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Blog Posts

Understanding consumers: what gets them to the checkout

January 28, 2022

Sam Richardson

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Path to purchase, Role of Search and Marketing Mix Modelling


Depending on what your brand is selling, the way to drive consumers’ purchase varies greatly. The approach towards a purchase is different depending on what the product is. For example people that are looking to buy a new expensive tech gadget will look into different options and research different brands, while those who are going to pick an every day item from a supermarket shelf will be influenced predominantly by the pack and the different options available in that moment.

So how can you make your brand be the final choice for people?

Path to Purchase

For lower value products like soft drinks, sweets and tinned goods there are many factors that can influence the final purchase decision. Everything consumers interact with affects what they’ll end up buying. Here at Nepa, we wanted to understand what impact each leg of the journey had on the purchasing power.

When it comes to FMCG items, consumers will often have an idea of the product they want to purchase, but not so much the brand. By understanding the path to purchase, brands are able to navigate consumers’ minds and end up in their baskets – step by step. For example, a strong brand is found early in the path to purchase and is resistant to the input from brands and their promotions, up to checkout. An even stronger brand can influence a consumer towards a purchase they would not normally make.

P2P insights are like a Rubik’s cube, every turn can create something different. Each tile represents a way we can break down the data, the demographic, the product, the brand, and the channel. With this breakdown of data, we can understand the power of each touchpoint in driving purchase conversion. We can also learn what stops a consumer in their path to purchase or what can send them in a different direction. By understanding people, we can see how much paid, owned, and earned touchpoints impact the path to purchase, and guide it accordingly.

Role of Search

Path to Purchase is great to understand how consumers are purchashing smaller goods, but when it comes to more expensive products (think cars and tech) the role of search is arguably more important. People will think long and hard on where they want to spend their money. Research, compare, and research again; we’re not just picking from a shelf.

At Nepa we collect passive data from participants, taken from their screens when researching a product. This allows us to observe the way people interact with what they see on their screens, what they click on and what they search.

Consumers tend to do two types of searches, category or branded. Category search means looking for a product with no brand preference, ‘best phones of 2022’ or ‘which car should I get’. Whereas a branded search is looking for a specific branded item ‘what Ford is the best’ or ‘difference between iPhone 12 and Pro’. By looking at consumers’ interactions we  can understand what products are being noticed and which factors are more important to win the purchase.

Understanding where a consumer has searched online allows us to help brands understand where they need to be seen in order for their digital touchpoints to drive consumers down the funnel into purchase conversion.

Marketing Mix Modelling

As mentioned, P2P analysis is great for holistic omnichannel insights while Role of Search is ideal for full funnel analysis of lower frequency of purchase items e.g. tech and automotive products; but when you’re want to understand where to get your best bang for buck there’s a lot more to consider. In this case brands need to optimise how they spend money on their advertising campaigns and really think about the effectiveness of each channel. To support brands in taking these decisions, we looked at several campaigns in the space of three years, and measured sales across channels. We were then able to create a model which looked at what factors have influenced the success – or not – of each channel. This can help brands understand exactly which touch points in a marketing strategy impact sales most.

The success of a campaign depends on a number of factors. For example, we look at the seasonality, the existence of external factors (COVID-19 to mention one), internal factors such as marketing and geographic distribution, and finally we analyse the media spread of the marketing. Together this economental model tells us just how much of each marketing channel can maximise the ROI. By understanding the ROI that each channel offers brands can optimise their budgets for best results.

Ultimately there are several approaches which will give different insights and help brands understand each piece of the purchase puzzle. Sometimes it might just be an MMM that’s needed. Other times it might be appropriate to overlay a P2P and an MMM. It all depends on the questions you’re trying to answer but each one can help unlock more value and drive more sales.

By Kit Sandford, Head of Analytics at Nepa UK

Want to know more? Contact us today and our brand experts will help you!


Blog Posts

The Future of Marketing Mix Modelling

November 09, 2018

Sam Richardson

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Marketing Mix Modelling has been available for over 30 years–but it’s now come into a new age brought forward by massive changes in the media landscape, easy access to large troves of data, advances in methodology and a greater need for organizations to optimize their marketing spends.

