With a global partnership in place between The Marketing Society and Gain Theory, we strive to empower marketers to be braver, bolder, faster and smarter.

The Marketing Society is a global network of senior marketers that aims to inspire bolder marketing amongst their senior client-side marketer membership. Client-side members come from top global and local brands including Diageo, Unilever, Samsung, HSBC, Disney and many more. The Marketing Society and Gain Theory have co-hosted a successful luncheon and dinner this past year where senior marketers gathered to discuss the challenges and pain points they face as well as how to be brave with marketing effectiveness.

With the official US launch approaching, we are kicking it off with an exclusive invitation-only cocktail party on September 26th at The Attic Rooftop Lounge in New York. This event will bring together top CMOs to discover what we have proposed for the future, including a program of world-class events.

In addition, we are co-hosting a Leadership Lunch with Dr. Thomas Graham, senior VP of strategic alliances, partner at Northwell Health and former Chief Innovation Officer, on September 28th.  An intimate group of senior CMOs, including HSBC, Samsung and many more, will gather to celebrate our launch, listen to lessons from a renowned surgeon who has lead innovation in the medical field, as well as lessons we can learn as marketers.

If you are a senior client-side marketer and want to attend any of these events, please email Elisa Wong (elisa.wong@gaintheory.com)


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The world is data rich. We are inundated with data feeds and each new data feed comes with its own KPI that is shouting for your attention. How do we sift through the innumerable data feeds today to focus on what really matters?

Historically, many marketers have used MMM as a technique to understand what is driving sales. Although this is still a good technique, especially for calculating marketing ROIs and macro media planning, MMM assumes that customer engagement and the way people interact with your brand remains constant. Not only does most activity that marketers run is designed to do the opposite, such as changing the way that people think and interact with the brand, but the technique also uses data from up to three years ago.

Imagine if you could…

  • Know whether you’ll hit sales targets before the campaign launches
  • Shift media /creative during a campaign
  • Connect insights directly to activation partners

Jon Webb, Managing Partner at Gain Theory, shares the latest predictive analytics techniques in a panel at Marketing Week’s Data Storytelling Conference in London.


The WPP Global Retail Forum is a continuing education opportunity designed for marketers in retail. This year’s event featured the likes of Samsung, Dell, and IBM to name a few, speaking about key shifts in consumer buying behavior and ways to better connect with today’s shopper.

Jennifer Hahs – Research Director at Gain Theory – took the ground to download the biggest takeaways to help keep marketers one step ahead, to become faster and smarter in the ever-changing retail landscape.

We have curated this interactive, all device friendly playbook, so you can take away the major themes:

1. Get Back to Basics
Optimizing existing practice.

2. Be Nimble
Changing things that aren’t working.

3. Be Disruptive
Reinventing the norm.

4. Be Kind
Connecting with humans.

5. Future Now
Embracing the next generation.

6. Engaging Today’s Shopper
Seeing through the customer’s eyes.

To see the full download, click on the animated gif below and follow the arrows.

WPP Global Retail Forum: The Gain Theory Download  


On 22 May The Marketing Society partnered with Gain Theory to host an inaugural dinner in New York, following a successful CMO lunch during Advertising Week last year. Our goal was twofold: to understand the value that The Marketing Society could bring to the senior marketer community in the US and discuss findings from a recent piece of CMO research into marketing effectiveness.

‘Marketing can be a route to leadership, but it’s rare. Marketing can sometimes be perceived as a back room function’

With this quote from a senior US marketer we are reminded of the very real need for the joint mission of The Marketing Society and Gain Theory global partnership. We are collaborating to empower marketers to be braver, bolder, faster and smarter, which is crucial given that marketing leaders feel they are a long way from reaching their full potential.

So, over a fabulous candlelit dinner with the added touch of a Chief Magic Officer by Johann Bayle, a stellar group of senior marketers from the likes of Diageo, Samsung, Amex, WeightWatchers, Pepsi and many more congregated.

