Digital marketing channels today are divergent – search, video, social, display, email, mobile – the list goes on. Marketers have a myriad of options to choose from to reach consumers to hit KPIs. But the biggest challenge is understanding which digital media work best…and how to optimize those.

The holy grail of many brands today is establishing which digital investment gets the credit for delivering a conversion event. Where should we spend our money? What can we cut from the budget? How? When?

As more media is bought digitally, more data is produced and with that comes an ability to measure effectiveness at a granular level.

The future is increasingly connected and for some big digital advertisers, requires the right measurement solution.

Digital Attribution can provide the right measurement and optimization solution. But you need the right tools and conditions to do so and what’s more – it’s not for everyone.

We have compiled an 8 Step Guide to Digital Attribution to help navigate marketers through the subject and understand whether it’s a journey they want to embark on.

The 8 steps are:

  1. Significant Digital Media Spend
  2. A Clear Online KPI
  3. A Skilled Team of Data Scientists
  4. The Right Purpose
  5. The Ability to Optimize Quickly
  6. The Right Data Set-Up
  7. Unified Digital Tracking
  8. The Right Methodology

You can read the in depth article published in AdMap, by downloading the article on the top right hand corner of this page.


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By Claudia Sestini, Global Head of Marketing & Communications, Gain Theory

It feels like every time I head to the iridescent French Riviera town of Cannes for Cannes Lions – the aptly named ‘festival of creativity’ –  the event morphs year after year to mirror the evolving needs of the industry.

No more the reserve of the ‘creatives’, it is now a bouillabaisse stew of marketers, tech companies, media, agencies and not forgetting the evangelists of the ‘future-of-marketing’ – all meeting and strategizing on how to best blast their marketing message through the dense fog of media saturation.

In recognition of the fact that marketers are now under pressure to innovate, utilise data and technology whilst creating emotive experiences for consumers, Cannes Lions launched the ‘Innovation’ conference and awards last year – a two day conference and showcase that returned for its second annual event on the 21 & 22 June this year.

I caught up with Rob Dembitz, Corporate Development Director at Cannes Lions to find out more about innovation.

He said “Lions Innovation showcases how data and technology can be used to enhance and enable Creativity. The content programme has been designed not only to inspire but give marketers tools and an improved understanding that will help them do their jobs better on their first day back in the office.”

The Innovation conference culminated in a set of awards which included the ‘Creative Data’ category where we saw ‘The Next Rembrandt’ pick up a grand prix award for the Microsoft machine learning AI who created an entirely new painting by the infamous painter.

In addition to Cannes Innovation I immersed myself in ‘fringe’ events including YouTube’s ‘Adventures in VR session’ and WARC’s panel featuring Samsung’s Marc Mathieu on ‘Marketing in an Era of Personalisation’.

To see the full download, view the presentation in fullscreen below.



The Gain Theory team recently visited a Ronald McDonald House as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility scheme. This scheme allows all Gain Theory staff one day a year to contribute their time to a charity or local scheme that they feel passionately about, improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large

Ronald Mcdonald Houses give families the chance to remain close to their child whilst they are in hospital. Their location, as close as possible to one of fourteen specialist children’s hospitals across the UK, means that families can be by their child’s bedside in a matter of moments, whilst maintaining a degree of normal life and reducing emotional and financial strain.

The Houses are run by a dedicated team of caring and compassionate staff (some of whom, it turned out, have themselves been guests at the houses), volunteers and supporters. Without the volunteers, the charity would not be able to offer the families the support and care they need. In 2014 the Houses supported over 6,000 families while their child was in a specialist children’s hospital.

Gain Theory team members Zosia, Alex, Noel, Emily, Paul, Alicja and Lara visited the Camberwell house which serves Kings College Hospital in South London. It takes £317k per year to run this one house. In 2015, 441 families were helped to stay close to their children in hospital thanks to Team Camberwell.

After a brief tour of the communal areas of the house the team set to work. As the British summertime had finally decided to show up, they chose to work in the garden. The house aims to provide as much normality for families as possible and the garden is, amazingly for its location in London, very large.

Zosia, Emily, Noel and Lara brightened up the pre-existing raised vegetable and fruit beds and Alex and Alicja painted the fence, Paul did some painting inside the house and then he and Emily created some fantastic “tyre art”. Alicja also made some delicious muesli flapjacks, which soon disappeared.