In this whitepaper team Nepa outlines

  • A brief history of marketing mix modelling and what is driving today’s demand
  • Why MMM is the best way to make informed media investments
  • How data integrations are making MMM more robust than ever
  • What’s next in MMM and use cases for the future

Download here


Blog Posts

Local is the New Global – Using Customer Feedback to grow

November 17, 2017

Customer feedback - retail logistics

Sam Richardson

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Customer feedback is the data resource for monumental growth. Enjoy the interview in  page 14-16 of Ken Peterson, Managing Director, Nepa USA by Régine Smith, Director of Marketing, SurveyGizmo.

The Big Data and Analytics sub-sector is experiencing rapid growth, growing at a blistering pace. The aggregate amount of data available to retailers doubles every two years. Acquiring the insights that retailers need to find, target and retain their ideal customers used to be a problem. Now, marketers are tasked with sifting through the enormous amount of data. Big Data is just that, and the sheer amount makes it difficult not only to discern what’s valuable, but to discover what information might be missing or lost in the shuffle. Nepa is a relative newcomer to the Denver market. The company is a the pioneer of Consumer Science and help create companies with a data-driven and consumer oriented decision making – at all levels in a company. Today, we speak to Ken Peterson Managing Director US at Nepa, and get his input on the Big Data and the impact local retailers will soon see.

RS – Can you tell our readers a little about your organization?

KP – Nepa is one of the world’s leading provider of data-driven consumer insights, which has previously worked with retailers like H&M, Carlsberg, and Spotify. Today, Nepa has emerged as one of Europe’s fastest growing companies and is pioneering new approaches to combining customer feedback, panel data and online consumer behavior with point of sale information. We’re the leader in turning customer-focused “big data” into actionable insights that can have an immediate impact on a company’s bottom line.

RS – Big data and analytics have climbed to the top of the corporate agenda. What are the most exciting developments you have seen in the data insights industry?

KP –  You can’t invest thousands upon thousands and millions in real estate anymore. It’s now all about transportation and logistics, which is gonna be tricky because I think it’s transportation companies that are going to make a large amount of money off of the idea that local is the new global. If you want a pair of faded jeans and you can only find it one place that fit you just perfectly. Now you can get it anywhere in the world, and you can even get it shipped overnight while you’re traveling to a foreign location. It’s not a surprise to see a company like Amazon investing in warehouse in Denver because that’s now a distribution channel. It’s not about having physical locations; it’s about having a distribution system. So, a lot of what’s going to happen in retail is how you get it to people. It’s very different than what we did five years ago.

RS – Are these the types of changes you would like to see?

KP – It’s just gonna continue to evolve that way. So that the last thing people will have to think about on a day to day basis is: “Do I need to stop at this store?” If you think of where Starbucks started, and how long it took for them to achieve monumental growth. Now, a local company can grow quickly & globally because of all the resources that are available, and the biggest resource of it all is data. We’re going to start seeing a lot of niche businesses, needs-based industries, just blow up and expand because they now have the resources and the data to grow on a global level.

RS – What role do you see your organization playing in the future?

KP – I feel very fortunate in finding Nepa at the time that I found them, because I was working in the customer service industry for years; measuring customer satisfaction. What’s great about Nepa, is that we bring the power of a data science team of 300 people, to an individual organization and we help them ‘think’ globally.

RS – What’s the value of obtaining social data that is publicly available versus data that could be privately obtained?

KP – There’s always first party, second party and third-party data. We know what’s selling well and know what’s not selling well, and define that as a first-party data. Second-party data is some of the things that are obtained through a direct relationship with the customer. Then there’s the third-party data, which is collected through an external source. The biggest sources right now are customer experience feedback, behavior surveys, and social media, which I call sort of the unfiltered, true customer feedback. For the first twenty years, we asked: “Would you recommend?” Now with social media, our small voice can be heard by thousands of people. It’s amazing the response that we get for that experience when you post the complaints around Twitter. Social Media becomes a big part of the customer experience because people tell you how they felt about one interaction versus how they feel about the relationship as a whole. Social media is going to play a huge role. I’ve seen it already.