A community of bold marketers with a diversity of opinions and experience in line with what NYC has to offer…

There’s a cornucopia of marketing organisations in the US catering to the insatiable thirst for knowledge offering up a never buffet of networking, thought leadership, best practise, awards etc.

Yet, the marketers we spoke to in New York are left hungry. When Gemma Greaves, Chief Executive asked people what value they felt the Marketing Society could add there were common threads to virtually all of the replies.

A safe place for honest, challenging conversation; a place where you can be honest about what you do and don’t understand; thought leadership that makes you bolder; help from your peers without bias or judgement; somewhere you can actually drive change; a circle that liberates and helps you think; a true sense of community where you can tackle conversations that we normally don’t talk about.

Ultimately as Gemma put it, The Marketing Society could provide ‘a safe and comfortable place to get uncomfortable’.

CMO insights: marketing effectiveness validation

Having opened the door to honesty and uncomfortable conversation we tackled some insights around marketing effectiveness. Manjiry Tamhane, Global CEO at Gain Theory, took the group through some unbiased CMO research conducted recently in the US around marketing effectiveness.

The research revealed that marketers within global brands are still searching for a guiding light when it comes to marketing measurement, decision making and strategy based on insights. They are being paralysed by ‘infobesity’ caused by ‘too much’ research, data ‘lakes’; confusion around metrics that matter and insights that take too long to develop and are regressive in nature.

Then there’s the lack of the right structure internally to make best use of any insights.

The findings were clear:

1. Going beyond data

Harnessing the power of data, and becoming data driven, is critical to future success. However for most there was the realisation that it’s not about data for data sake:

  • “We are data rich and insights poor” – Travel VP Media
  • “We can’t get what we need from our digital partners who have walled gardens” – CPG SVP e-commerce

2.  Lack of common metrics

For many, the issue was around getting agreement on which metric to use… i.e. which are the metrics that matter?

  •    “We are making observations versus true insights into what’s driving the business” – CPG CMO
  •    “We need one source of truth, a True North, that will drive our metrics and resulting insights” – CPG CMO
  •    “Can’t agree on which few metrics to measure or focus on” – Auto Consumer Insights Director
  •    “too many data points = paralysis” – Retail Brand Director

3. Organisational structure

Most of the brands questioned whether their organisation had all the skills necessary to interpret the data into meaningful insights:

  • “Still too many silos and not enough sharing between the data scientists and marketing” – CMO, Retail
  • “We are our worst enemy sometimes because our brands guard their respective insights closely and do not share” – Travel Brand Director

4. What clients want in the near future

In a nutshell, marketers need to quantify the future i.e. forward looking insights to forecast tomorrow’s sales today:

  • “We are making the most of what we have, although much of it is based on past efforts ” Retail Brand Director
  • “Building more forward looking models that leverage 1st party, media, behavioural, cultural and social data to forecast tomorrow’s sales today” Retail CMO

Do the insights ring true? Feedback from our inaugural dinner

There was a sense of frustration…‘The biggest irritation in marketing is always being asked the same question over and over again. Invariably the answers are always the same, just a different brand manager answering’ said one marketer.

“Our research department spends a lot of time diving into qual, quant and data analytics. By the time it does the rounds internally – blocked by silos, questions about metrics and what it means – there’s very little that we can actually use” said another.

When it comes to data, one marketer pointed out ‘’Brands that ask the right questions will get the most out of their data’ with another marketer cautioning ‘we need to unlearn our dependence on data’ as some marketers in big brands have a tendency to ‘hide behind data’.

Global CMO challenges

The Marketing Society and Gain Theory will continue to canvass senior marketer participation across many of the global hubs to understand the challenges and pain points we are faced with when it comes to validating marketing value.

Ultimately the aim is to unite marketers around the challenges, and together as a marketing community, find solutions that enable bolder, braver marketing through faster, smarter decision making.

