Enhancing profitability by optimising media plans

How Wickes added £10m to the bottom line using impactful econometric modelling

Econometric modelling is a vital tool not just for marketing but also our wider business, and it needs to be balanced with commercial pragmatism. The econometrics work we have done has given us complete transparency about the decisions we make and helped to increase return on investment sustainably. This is much more than just smart mathematics – it’s an applied, consultative process, based on rigorous mathematical modelling.

Rob Murray
Marketing Director at
Wickes

Practice & Location

Ebiquity Analytics
Office: London

Objective

Wickes is a leading UK do-it-yourself retailer with more 230 stores across the UK and an annual turnover of more than £70m. In common with many retailers – particularly private label retailers which rely on a strong trading brand – Wickes is always looking for ways to maximise the impact of its marketing spend. Unlike some, it has an established track record of using econometrics successfully to track and enhance return on investment. Even during the tough years of the recession, Wickes managed to increase its marketing spend dramatically – including a 20% boost in 2008 – by delivering demonstrable, incremental value to the business.

As a long-standing client of other Ebiquity services from audit to media intelligence, Wickes asked our Marketing Effectiveness team to assess the return on its £20m+ advertising investment. For the past two years, we have also helped Wickes plan and optimise its media spend prospectively. The core objective of the retailer’s engagements with Ebiquity has been to boost profit.

Approach

Using our tools and skills in econometric modelling, Ebiquity has helped Wickes understand the proportion of sales directly attributable to different media channels, mixes, and creative executions. Based on our analysis of return on investment, we have also helped to refine promotional and pricing strategy. Moving beyond backward-looking justification of spend, our data modellers have recently built a bespoke media optimisation tool to allocate the budget best between media lines, messages, and consumer buying seasons.

Our approach has been collaborative throughout, involving extensive stakeholder management within both the client and media agency teams. It’s also a progressive process that empowers the client to make choices, based on evidence of what changing the plan would mean in terms of media and sales performance. Our analytics empower Wickes to make informed decisions throughout the company’s annual, three-month planning process.

Outcomes

Ebiquity helped Wickes add £10m in profit to the business by optimising its media plan. Integrating econometric modelling into the brand planning process has helped to drive a 10% increase in return on investment, year-on-year.

Added £10m profit to business by optimising media planning

Sustained 10% increase in return on marketing investment, year-on-year

Increased transparency of agency activity

Empowered evidence-based decision-making across Wickes’ marketing leadership

Project & Process

Optimised marketing spend across all channels

Revised end-to-end promotional and marketing strategy

Built bespoke tool to optimise budget between media lines, messages, and buying seasons

Involved stakeholders from client and agency teams throughout development process