KP – Earlier this year Nepa was selected by Facebook as a partner firm in Facebook’s Marketing Mix Modeling Program. Nepa is one of very few that have access to more granular data from the world’s biggest social media network. This data helps us better identify and understand big differences in individual behaviors, geographical regions and different types of advertising. Together with first and second party data, we bring even more precise recommendations to our clients on how to manage their retail businesses more efficiently.

RS – With the surge of “fake news”, how do you see this impacting your ability to capture feedback?

KP – Customer feedback surveys are important. They’ll never disappear. I’ve been hearing for 18 years that customer surveys are going to disappear, but they won’t. Social media does have an impact. People respond to it. Customer experience is not just one transaction; it’s an accumulation. Its starts before a customer even leaves the house. Customer experience is the entire path. Part of that is the feedback mechanism which may be social media; in which customers can choose to praise a retailer or criticize them unfairly. You have to respond to it because people see it.

RS – I’m curious to see how far the idea of customizable user experiences will go. It’s a fascinating time to be part of this evolution.

KP – We are becoming so connected. I read something two days ago about a large retailer who won’t just deliver your groceries to your house, but will bring them in and put them away on the shelves for you.

RS – How has the move to Denver impacted your organization?

KP – The biggest impact is that it allows me to be central. Having a small group of people who are geographically dispersed, I can get to anywhere pretty quickly. But one of the greatest benefits is that there are so many burgeoning retail businesses here. Whether it’s a durable goods retailer, a consumer goods retailer or even a restaurant, there are so many businesses that are either starting in Colorado or growing in Colorado; we’re able to connect with them closely, quickly and easily. We’re at the heart of where retail is going to grow. It’s no longer going to grow in LA or NY. It’ll be here in Colorado.

About Ken Peterson

With a background in Mathematics and Operations Research, I have a passion for finding ways that companies can be more profitable through truly actionable insights in data. I have more than two decades of experience in the marketing research, retail and transportation industries with a recent focus on Big Data Business Insights, SaaS deployments and Consultation. This ties in with my long history of P&L responsibility and detailed understanding of improving business operations.

At Nepa, I am privileged to help our clients in retail, hospitality, technology, travel, sports and media better understand how to make use of the vast quantities of data that is now available.

PS. Why not download our eBook to learn how leading CX programs are integrating sales data, location data and other operational metrics to make CX insights more actionable at every level of the organization! DS


Ken Peterson, Managing Director, Nepa USA

Blog Posts

Modelling marketing strategy to sell more pizza

October 30, 2017

Karen Chandler

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The time when “trust your gut” was a decisive factor in developing marketing plans is over. With 30 consecutive months of growth and sales up by 18% on a YTM basis, the Finnish pizza franchise Kotipizza has proved that recurrent and detailed review of marketing efforts and media investments provides clear answers to what creates continued success in sales.

New marketing opportunities within MMM

Marketing mix modelling or MMM is a systematic way to identify the strengths and weaknesses of marketing programs. MMM addresses key issues within your media mix, such as offline, digital and social media, as well as price, promotions and other factors. MMM also examines external influences including competitive actions, seasonality, economic conditions and brand awareness in order to understand how these factors impact your sales performance.

“In an MMM analysis, you get continuous recommendations on changes to a marketing plan. This way you can better meet business goals of improved revenue, sales and profit, and even brand building. We can also forecast and monitor the impact of newly executed marketing plans so as to assess progress and continually improve revenue and ROI”, says Martin Ekenbäck, Product Director at Nepa.

Recipe for success in continued marketing ROI

Often companies don’t know which analytics are available and how granular data can be obtained and analyzed. Without this knowledge, it’s easy to just adjust last year’s strategy and budget a bit, and hope for the best. Even though you might get positive sales ROI, you don’t know why you succeeded. Kotipizza didn’t want to risk leaving money on the table that they didn’t have to.

“Just like everywhere else in our company, in marketing we have to substantiate our budgets and show evidence of success. That’s the main reason why we have incorporated MMM into our decision-making. Although we already exceeded the average growth in the Finnish fast food market, we wanted to make sure that our media mix and campaign structure were effective and provided us with the analytics for continued growth”, says Johanna Kuosmanen, Strategist at Kotipizza.