Read the original article here.

In February 2017, the Warc Media Awards took place to recognise comms planning which has made a positive impact on business results. The fast-paced change across the media landscape is having seismic shifts on communications planning. As a result, some of the most pioneering thinking occurs at this stage of the process.

Through these awards, Warc captured communications planning best practice, showing how brands, their media agency partners and media owners are using new tech and platforms to help meet business objectives. The awards recognise brands that are getting the most out of their collaborations, as well as showing how data and analytics are revolutionising communications planning in real time.

WARC Media Awards - 09/02/2017 -

In recognition of Gain Theory’s authority in data and marketing effectiveness, Jon Webb Managing Partner acted as a judge on the ‘Best Use of Data’ category alongside a mixed jury including Sital Banerjee, Global Head of Media at Philips.

This category sought to recognise the role of data in an effective communications strategy and saw numerous entrants from leading brands globally.

Here are Jon’s insights from his judging experience  –

The top entrants within the “Best Use of Data” awards were very strong, with the papers submitted making a strong and clear link between how insights from data can play a fundamental role in driving additional value from media and marketing campaigns.  It was good to see that the successful entrants placed as much emphasis on using the data to tell a compelling story around the path to purchase as much as on more complex issues surrounding programmatic.  And for those entrants who weren’t successful this year, there were some clear guidelines…

  • Make the data a fundamental part of the story, not tagged on as either an after-thought or to justify pre-determined action
  • Insights from data can be very simple as well as very powerful – the grand prix winning entry was a great example of this
  • Some marketing initiatives take great courage to launch – using real time insights on customer feedback from social media is a great way of course correcting to stay on track

Overall the caliber of entrants were high and I have every confidence that next year the bar will be raised even higher.


Grand Prix –
Narellan Pools, Australia

Gold –
Hindustan Unilever, India
Destination Canada, Canada
Royal Philips, China

Silver –
Google, UK
KeyBank, USA
Sky, UK

Bronze –
Aviva, UK



We are proud to announce that the Gain Theory team in India scooped the Best Omnichannel Customer Experience Initiative at the Customer Experience Awards for ongoing services delivered to Nestlé, India.

The awards, now in their tenth year and part of the Customer Engagement Summit in Mumbai, honour the highest level of achievement in customer experience across the Indian community and pay tribute to organizations that lead the way in providing best-in-class customer service.


Winning this award validates Gain Theory’s outstanding delivery to create a world class consumer engagement services model for Nestlé.

In the digital age, the ever-evolving world of consumer services either makes or breaks the way in which an organisation is perceived – all it takes is one tweet or a Facebook post for a trivial issue to be blown out of proportion. The Gain Theory Customer Engagement Services (CES) team for Nestlé India ensured customer service is approached holistically with the help of our multi-channel engagement process.

The Approach: Enhancing Consumer Experience 24/7

The number of consumer contacts received at the CES centre has increased almost three-fold. The goal for Nestlé India was to produce a multi-channel always-on engagement strategy that could successfully handle consumer complaints and queries received at the centre.

With this goal in mind, a three-step strategy was created:

  1. Cross platform consumer engagement (social to ‘traditional’ and vice versa)
  2. Personalising the experience
  3. Keeping consumers involved in the engagement journey

Execution of this three-step strategy was enabled via the help of our cross-platform engagement process. When a query or complaint is received it is approached with a 360-degree perspective – the communication medium is made irrelevant and consumer experience is given the highest priority. A complaint received on Facebook, for instance, is immediately picked up by our social media team, the consumer is contacted directly to get a better understanding of the complaint and a resolution is provided in the shortest possible time.

During the engagement journey at the CES centre, a consumer is kept involved in the resolution process. From the moment a complaint is registered until it is resolved, all concerned stake holders are kept updated every step of the way.


