trying to set out to understand more about?”

Darren:

Matt, I’m really glad you said that because I saw a comment by Professor Byron Sharp where he was cautioning marketers about flying the aircraft on data because he said so much data that they’re using is corrupt. It’s junk data.

Matt:

It’s right. It is absolute junk. And we see this all the time and there has been an obsession and I can go on about this for so long. But I mean you’ve got everything from things like the vanity metrics, thinking of all the vanity metrics and they might-

Darren:

The clicks and the likes.

Matt:

The clicks and bringing it back to what is contributing to a sale. And there might be a whole lot of data that might seem rich because you might look at things and go, “Well, this is what is contributing to a sale over here,” but then what you are missing is the bigger picture about what else is happening in their worlds within that data ecosystem that you could extract to understand what is contributing to that sale, if that makes sense.

Darren:

So, Matt, I want to focus now specifically because you mentioned return on marketing investment and marketing mix modeling in passing a minute ago, but you guys have developed this … do you call it a platform? WarChest; this ability for not just marketers but organisations to really pull together the multitude of data sources to really start informing decisions. Haven’t you?

Can you just give us a description or an explanation of what WarChest is? Because I love the name by the way. I’d love a good WarChest to go into battle with.

Matt:

Yeah, look, I think was it kind of on brand when we called ourselves Mutiny. And what we set out to do, Darren, was we wanted to disrupt the more traditional methods for how media mix modeling was being conducted and econometrics.

Now, econometrics and the methodologies within the econometrics which have been around for many, many years, as has media mixed modeling. And what we saw was there was a real need to transform the way it had been done, because when you run those programs, there’s a huge reliance on data for one.

There’s a massive reliance on physical resources and people to conduct those studies. And it’s a very drawn-out process. And because by nature of that approach, it’s very expensive and normally brands would approach those programs historically on a time and materials basis. We need X amount of data analysts, and X amount of data scientists and consultants for X amount of hours, which means it’s going to cost us this much.

And the time to do that would be so long. In the meantime, the data landscape changes, the media landscape changes. So, we thought-

Darren:

Because I’ve had clients say, “Oh, we’ve been down that path, and we’ve been quoted not much change out of a million dollars and it’s going to take 6 to 12 months, it just seems ridiculous.”

Matt:

Exactly. So, we set out to build WarChest to provide a platform experience around marketing ROI. And what we mean by that is a platform that allows business to analyze marketing ROI at the speed of their data, basically. And importantly, a platform experience that they can embed into their teams.

So, it’s about they don’t need to rely on any other third party outside of their team to be able to get a read on their ROI, to get an understanding of the optimal channel mix, to get understanding of the impact that their brand marketing, their media and things like pricing are having on their business performance and what impact it’s having on sales.

So, we thought it needed to happen much quicker. It needed to be more accessible and it needed to be in the world of the user of the brand themselves so they can actually access it. And also, importantly, that their media agencies and agency partners can come onboard and use the tool as well.

So, that’s why we created WarChest. And we do that, we help customers. But what we found is our customers get really excited by the fact that they have access to these insights when they need them and they can build it into their planning cycles, their brand cycles, and also their financial reporting in schedule.

So, we actually get a lot of our customers’ finance teams getting access to some of these reports. And what we’ve found, it’s also bridging that age old gap between the CMO and the marketing and finance teams where marketing now, our ambition is to really equip marketing leaders to be able to have the financial literacy and speak with confidence around the commercial impact their marketing is having to sales.

So, if what we’ve seen is for example, more often than not, if a procurement department, and that’s a whole other story; a procurement department might say, let’s … or the CFO in turn might say, “Well, can I understand why we’re spending so much in these channels?” Or “Can we reduce our budgets over here?”

And what this does is really equips marketing to have that story and go, “Well this is what’s happening when we spend this much money with these channels.” For example, television has got a fantastic ad decay versus search. But when we work them together, we’ve got this incredible impact and we can drive sales in this time of the year, really effectively.

Darren:

Now, Matt you’ve mentioned media mix modeling, but also, you’re getting data from other sources. There’s sales data, there’s promotional data, door to door sales, whatever else is going on; does WarChest cope beyond just the media? Can it be a marketing mix modelling? Can you take into consideration all the other things?

Because I know a lot of marketers when agencies, media agencies come to them and go, “Oh, we’ve done this media mix modeling or attribution modeling. And you know, what you need to do is be spending more money on channel X, Y, and Z.” They feel like it’s a sales technique that somehow the model’s been put together just to justify a greater expenditure into channels that the media agency prefers.

I’m just wondering, can we … and I can say that, but probably a lot of people won’t. But yeah, there’s more levers here than just media, aren’t there?