Look at the relevant sales drivers

Marketing mix modelling combines data from sales and historical marketing to measure ROI on sales. The analysis aims to explain, and in some cases also predict, sales volume and market share depending on inputs from marketing. It’s also important to look at other sales drivers such as competition, seasonality, brand awareness and brand loyalty to get the complete picture.

Take your business model into account

Kotipizza’s marketing mix modelling has revealed that it’s possible to increase budget and still remain within positive ROI, which is not always the case. Kotipizza has a fixed marketing budget that is determined by how the franchising business is doing (certain % of sales). The only way to get a bigger marketing budget is to make the franchisees’ business grow, increasing their total sales. To manage market conditions and get full impact in their marketing, Kotipizza adjusts the marketing budget on a monthly basis. This way the company always stays in control and rarely suffers from any big surprises.

When Kotipizza realized what MMM really meant for their decision-making, they implemented concrete changes in strategy:

New campaign tactics and timing. Before, TV campaigns were designed to cover one weekend and more weekdays. Now, they cover two weekends. Pizza sells best on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, not Mondays.

  1. Coupon campaigns were added. More and shorter coupon campaigns work better than fewer and heavier coupon campaigns per year. Individual coupon campaign effects generated an increase up to +30%.
  2. TV and digital became primary media as the MMM had proven ROI capabilities in both. You can use both online and offline marketing to drive attitudes and actions. Online advertising is very effective in lifting quantity metrics, yet television ads boost engagement metrics of page views and positive social media conversations.
  3. Increase in marketing budget will still achieve positive ROI, even though the franchising business model doesn’t budge on this.

Kotipizza now boasts 30 consecutive months of growth and their sales are up by 18% in a YTM period. As the marketing budget has grown following increased sales, the company’s seen the impact of “more marketing spend, more sales” tactic: a positive ROI.

5 proven steps to strengthen your marketing ROI

As a method, MMM will substantially improve your marketing decisions and the return on marketing investments. Handled correctly, it provides scientific means of understanding what drives sales and how much ROI each component of the marketing mix generates. It will also offer smart guidance in developing and refining your marketing plans and budgets.

Here’s what Johanna Kuosmanen recommends you do if you’re not satisfied with your marketing results:

  1. Build a data-driven marketing ecosystem inhouse.
  2. Define clear and relevant business KPIs – what can we influence with our marketing and media strategy?
  3. Analyze results per media, both online and offline.
  4. Analyze and decide the right metrics related to the relevant KPIs. Remember that marketing investments should translate into both sales and brand awareness.
  5. Use MMM analysis to find an optimal media mix for planning purposes. This will also help you to figure out which media deals suit you.

Milla Westerlund
Account Manager, Nepa Finland

Blog Posts

Measure what really matters – Facebook perspective

October 23, 2017

Sam Richardson

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The nature of the consumer journeys are getting more complex to understand and new digital advertising products will completely change the role of what traditionally have been seen as the possibilities of digital advertising. This puts high pressure on having reliable measurement solutions focusing on what really matters.

As a global Facebook partner, Nepa recently had the good fortune to attend the Facebook Global Partner Summit in San Francisco. The summit included teams from Facebook, Instagram and Messenger sharing product roadmaps, opportunities for growth and talk about key trends and insights. It was all presented in two days of sessions and discussions on topics related to ad tech and measurement.

As I was taking part of a variety of perspectives within the areas of these topics, it became even more obvious to me that the landscape of marketing measurement is changing rapidly.