At Nestlé’s CES centre in India, Gain Theory has consistently set industry standards for others to follow. Customers now determine the experience they want and expect companies to deliver it. Our trail blazing approach to consumer engagement has not only delivered beyond these expectations but also made competitors stop and do a bit of course correction. Our approach has resulted in:

  • Leaving consumers feeling pleasantly surprised off the back of real time responses to positive and negative queries on social media
  • Helping Nestlé India earn the trust of the consumer
  • Helping to create a positive outlook about Nestlé and give consumers the confidence to register a complaint with the guarantee of a resolution to a query or complaint.
  • Developed a positive environment not only for the consumers but also the employees, who take pride in resolving consumer concerns.

The awards and accolades have further strengthened Gain Theory’s resolve to provide best-in-class consumer engagement.

To read excerpts from the interview with Mr. Chandrasekar Radhakrishnan, Head of Communications, Nestlé South Asia Region, published in afaqs! click here









AI and voice recognition promise to accelerate consumer adoption of smart devices, writes the global CEO of Gain Theory.

Last year, CES was most aptly described as more of an evolution than revolution. The reverse is true in 2017. This year’s event was a complete game-changer. Behind the high-profile, attention-grabbing gadgets is a very clear commentary on how voice recognition, artificial intelligence and smart technology have combined to irrevocably change the relationship between brand and consumer for the better.

“Smart” was the prevailing theme at this year’s event—and I saw (and heard) it everywhere. From lightbulbs to toasters and TVs to vacuum cleaners, the devices on display didn’t just “do”—they thought. Smart devices themselves are not the real game changers here. It is AI and, in particular, voice recognition, which promise to accelerate consumer adoption.

Relevance, ease-of-use and trust have all been barriers to consumer adoption and, until recently, many smart devices were controlled by a smart phone. The ability to turn lights on and off via a smartphone has been around for some time but not necessarily widely adopted. Frankly, why get off the sofa to grab your smart phone to turn off the lights when there’s minimal additional effort to simply walk over to the light switch? Voice recognition was the crucial missing component—and it was all over CES.

So it wasn’t surprising that Amazon’s Alexa stole the show.

Next generation smarter devices
With seven microphones embedded into the Echo device and machine learning at scale with automated speech recognition, Alexa’s response is almost instantaneous in helping to control lights, thermostats, door locks, sprinkler systems and even order an Uber at the command of voice. Amazon has opened up Alexa for integration using a free API and, according to GeekWire, Alexa now has over 7,000 “skills” (Amazon’s word for integrations) from just a 1,000 in June 2016. With reportedly 5 million units of Echo sold to date and fast growing integration of Alexa with other devices, the ease of use and relevance of smart devices is likely to accelerate consumer adoption with some predicting that 2017 will be the year smart home goes mainstream.

On another front, traditionally non-tech brands are moving into the smart device market, partnering with tech creators to fashion an array of new products. For example, Hair Coach, the world’s first smart hairbrush, is a collaboration between Kérastase (part of the L’Oréal Group) and Withings, who bring sensor technology and app connectivity to everyday products. The brush has microphones that pick up on various audible cues on the state of your hair and shares its data via a mobile app.

There were also a multitude of toys and educational devices for children. Fisher Price announced its intent to launch a high-tech exercise bike for toddlers and Lego announced a robot-making toolkit for kids. Lego’s “Boost” toolkit enables children ages seven and up learn to code and build robots, bringing their creations to life by adding movement, sound and personality.

Manufacturers as maintenance managers
Until recently, retailers held the keys to unlocking direct conversations with consumers. Having a detailed understanding of customers purchasing habits and demographics have helped them to communicate one-on-one with consumers, build strong relationships and increase future sales.

Manufacturers, on the other hand, have remained relatively in the dark beyond the number of units distributed, relying on third parties to help inform them of the end sales volumes, pricing and demographics of customers. The advent of smart technology has the potential to change that by enabling the manufacturer to gain a deep understanding of customer behaviour after the product has been purchased (assuming the customer grants permission). Smart fridges will automatically reorder items when they run out. Automotive manufacturers will know when your journey cannot be completed with your current fuel levels and alert you when driving to your nearest/most convenient/cheapest gas station.

