Marketing Analytics

Marketing Analytics

James Black shares timeless marketing advice that identifies the role and benefits of testing.

As your marketing shifts from planning to execution, it’s important to structure tests to understand how well your marketing is performing, and to learn from it.  While the old adage “Half of my marketing isn’t working, I just don‘t know which half” often rings true, today you have access to more and better data to track the performance of your marketing and ideally the return on your marketing investment.  The important thing to do is to design tests, set success criteria to measure and collect learnings to inform future marketing initiatives.  By borrowing key elements of the marketing process from leading consumer marketing companies, you can make your marketing work harder for you.  Also, because as a start-up you are likely to be more nimble, this enables you to quickly invest in higher return marketing, vs. spending too much in vehicles that aren’t productive, which is a considerable advantage in the marketplace.


  1. Set up “test and learns.” In reality, everything you do as a start-up is a “test and learn.”  The important thing, though, is to put some structure around the work to understand what resourcing you should commit to it and, ideally, what you are getting out of it.  After all, most start-ups are not “idea-constrained”, they are “dollar-constrained” or “resource-constrained.”  As such, you have to ultimately make choices about whether to invest a dollar or an hour here or there, you generally don’t have the luxury of doing “everything” and if you do, few have the luxury of doing everything well!  For each marketing tactic you deploy, outline a simple test and learn strategy.  Note the: a) objective for using the tactic, b) what specific things you are looking to test, c) how you are going to measure success and d) benchmarks for what you anticipate performance to look like.  For example, if you are using Google AdWords, the objective would be “to drive traffic to our website,” the testing might focus on different advertising directions and keywords, and the success measures could include a) website traffic, b) cost per click and c) sales generated via AdWords.  Likewise a request for sampling program might have an objective of trial and compare the results of redemption rates from various request executions.  In addition to applying this logic to core tactics, it’s important to identify one or two tests to execute that have the potential for breakthrough to push your marketing and marketing learning forward.  For decades people have cited the 3M “15 percent” rule (where employees allocate 15 percent of their time to self-managed innovation projects); think about a similar logic, it terms of budget or hours that you want to put against marketing innovation in your plans.  You want to make sure that core tactics are sufficiently funded, but it’s important to also have a “test and learn” budget for marketing innovation so that your marketing plan is not merely “tried and true” and that you’re also making reasonable investments to prove out “unknowns.”


Key points include:

  • Using Google Adwords
  • Setting success criteria
  • Tracking learnings to inform future marketing initiatives


Read the full article, Think Big, Act Small #4. Learning Early, Inexpensively and Correctly: the Role of Testing & Measuring in Marketing


In this comprehensive report, Angela Thompson shares marketing insights on Black Friday patterning. 

Retailers’ promotions during Black Friday were significantly reduced this year; both in number of promotions offered and the richness of those offers

Retailers spread out their promotions for a longer period of time to reflect a lower in-store capacity and acknowledge a shift of consumer behavior driven by COVID-19. In order to provide a longer promotional time period, retailers were financially driven to reduce how high they discounted products

Further, with the expected increase of online orders, free shipping offers often required thresholds. 1/3 of the retailers offering free shipping required a minimum purchase; often around $50

Last year, more retailers shifted to a percentage reduction on specific styles or items (moving away from an entire store promotion viewed in 2018), and many followed a similar strategy in 2020. Select items were offered on promotion, frequently with a range of percentage discounts across the site, depending on the product or category

While mass retailers continued doorbusters, especially earlier in the holiday selling period, specialty retailers backed down from this strategy, as they mitigated their risk of selling low margin items online and while knowing that a drive to store push may not be as successful this year as in the past

GWP, PWP and PLCC messaging were also very low this year. Alternative financing options, such as Klarna and Affirm, were reinforced in direct marketing more frequently than observed in previous years

Retailers used their direct marketing communications to remind customers of BOPIS and curbside options. Few, however, capitalized on this method of pickup with an associated promotion for selecting this option over shipping.


Information in this report include:

  • Key takeaways from 2020
  • Methodology
  • Observations by brand 


Download the full report, 2020 Black Friday Patterning, from  


Umbrex is pleased to welcome Christophe De Greift with NEXUSQUANTS. Christophe De Greift has 15 years of experience in management consulting, part of it at The Boston Consulting Group and more recently running his own consulting firm focused on business analytics. Christophe has led 75+ projects in Latin America and Europe and has particular expertise in marketing analytics and supply chain analytics in sectors such as media, finance, logistics, consumer goods, energy and mining.

He lives in Lima, Peru with his wife and two young children and will keep exploring Peru with them, as soon as lockdown ends.

Christophe is happy to collaborate in transforming data into business value, both remotely and in Latin America or Europe.