In line with this point – my view of the key themes seen in most measurement related sessions were:

  1. The ideal measurement solution comes back to business outcomes
    While there are several proxies of impact out there today, the best evaluation of a campaign performance still always comes back to actual business impact – i.e. sales. Reach, no of viewers, in screen etc. might be good approximations of how to optimize your marketing in detail, but it is always important to tie back to the one and only thing that matters.
  2. Don´t miss your opportunities
    Approaches known for focusing on the holistic perspective, such as Marketing Mix Modeling, will be a key ingredient to make sure to not miss any opportunities as media effectiveness changes rapidly and new ad products come to the market at fast pace.
  3. People based measurement is more important than ever
    The consumer journey becomes more complex, including both online and offline touchpoints mixed together in a nonlinear buying process. Separate silos of offline data and online data will not help to identify the full pattern only seen in single source data. To understand the consumers and the roles of different touchpoints you need tools such as Path to Purchase to cover the full purchase process, from the first to the last interaction.

Marketing Optimization applications should put the client’s money where it matters, not least within digital, where today’s marketing spend is accelerating.

3 steps to marketing effectiveness
Together with our clients, we always develop detailed plans based on these 3 business needs:

  1. How to define customer journeys.
  2. How to make solid decisions on content and media spending.
  3. How to track performance, short- and long-term.

For further information about what we as a global Facebook partner could do for your marketing effectiveness, please contact me.

Andreas Nordfors
Product Director at Nepa

Blog Posts

The impact of advertising must always be questioned

August 10, 2017

Sam Richardson

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Online advertising is no exception. As P&G Co wants every dollar to add value for their consumers or their stakeholders, they just cut more than $100 million in digital marketing spend in a quarter. They report seeing little impact on their business.

P&G’s move to cut its digital ad spend is a bold one, but it clearly shows that the company have focused on driving sales. This is the top objective for its advertising strategy.

Use the right data, in the right way

Advertisers of today are working in an incredibly data-rich environment. They have a vast range of measurements at their hands. Click-through rates, exposure, reach, engagement are only some of them. It can be easy to lose focus from the ultimate goal of the advertising, to drive sales.

However, this unprecedented access to data makes it possible to, more accurately than ever, measure return on marketing investment (ROMI). But this requires more than the sheer access to data. It demands a thorough analysis framework, taking into account media investments in all channels – digital as well as traditional above the line –  and sales data. Ideally, this analysis also incorporates slower-shifting brand effects, to avoid the pitfall of focussing only on short term and call to action marketing.

Granularity of online data allows for identifying return on investment for each specific online channel.

This is vital, since effectiveness varies dramatically between types of online marketing. It´s depending among other things on the product category, the creative content and the target audiences. P&G’s decision to cut 100 million in online spend is dramatic. If well grounded in analysis identifying specific online channel’s inefficiency, we welcome the boldness.

4 steps to measuring advertising effectiveness online and offline

Here is a Nepa best practice list for measuring advertising effectiveness:

  1. Keep your eyes on the ball. If incremental sales is your ultimate goal, this is your KPI, the goal variable your model aims at.
  2. Cross-channel analysis. We compare Digital and traditional media instead of measuring separately.
  3. Remember brand effects. A ROMI analysis is incomplete when it only takes into account sales that is generated within a week.
  4. Content matters. Nepa’s analyses repeatedly show how the return on media investments differ dramatically depending on the quality of the creative – quantified and incorporated in the model.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, if you’d like to learn more about how we at Nepa meet these challenges.

Kalle Backlund
Head of Analytics at Nepa UK

Blog Posts

Get full return on your marketing investments

May 01, 2017

Sam Richardson

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Make continuous use of marketing insights

Today ROI on marketing investments is top of mind for senior executives across every industry – globally. As the adoption of Marketing Mix Modeling and marketing ROI measurement evolves, so does the need for commercial effectiveness. Companies expect increased continuity, much more detailed data granularity and complete holistic reporting. Therefore, having the ability of extracting relevant data, quickly turning it into actionable insights that will have an immediate impact. That is as long as they are distributed to those who are able to put the insights into immediate use.

What is Marketing Mix Modeling?

To summarize, Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) is an econometric method (quantitative techniques for making relevant economic business decisions). Therefore, it gives insight in to how different marketing and media channel investments influence business performance. For example, what activities deliver returns on sales and what do not.

READ ALSO: Optimise your marketing budget with Marketing Mix Modeling

What outcome can you expect?