Implications to marketers
Smart devices with voice recognition and AI will not just dramatically change the way in which consumers interact with computers, but also the way in which brands market to and build relationships with consumers due to the vast increase in data and resulting insights.

Retailers of consumer electronics, manufacturers, energy providers, telco operators and others will have a real opportunity to build even stronger relationships with customers by helping them to navigate the smart home. Joining up all the devices, ensuring strong security, diagnosing and solving problems for consumers as they integrate new technology as well as providing on-going subscription based support will strengthen brand relationships if done at a level that results in surprise and delight.

Machine learning, the ability to process data at scale and make intelligent decisions and recommendations in real-time will require a different approach to marketing in the future.

On its 50th anniversary, CES has indeed (re)found its voice and it’s clear that there’s a major step change in the technology we interact with every day, with voice recognition likely to be the biggest revolution in our lives since the smart phone.

Manjiry Tamhane is the global CEO of Gain Theory.

Article originally published by Campaign US  here



As content consumption habits become more disrupted – with viewers tapping into different platforms outside of the linear experience – marketers are having to re define the marketing playbook.

We are now shifting away from traditional GRP campaigns to a new audience-centric approach.

But, should you be using Twitter? Amping up Facebook or snapchat? And what role does more ‘traditional media’ such as TV, radio or print play within the mix?

..most importantly, how does this all impact your defined metric of success for a show’s launch?

CMOs across Fox, Showtime, HBO, E! and Esquire along with Gain Theory came together at this year’s Variety Tune In conference in LA to discuss all of this in a panel titled The Art & Science of Show Launch.

Gain Theory’s Managing Partner, Jon Webb guides us through the panel’s major themes.

Show launch success stories
CMOs at Fox, Showtime, HBO, and E! and Esquire share what it takes to successfully launch a show, from using national previews, to leveraging movie launches, social media, content, and brand advocates.

How the marketing playbook has changed
The marketing playbook has changed, with the shift away from ‘traditional’ GRP campaigns, and how we need to capture audiences at the right time and place. Audiences now crave content, redefining the way networks approach their marketing strategies.

Marketing tactics that don’t work
It’s no longer about the show launch and following a pre-defined recipe, but knowing who your audience is and how to adapt to them. If you know who the audience is and understand what they are consuming, you are able to serve them the right content, at the right time.

Jumping on the bandwagon of the latest trends
It’s not always about the latest marketing trends; it’s about being able to utilize all platforms strategically. If you know your audience segments, then you know what platforms they’re going to use and you’re going to know what type of message they want to see.

What we should be doing with data
Since there is no magic algorithm to use to predict how successful a show launch will be, it’s about really using the data, understanding it, and knowing when and how to course correct. It’s essential to take all the data and the know-how, to drive shows past the launch, and build a franchise.

To speak with us about the panel or arrange an informal conversation about how Gain Theory can help you maximise the marketing investment around show launches, contact: claudia.sestini@gaintheory.com

What we saw in November was the start of something I can only describe as an uprising.

Senior marketers and key industry bodies led by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) gathered to rally around the topic of marketing effectiveness at the inaugural Effectiveness Week Genesis Conference in London. The advisory board constituting of senior marketers from John Lewis, RBS, Diageo, Telefonica, Unilever and several more had identified key challenges facing the industry ranging from short and long term effectiveness to media optimisation and everything in between.

Defining Effectiveness

How to define effectiveness? As Jan Gooding, Group Brand Director at Aviva eloquently put it “Did it work? Every organization makes choices about how it invests its money. For marketing to get its share, it needs to prove value”. Given the amount of data, technology and agencies available, one would assume that marketers have all the tools at their disposal to answer this question. So, why is this an issue at all? What roadblocks are marketers facing when answering the simple question of ‘did it work?’.

