Getting an Edge

February 5, 2013

The year has kicked off with the buzz of potential – growth potential and new value potential. Behind that excitement is deeper and smarter discussions around the use of analysis to unlock that potential

Why care about analysis?

Because, it’s official – analytics works! This fascinating study by US think-tank MIT has revealed that Hi-Performance companies are 5 times more likely to use analytics.

Used well, analytics create understanding and this is the basis of all good planning – particularly in uncertain environments. But how can we translate that into goodness for Marketing Communications Professionals?

Over the next series of blogs, I’d like to carefully address that question. The answer is not complex but is underpinned by a strategic model of where value comes from. Understanding that will unlock measurable new opportunities to deliver hi-performance results.

Setting the Scene

To set the scene for that, let’s start with a philosophy which frames how to think about value so you don’t miss it! Some common pitfalls can be used to understand how you can get an edge.


  • There is no Silver Bullet – a one size fits all approach normally misses most opportunities
  • The Campaign Merry-Go-Round – stick with the big campaign plan no matter what
  • Communications cannot be structured – so why bother working systematically?
  • Too Busy/Can’t afford evaluation – just do last year + 5%
  • That’s nice to know – use analysis to avoid change

Top 5 ways to get an Edge

1. Work to a model to keep you on track and give structure, but ensure it is customized for your context, resources and outlook – allow subtleties to be considered, rated, captured.

2. More emphasis on precision-targeted, strategic mini-campaigns which evolve with learning. A deeper understanding creates the confidence needed to jump off the campaign merry-go-round. Given that confidence, big broad campaigns will start to change.

3. Evaluation across all disciplines – Communications should foster a structure that integrates PR, Social, Advertising, Events etc. The more complete the picture the more valuable the insight. Best practice structure includes: Quantity, Quality, Size, Message, Timing.

4. Unlock the learning power of: Plan, do, review, refine. There is plenty of established rationale for disciplined evaluation.The trap here is that the less effective a strategy is, the more tactics tend to be used. If your strategy wasn’t based on facts and fails how do you really know what to do next? This will typically reduce the tactical effort required to achieve the same result.

5. Action insights – A solid rationale coupled with good analysis creates a firm base for action. Analysis alone will not create value, it simply provides advice to help re-shape strategies to better effect. The action taken from those new strategies is where the value should build from.
I would be keen to know your thoughts on this topic. How quickly do you see the marketing communications industry moving towards this value model?


  • Australian Drug Foundation
  • BankWest
  • Black Dog Mental Health Institute
  • Charter Hall
  • Coca-Cola Australia
  • Coles
  • Coliban Water
  • Crown Resorts
  • CUA
  • Eliminate Dengue
  • KPMG
  • lendlease
  • Lion Nathan
  • Mastercard
  • Microsoft
  • Minderoo Foundation
  • National Australia Bank
  • Nestle
  • Nokia
  • Open Universities Australia
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
  • St John of God Healthcare
  • Samsung
  • Santos
  • Sony
  • The Smith Family
  • Toshiba
  • Vodafone
  • Workplace Gender Equality Agency
  • Xbox