Applying an MMM-tool will drive a high level of improvements in your marketing effectiveness; with fact-based ROI optimization to marketing and media investments. So, no matter what MMM provider you turn to, it is generally is on:

  • Increased revenue
  • How marketing and media investments drive traffic to stores or websites
  • Increased profit level
  • Increased number of transactions/usage of a service

So, the findings are typically used to inform and verify decision making related to marketing budget and allocation between different marketing channels.

Nepa MMM focus on much more than increasing sales

Nepa conducts MMM reviews, for a large number of industries and countries, for a wide array of products and services. Specifically, this can range from consumer packaged goods (CPG) to financial or subscription services for clients operating in and out of the digital world.

In addition, most providers that offer MMM services focus only on the relation between marketing investments and sales effect. However, Nepa offers a broader scope. We apply our advanced skills in data science, innovative analytics, and leading experience in brand tracking.

READ ALSO: Benefits of Path to Purchase analysis

1. We measure the impact of marketing in social media

Unlike in other types of media, it has previously been impossible to measure the impact of marketing and media investments in the rapidly growing social media channel. Nepa has signed a unique and global agreement with Facebook in Palo Alto. We were chosen as one of the first companies globally to become partners with Facebook in the “Facebook MMM Partner Program”.

By having a direct digital connection, tapping into very granular data within every marketing campaign, with every company on the planet that run on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network, we can help buyers of media to spend much smarter in our rapidly changing media landscape that most others can’t. Some implications of this is:

You get better insights on the role of digital domain in the entire media mix

Detailed digital data (social media data) provides improved precision in analysis models that allow us to see the effects of media; unless this granularity of data is available.

You get better insights on how to optimize within the digital domain

Detailed digital data provides perfect understanding of the effects of advertising in social media, with the determination of for example, ROI for different:

  • campaign periods and ads
  • units (Desktop, Mobile)
  • platforms (Facebook, Instagram…)
  • ad placings (Newsfeed, RHS)
  • ads targeting different groups

It also enables detailed regional models for advertisers, with the determination of:

  • Differences in ROI for different countries and regions

2. We manage both short and long term marketing effectiveness

Nepa is the leading brand tracking supplier in the Nordics; following over 150 brand categories. We have extensive experience in understanding the importance of generating brand effects and its implication on long term sales. When conducting MMM projects with Nepa, you get a nuanced perspective of the brand versus the sales drivers.

In our projects, there has been a significant difference from the ones helping to drive sales in the upcoming years. By considering the holistic perspective of the medias effect of driving the business; a much different media mix is often optimal compared to the optimal media mix optimizing short term sales.

Want to know more about the Nepa approach to MMM?

Nepa’s approach offers state of the art statistical and mathematical skills. So, to set up and operate a comprehensive Marketing Mix Modeling program, you need to:

  • establish clear objectives
  • decide on how your organization intends to use the results

For example, how will the learning be disseminated throughout your organization to obtain continuous improvement and to improve strategic planning?

In conclusion, the knowledge you have of your business combined with Nepa’s experience in econometric modeling and our approach to Marketing Mix Modeling is important. Hence, it will enable us to identify a sustained approach to marketing activity planning that delivers long-term sales growth and improved profitability.

READ ALSO: What is brand tracking and why is it important?

We promise to help you get in-depth answers to business questions like:

  • What is the optimal spend and mix of marketing investments to achieve financial objectives?
  • What is the optimal total media spend and how should you mix the media?
  • How to optimize investments to drive sales and profit by customer segment?
  • What is the ROI for all your marketing activities and what type of content is most effective?
  • How much is marketing activities contributing to relevant brand KPIs?
  • How to balance investments in brand building vs. product focused marketing?
  • What would be the future impact of a change in the marketing strategy and budget?
  • How does marketing perform in-season vs. out of season? What is the optimal timing and execution?
  • How to optimize the value of a loyalty program?
  • What is the optimal sequence of activities to drive customer behavior (next best action)?
  • How does marketing effectiveness vary by media channel and geography?
  • How to take advantage of media synergies? What is the role of paid, earned and owned media?

To hear more about our holistic ROI-approach and your opportunities to sharpen the data-driven decision making, let´s book a 1:1 meeting!

Andreas Nordfors
Product Director at Nepa