New Growth

First off, sustaining growth is becoming harder. As Bart Michels, Global CEO of Kantar Added Value put it “All the easy growth has gone. Clients are trying to find growth in uncomfortable places and what that means is new segments, new markets, new routes to market and different business models”. As I wrote in the Marketing Society Conference round up, consumers are looking for purpose and meaning and their expectations are fueled by disruptors like Uber. The rules of play have changed.

To this point, we heard some great case studies from Jeremy Elis, Marketing & Customer Experience Director, TUI and Nathan Ansell, Global Director Loyalty, Customer Insight and Analytics at Marks and Spencer around how each brand is investing in customer experience to drive growth.

Long & Short Term Effectiveness

Secondly and much discussed at Effectiveness Week, is the issue of effectiveness over a short and long term period. What was interesting was that the definition of long term varies – from 3yrs to 5yrs +, every business is different but marketers need to get clear alignment from CEOs and Boards.

Les Binet & Peter Field highlighted that the marketing pendulum has swung dangerously in favour of activation and therefore short term effectiveness, which in turn hurts long term growth. They advised taking a more balanced approach.

Effectiveness Culture

Another much discussed topic is the need to drive an effectiveness culture. Why? With departments increasingly living in silos, which is especially evident in larger organisations, there is a danger that with all the tools, tech, data, insight and recommendations the one barrier to growth is our own organisation. Data living in silos, disparate KPIs and strategies and worst still teams that are not built to optimise marketing effectiveness all act as barriers to maximising value from marketing. As Nick Milne, Head of Marketing Effectiveness at Telefonica’s O2 put it “Marketing effectiveness will exist as a team in organisations until we, as effectiveness practitioners, are successful enough in embedding effectiveness thinking out across the organisation.”

Marketers as Growth Guardians

Alan Bloodworth, EMEA CEO at Gain Theory and technical judge at the 2016 IPA Effectiveness says “Effectiveness Week and initiatives such as the Effectiveness Institute have come at the right time. We live in uncertain times where marketers need to have foresight and act as the growth guardians for their organisations. Marketing effectiveness can only be achieved if addressed in totality – with peer and industry support, having the right partners in place and building an internal effectiveness culture.”

One thing is for sure, it feels like marketers have decided to take matters into their own hands and along with key industry players like the IPA and agency partners lead a revolution to drive growth through customers no matter how challenging times have become.

Digital Flip Book

To see our highlights featuring other topics such as social media, marketing in the digital age and collaboration open the digital flip book below.

Once again the team behind the Marketing Society Global Conference have surpassed themselves with this year’s event held at London’s British Film Institute and streamed across their hubs from Dubai to Singapore.

Global 3.57

It’s a theory that has been around for almost a century: there are no more than six degrees of separation between any two people on the planet. But as the world goes online, the degrees of separation between people is shrinking. According to a Facebook study, there are only 3.57 degrees of separation between you and the 7.9 billion other people on the planet.

People today are more closely connected than ever before and we live in uncertain times, where every sector is disrupted and the outcomes we want are far from guaranteed. Consumers are looking for purpose and meaning and their expectations are fuelled by disruptors like uber. The rules of play have changed.

We need to reimagine business in a new context to be more relevant to the customer in their journey – this requires a bold approach.

It was in this context that a stellar cast for this year’s thought-provoking conference was curated. An astronaut, a TED speaker, two Olympians, CMOs and a CEO on stage. Seriously, there was nowhere I would have rather been at that moment in time.

As Nick Milne, Head of Marketing Effectiveness from O2 told me, “I found the whole day pretty inspirational. From hearing about trips into space, how McDonalds are embracing digital, or how Team GB set up a culture of performance, the content was spot on”.

To get the download of the event see my summary below.

© Gain Theory 2017. All rights reserved.