Evidencing ROI in Entertainment: Universal Music Group

ROI and Data-Driven Marketing in Fast-Moving Consumer Markets

Executive Summary

CrowdCat worked with the international entertainment business Universal Music Group (UMG) starting in 2013, using our science based approach and insight to influence over 5,400 campaigns.

The effectiveness of our approach was proved comprehensively to the board of UMG.

It was determined that the return on investment across over 5,000 campaigns averaged 23x the related marketing spend.

UMG consequently reaffirmed and increased their investment in the CrowdCat programme.

The need for more evidence in a complex world

Although the increased sales that follow a promotion can look positive, they are not always sustained and other variables are always in play, casting uncertainty over what is genuinely effective, and what is simply luck.

Like other FMCG and Entertainment brands, the music world changes too fast and there are too many variables for these admittedly impressive headline results to stand unchallenged, and the UMG team asked us to help uncover the underlying data to give them the evidence to expand the programme.

In consultation with UMG, we advised it was possible for us to statistically evaluate, based on sales and customer data, the campaign impact compared with what would have happened with no promotion.

Measuring thousands of campaigns solves the problem

We analysed and averaged performance over hundreds of artists, thousands of campaigns and millions of data points to deliver evidence based financial models and statistical certainty. This proved the extent to which CrowdCat and UMG’s teams were able to make a consistent and measurable difference to revenue performance and profitability.

UMG’s response

As with all good long-term partnerships, our work with UMG has delivered significant benefits for both parties. When we presented the initial results of our work to the board of UMG, they immediately committed to an ongoing relationship.

“Crowdcat has revolutionised the way we understand our audience and promote our artists globally.”

Monica Hyacinth, VP Digital Global, Universal Music Group Brands

Predictable long-term advantage

In the world of marketing, some campaigns succeed and some fail and the common component is an inability to predict these outcomes. It’s easy to suggest success by showcasing those campaigns that appeared to work the best, but to us scientists, this is misleading, unscientific and unrepresentative. We work towards long-term, scalable competitive advantage using science.

To prove something scientifically you have to repeat results again and again, thousands of times. And that’s what we’ve done with UMG. It’s not about the best performing outliers, it’s about the average rise.

Science is truly scalable

Our results being replicable, make our programme highly scalable. UMG not only shows that our results can be delivered at scale across thousands of campaigns and hundreds of business units, but that the effectiveness of our services grow disproportionately compared to their scale.

Scientific techniques scale much more easily and quickly than processes dependent on talent and creativity. Whole organisations come together through a single human-centric view of their audience. If data from a paid media campaign in Japan informs strategy in a social campaign in Brazil, then insight and learning grow exponentially.

After this evaluation project was completed, and its results presented to the UMG board, they consequently reaffirmed and increased their investment in the CrowdCat programme.

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