The Very Group Sees Strong Results from LoopMe’s New AI-led Approach to Advertising Effectiveness

The Very Group is an integrated digital retailer and financial services provider, and operator of Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com. The retailer, with more than 100 years of history, has a passion for the reinvention of shopping norms and an eye for innovation through data and technology. Recently, The Very Group participated in an early trial of a new artificial intelligence (AI)-based solution from outcomes-based digital advertising platform, LoopMe. The goal was to use LoopMe’s AI Outcomes Guarantee buying model to maximise media investments through providing guarantees on effectiveness goals such as ad recall, brand lift, brand affinity, consideration and purchase intent.

Collaborating with its agency partners, Vizeum and Amplifi UK (the media investment division of dentsu U.K. & Ireland), The Very Group leveraged LoopMe’s new AI Outcomes Guarantee solution with its in-flight brand lift measurement capabilities. According to Jill Bothwell, Partner at Amplifi UK, the media investment division of dentsu U.K. & Ireland, this was a unique initiative: “In a media-first, by trading on a new suite of digital KPIs and with make-goods assured, we were able to focus investment efficiently toward ad-effectiveness guarantees for our client. It’s great to be at the forefront of this new approach to drive greater accountability for brand planning and measurement. We look forward to evolving this innovative way of placing our clients’ diverse range of ad-effectiveness KPIs at the heart of campaign investment.”

Brands want their advertising to drive an increase in brand sentiment rather than just tracking campaign performance measures like clicks or video completes. They need that uplift to happen on their current media investment, as opposed to simply gaining learnings to fuel the next campaign; hence, the idea is to entice not only shoppers that would purchase anyway, but shoppers that can be influenced after seeing an ad. In order for AI platforms to optimise towards real-world outcomes like purchase intent, that intent needs to tie back to the ads being served. This needs to be done as quickly as the day after the campaign goes live and at scale (e.g., thousands of responses rather than tens or hundreds).

The Very Group campaign used real-time consumer sentiment to both measure against and optimise towards brand awareness, consideration and purchase intent lift. The non-incentivised surveys appeared in ad space on mobile and tablet devices, and were fully privacy compliant. LoopMe’s DSP delivered these surveys to the exposed group as well as a rigorously built concurrent and persistent control group, ensuring the ability to tie measured campaign lift to the ad exposure itself. As soon as the “why” and “who” behind the lift in purchase intent was unlocked, these learnings were used in the predictive models, which seamlessly and within campaign parameters (like whitelists or audience targets) optimised each impression moving forward. The goal was not only to measure, but to drive incrementality. LoopMe guaranteed a minimum 10% difference in brand uplift performance from targeting with AI modelling, transforming brand measurement into a digital outcome KPI as a media first.

The test performed brilliantly. From nearly 15,000 respondents, there was a 15% incremental AI uplift on consideration to shop, exceeding The Very Group’s target by 50%. Specifically, the outcome was deemed successful based on the number of shoppers who self-declared “Yes” on a non-incentivized survey when asked if they would consider shopping at Very.co.uk in the next three months, comparing brand uplift results from two targeting strategies: without AI modeling and with AI modelling.

According to Nicole Dutton, Head of Performance Marketing, The Very Group: “We’re always looking for ways that we can use the latest technology and innovations to make our marketing more effective. For this campaign, we really wanted to see what effect AI modelling would have on our brand uplift results so we ran two different targeting strategies, one using AI and the other not. By working with LoopMe, we were able to transform brand measurement into a digital outcome KPI and judge success on those that said they would consider shopping on our website within the next three months. From there we measured the responses to our ad across three distinct groups – Control, Exposed without AI and Exposed with AI. The results are testament to our belief in embracing the latest innovation to improve and optimise our marketing, and will set the standard for us in future.”

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