Matt:

There absolutely is. And to that point, Darren, I think we don’t see our solution being media mix modeling on its own. Media mix modeling is only one sum of all parts to understand your true unified measurement of all your marketing investment.

WarChest is a marketing investment analytics platform. So, we by nature of being a marketing analytics platform, we have to look at the entire marketing ecosystem. And by that, what I mean is we look at the business performance and ultimately, that’s where we start.

What is an organisation wanting to model? What’s important to them? Is it sales? Is it applications? It depends if you’re in a service-related industry, if you’re in a FMCG industry, it’s going to be obviously sales. It might be things like brand awareness, brand consideration and the like. So, we look at that, that’s where we start.

And across that meet and marketing ecosystem, we look at the paid, owned, earned and shared environments typically. So, within paid, which is a huge amount of data within … and we can model an unlimited amount of channels for any particular brand.

Darren:

And when you say paid, you’re talking about all the traditional media channels and all the digital media channels, all the publishing data basically.

Matt:

Yeah. And it grows every month, Darren, as you would know. But we’re also talking about things like sponsorship. We’re also talking things about every … within a channel, you have sub channels. And then within channels, you also have variables like, for example, geography, the publisher, the creative, and the format. And we’re able to dive into all of those and we’re able to look at each individual channel and also each individual channel’s overall contribution. And then we can look at the relationship of each channel.

Then on top of that, as I mentioned earlier, paid is only one part of it. You’ve also got to look at what’s happening in the world. At the moment of my marketing, when my campaign was in market, what was happening in the world and what I mean by that, what were the interest rates doing? What was the weather doing?

If I’m in retail, what are the retail events? What gifting periods were happening when I was in market? Was I in a holiday period in certain states, for example, was there an election? So, we take all that data.

Now, I’m talking about a huge amount of data. Hence, historically, that’s why most organisations, used to … the only way this was affordable is that they had to offshore that and find resources globally around the world that were a lot cheaper to crunch and analyse, coordinate and structure this data, make sense of it, and then put it into a coherent report or visualisation.

Darren:

Which also took forever. And by the time you got … like using my 150 mile an hour car, you’ve already run over the poor kangaroo by the time you know it’s there. So, here’s the thing; you are talking about literally hundreds of sources of data, right? Whereas most media agencies would be looking at some proprietary research they subscribe to, some publisher data and a few more things and be building models.

And I know one agency was very proud that their media mix modeling was based on 20 different sources of data. You know, it just felt a bit light on.

Matt:

It’s a bit limited because we’ve got some brands now. I mean, we have in excess of 150 sources of data for a particular product and we can have more. So, the reason why that’s important is because the full picture is big for one brand. It’s no longer just paid media driving a sale.

There’s also things like within FMCG… oh, actually most brands there’s trade marketing, and there’s also customer service. There’s also the NPS within that. So, the picture is big. It’s huge.

And this is what we love, and this is why the time is right now, for many reasons, the need for a unified measurement system has never been more important than now. Like if brands don’t have a unified measurement system for all of that, then they’re losing the battle. They’re not going to have the speed that they need to maintain and get the competitive advantage.

And the only way to do that, and the biggest enabler for that over the last five years would be the cloud, and cloud computing and cloud technology and services within the cloud. If I was to do this with my previous employer or anywhere, like if we wanted to do it physically, you would need a data center, a significant physically, physical sized data center-

Darren:

Or a lake.

Matt:

Or a lake, that’s right, an ocean.

Darren:

A data ocean. It’s funny though, because the end point — while there’s hundreds of sources with millions and even trillions of data points, the whole aim is to get it down to a number of measures and insights so that the average market or the average business person can actually understand what’s happening and make a decision based on that. I.e., we should do more of that and less of that, or what happens if I don’t?

Matt:

Exactly, but it’s being able to make those decisions, but importantly, knowing the value of that decision, and that was the other the thing that was missing. Like I think a lot of marketers I worked with at times, some brilliant marketers. And you would know some of these people as well. I mean the reason why they’re exceptional at what they do is the ability to make those decisions. And they do make so many of those decisions.

And the ones that really stand out are the ones that know the value of those decisions. If I make this decision, it is going to be worth this to the company. It’s going to be worth this towards our brand. You know, it’s going to do this, it’s going to have this impact. It’s knowing the value of that decision, that sets them apart. And that’s what we provide. And that’s what we focus on.

Darren:

So, make business decisions about marketing, God forbid.

Matt:

That’s right. Who would’ve thought it? And historically, from my experience or people I’ve spoken to, when you look at marketing whether it’s media mix modeling or econometrics, or those types of programs, when they come into the world of marketers and brands, more often than not, they’re looking for a story and a narrative of how their marketing has performed. They’re looking for those insights. They’re looking at have we contributed and all of that.