As most of the families are at the hospital during the day time, the house was quite quiet, however we were treated to a cup of tea by the five young brothers who were resident with their dad that day.

As well as being for a great cause, it was a fantastic opportunity for some members of the London Team to bond further as a team and make a difference. And it was great fun!

It’s not just cash donations that help the Houses. They have an Amazon wish list where you can easily donate items here.

If you would like to know more about Ronald Mcdonald Houses, including how you or your team or company can get involved, visit their website here.

Download our Report on the Impact of Video in Driving Offline Sales

Videology, a leading software provider for converged TV and video advertising, commissioned Gain Theory to conduct a study to analyse the impact of video in driving offline sales to help gauge the true effect of video in the marketing landscape.

For this study, Gain Theory worked with a select group of advertisers across industries, using advertiser first party media spend and sales data, Videology campaign data, and Gain Theory econometric modelling methodology to get to these results.

The objectives were to show the ROI of video, how this compared to TV, and to understand how inventory quality impacts ROI. The brands in this study had varying budget levels, target audiences and creative messages for their TV and video campaigns.

“Video certainly performs as a medium in driving sales activity offline – with every case study showing a positive ROI. Econometric modelling provides the closest we have to empirical evidence of the relationship between media consumption and purchase activity in bricks and mortar stores so it’s great to see the power of linear TV and video in combination.  When you look at consumption trends it instinctively makes sense but this is the first time we’ve been able to really objectively prove it“, said Rich Astley, UK MD, Videology.

To read the full report click on the download link above.

Manjiry Tamhane, WW CEO of Gain Theory, judged the Creative Data Lions recently at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival.  Inspired by what she’s seen, she considers how data and technology have changed the way people interact with advertising, and how some of the most creative and effective advertising campaigns of the last decade have only been possible because of the data available to marketers.

I’ve read several articles recently suggesting that there is still a reluctance among some creatives to accept the idea that data has a role to play in influencing their work.  I find this surprising as I don’t believe there is a campaign launched today, be it brand led or direct response, that isn’t directly or indirectly influenced in some way by insight or data.

This year’s Creative Data Lions entries are testament to this.  One of the most decorated in this year’s awards is the JWT campaign “The Next Rembrandt”.  This work is a fabulous illustration fusing data and creativity to produce an incredible creative piece of work that simply wouldn’t have been possible previously.  The campaign used data from 346 real Rembrandt paintings, digitising every aspect to recreate a “new” Rembrandt masterpiece. The result in itself is a beautiful piece of artwork but there was a commercial objective behind the campaign too, promoting investment bank ING’s long association with art and innovation.  A job well done I’d say.

Data and insight on the increasingly cash rich, time poor US population led marketers to push the labour saving automation of kitchen and laundry appliances.
Several decades later, Dove, who in 2004 were looking to build brand love and loyalty, launched the Dove Real Beauty campaign based on the findings of a major global study. The initial survey highlighted that only 2% of women consider themselves beautiful. This statistic in itself was the catalyst for a long running campaign strategy that would go on to win all top 5 Campaigns of the Century by AdAge.

The volume, depth and speed of data availability, together with the advent of mobile and digital is placing ever growing demands on our attention. This has made the ability for data to influence creativity difficult but absolutely necessary.  So, the debate isn’t really about whether data should inform the creative process, because it does, but rather is it being done in the right way, all of the time?  I believe that many marketers pay lip service to data, at their peril.

Let’s look at retargeting as an example.  Through attribution modelling, it’s possible to look at event level data and see which publisher, platform, placement, creative execution or tactic is working the best.  Combined with behavioural and contextual insight, it is possible to target someone who has behaved in a certain way or is in the right place at the right time.   This can be a very effective method of encouraging someone to move through the funnel and into the purchase phase. However, many advertisers are not fully closing the loop, continuing to target a consumer after they have made a purchase.  This can of course be frustrating for the consumer and jeopardise positive brand perception.

It’s no surprise that brands mis-target people.  We leave crumbs of data wherever we go, whether it’s our location, the sites we’ve visited or the pages we viewed. But they are just crumbs, not a complete picture.   So digital campaigns are serving ads not to an individual but instead towards an audience based on a patchy picture of characteristics and behaviours.  It’s important to think through the process and determine the risks of alienating your intended consumer before embarking on a retargeting campaign.