But a lot of the time, they fall into this world of where we can save money, how do we be more efficient or obviously, how do we be more effective? But a lot of the time it’s like how do we save money?

And what we are seeing is it’s not just about how you are saving money, it should be how you’re growing your business because marketing really should be — and for a lot of companies it is; a growth engine. And a lot of the time, it does default to this cost center where really in this day and age and the role of brand, they are the ones that can make or break a business. In my mind, they should be much closer to being a profit centre.

And the only way to do that is to have that capability and that ability to have that commercial conversation quite fluidly around the impact that your marketing is having on your business.

Darren:

So, realistically, there’s a marketer sitting there, they’re going this sounds great. What they would do is talk to you guys, you would then identify all of the data sources for their particular category that they have available, you’d plug in all those APIs into the WarChest. It would look at data, whatever, the last six months, 12 months, or whatever, five years — and learn the patterns of what has worked or the combinations that have reduced or increased sales and performance, and then go from there. So, what are we talking about? Because as I said before, I’ve had clients say 6 to 12 months that they’ve been quoted by some consultancies to get this up and running. What’s a realistic time to get up and running?

Matt:

Look, and again, this is probably our real point of difference. We’ve stood up WarChest for brands in four weeks.

Darren:

Oh my God, really?

Matt:

And I caveat that by saying organisations who know where their data is because sometimes as you well know… for us, we have all the tools and we’ve invested a lot of time and resources into developing the tools to help our customers structure their data. And a lot of the times, there are brands that don’t know where that data is.

And WarChest has been a real awakening for them to go, “Holy crap, we’ve got data everywhere with previous agencies.” And a lot of the time, they use WarChest to really connect their data and really centralise so they can use it.

So, in saying that, I mean, from our point of view, we can stand it up very, very quickly. By nature of being a SaaS product and a tech company, it’s all we do. And we do this day in day out. But in some instances, there are some customers that need to go on that data journey first, before they can actually run into this program.

And we always encourage them to do that. Understand first of all, what’s important to your business to model and then go on a journey to structure that. A really, really short and brief data strategy. Now we don’t do any of that work by the way. We work with-

Darren:

Matt, I was going to say it sounds like an opportunity for us, because we’ve done data audits for clients in the past.

Matt:

Yeah, absolutely, there you go. And we encourage our media agency partners. I mean, we work with most of the media agency, independence and holding companies. And a lot of the time, we’re providing them with tools as well and we invite them to a lot of our training programs to work that process because it’s our view that it’s in the best interest of our shared customer. And we encourage media agencies to get on the platform and work with them to kind of structure and store that data.

Darren:

I think that’s one of the things I find really exciting about this, is that when individual teams, whether it’s agency, parts of the client organisation, external consultants come along with a solution, there is always this fear about, “Oh, well, do they own the data?” You know, they get into discussions around who owns it.

This sounds like an opportunity for real collaboration. You know, let’s pull all the data into a central point. We’ve got an AI and a methodology that we’ll then analyse and present it so that everyone is informed around the table and can have real input, valuable input into that decision making process. It sounds like a win-win-win.

Matt:

Absolutely is. And I think when we run through that process and you extract the data from the black box, so to speak — and then the group or the agency village see the power of what you can do with that data and the platform, light bulbs go on.

And what we also realise is that this program or WarChest in particular, the platform can identify opportunities in marketing. It can identify new creative opportunities and you know it. I mean, look, when we talk about effectiveness and media mixed modeling and all of that stuff, I mean, the thing that comes out and it can trump it all is creative.

You can have the most incredible creative campaign and there’s a combination of obviously really, really sound and solid strategy, but also, a bit of a finger in the air, a bit of luck that that campaign is going to be effective because of the creative.

And that’s something that we’re able to measure as well and bring that creative back into the platform so we can prove the case that when we do spend time in creative, when we do spend time on really driving great creative ideas that are grounded in solid strategy and informed by data, you can have the most incredibly effective campaigns.

Darren:

Yeah, absolutely. Hey Matt, this has been a great conversation. Clearly, the 737 is still flying high. And it sounds like you’re flying high with the Mutiny Group.

Matt:

With good oil.

Darren:

So, I hope it’s just up-up and away as they say for the future.

Matt:

Thanks very much, Darren, love the chat.

Darren:

And just one question before I go, because you said you love flying; what is your favorite aircraft these days?

Matt:

Oh, that’s a great question.

Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media, and commercial communications professionals, Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by Darren Woolley and special guests. Find all the episodes here

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    Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com

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