On a positive note, when advertisers cleverly take advantage of data, the impact can be highly effective.  A great example is the campaign by US motel chain, Red Roof Inns. In the midst of the harshest winter in decades, the brand identified that between 2 and 3 percent of U.S. flights were being cancelled every day. With properties near some of the busiest airports in the country, Red Roof was in prime position to capitalize on travellers’ misfortunes.  The brand leveraged proprietary technology to aggregate flight cancellation information in real time and used it to specifically target travellers with cancelled flights, via a mobile search campaign, at the moment they were seeking accommodation for the night.

For truly effective campaigns, data must act as the spark that ignites the creative execution which in turn captures the consumers’ imagination. Essentially, it’s about ensuring that you understand your customers incredibly well, in terms of their demographics, behaviours, attitudes and needs, coupled with clever ways of leveraging the data in an engaging and eye catching way. Most importantly, it needs to be truly personal and not just targeted.

A great example of this, winning a Silver Lion in Creative Data, was Vacation Matchmaker from VML. The campaign served real-time targeted and personalised pre-roll videos with a vacation theme. The messages were changed in real-time based on data from online behaviours, likes and interests with over 2,000 video combinations. The advent of innovations such as the ‘The Next Rembrandt’ and Jukedeck’s AI music composer brings the possibility of real-time targeted and personalised creatives even closer.

When it comes to creating successful data-driven campaigns, there are some important considerations:

  1. Identify and agree your objective:  be it brand health, short term sales, cross selling to another product or creating long term customer value, be sure you have consensus within your business on your objective
  2. Ensure you can access the right data: Is the data accessible, does it exist?  Do you have the infrastructure in place to capture it and will you be able to create value from the data generated
  3. Be ready to respond to new insights: If you are going to invest in data analysis before launching your campaign, consider how you are going to use the results.  Align your partners, agencies, sales channels, call centres and be ready to activate recommendations quickly
  4. Analyse and optimise throughout the campaign lifestyle: Once you’ve executed the campaign, don’t wait until the end to do analysis. Start auditing within campaign and optimise throughout the campaign life cycle.  Put yourself in a position where you can deploy tactical optimisation
  5. Build in flexibility.  Don’t spend all your money before the campaign. Have a contingency fund so that if something is working really well you can push it a bit further.  Don’t lock yourself too heavily into one medium or channel as you won’t be change course if required

There is no doubt in my mind that the availability of customer data and the rapid advancements in technology are fuelling creative ideas that have already changed the way consumers are interacting with brands.  I’m very excited to have judged some of the world’s best examples of creativity fused with data and technology at this year’s Cannes Lion Innovation Festival. Long may this fusion of different approaches continue.

LONDON – (July 14, 2016) – Gain Theory , the global marketing foresight consultancy, today announces the appointment of Alan Bloodworth to EMEA CEO.

In his new role, Bloodworth will oversee the EMEA offices taking responsibility for the consultancy’s existing clients with particular emphasis on growth throughout the region

Bloodworth previously served as Gain Theory’s Managing Partner in EMEA and has over 20 years’ experience in the marketing effectiveness industry partnering with global brands including Danone, Reckitt Benckiser’s Lysol and Ahold. Through his client work, he has pioneered marketing effectiveness approaches including helping brands understand and optimise consumer path-to-purchase and the relationship between media, perception and sales.

Prior to Gain Theory, Bloodworth was a Director at Ohal, a marketing effectiveness consultancy, where he helped clients gain competitive advantage through maximising the return on their marketing budgets. He also serves as juror on the technical judging panel for the coveted 2016 IPA Effectiveness Awards.

The appointment of Bloodworth shows Gain Theory’s commitment to building long term client partnerships that leverage data, analytics, technology and experience to optimize marketing investments.

Bloodworth will report into Manjiry Tamhane, Gain Theory’s WW CEO, whom he succeeds.

“Alan has been instrumental to the growth of our business in the key market of EMEA.” says Tamhane “Through his high-touch consulting approach, Alan’s experience has seen him guide clients to solve critical business questions in a wide variety of markets and industry sectors, from understanding and optimising the impact of marketing on KPIs, through to shining a light on high value customers.”

Bloodworth says “I am delighted to have been appointed Gain Theory’s EMEA CEO. Marketers are under increasing pressure to deliver against multiple constraints and I am committed to developing our offer further to help ease these pain points. It’s crucial that we help marketers develop a clear understanding of the link between marketing investment and business performance, then help them leverage this knowledge to grow the bottom line”.

For more information, please contact:

Claudia Sestini
Global Head of Marketing & Communications

After 18 days, 44 matches, 88 goals and one embarrassing England exit, it’s time to assess how successful the Gain Theory Euro 2016 model has been and reveal our prediction for the eventual winners. Even accounting for England’s past tournament disappointments, our model still didn’t predict Iceland to win. On the other hand, our model is probably better than England are at defending from a long throw.

How has the model performed?

The table below shows that the Gain Theory model did well compared to the other methodologies at predicting where in the group teams would finish, but was less impressive in predicting which teams would qualify.

Gain Theory uefa euro 2016 predictive analysis













The Gain Theory model uses data from past matches in European Championships and World Cups (where both teams in a match were from Europe), in order to understand the reasons behind the results of these matches.

Explanatory factors include each nation’s record, both in previous tournaments and in qualifying, plus performance in previous rounds of the current tournament (including scorelines, possession, goal attempts and passing accuracy). Country factors such as population and GDP are also included.

These factors are combined simultaneously in a regression analysis, which quantifies the impact that each of the factors have in determining the result. These same factors can then be used to predict future results.

With Euro 2016 expanded to 24 teams, there are lots of nations with little or no recent tournament experience which has limited the historical evidence within the model. With any analysis, the more good quality data you can use, the more accurate the predictions will be.

To this end, the 44 Euro 2016 matches already played have now been added to our model along with statistics from each match to boost the predictive power of our model going into the quarter finals.

Who will win Euro 2016?

The time has come to reveal the nation that the Gain Theory model predicts will be lifting the trophy on 10th July. If the tournament plays out according to our model, France will be lifting the trophy in front of a jubilant crowd at the Stade de France. We are predicting a very close final against Belgium that could well be settled on penalties, with the benefit of home advantage being crucial difference.

gain theory euro 2016 champion prediction


Is analytics the best way to predict the outcome of Euro 2016?

Euro 2016 starts today, and with 24 teams and 51 matches over 31 days it will be the biggest European Championships ever! Whilst everyone will be wondering who will win, who will be the surprise teams and at what stage England will inevitably exit the tournament, at Gain Theory we wanted to take a more analytical approach.

Our modelling techniques are proven in helping businesses make faster, smarter marketing decisions, but can similar techniques be adjusted to predict the outcome of Euro 2016, and can the Gain Theory model outperform other predictive methods?


The competition

To find out, we will track the forecasting ability of five different methods over the course of Euro 2016:


                                       The Gain Theory model


Our model uses a range of publicly available data sets covering past football results, economic, demographic and climatic factors to understand results of past major football tournaments and forecast the results of Euro 2016.

We will also refine the model as the tournament progresses, by gathering up to the minute data that becomes available during the tournament in order to predict the later rounds and eventual winner as accurately as possible.


                                       Crowd Prediction (wisdom of crowds)

We have run a fun competition within Gain Theory where members of staff have submitted their Euro 2016 predictions to try and win a cash prize. Whilst individually, some entrants may be lacking in football knowledge (predicting David Beckham to be top scorer is a long shot…), the wisdom of crowds theory suggests that through our collective wisdom we have a better chance of predicting the correct outcome.


                                      Bookmaker’s Odds

You would expect the bookies to be accurate with their predictions, as their business depends on it. However, they did famously offer 5000/1 on Leicester City to win the Premier League so maybe our model can beat the bookies. Bookmakers will also sometimes set odds to try and minimise the risk by setting more favourable odds for less fancied teams and may also offer lower odds on England to take advantage of patriotic punters. We have averaged odds across four major online bookmakers to create this prediction.


                                       FIFA World Rankings


The FIFA Rankings are much maligned and widely considered to not be a fair reflection on teams’ abilities, but maybe this exercise will prove that the rankings are sensible after all.





                                       Random Selection (Mystic Mog the psychic cat)

After Paul the Octopus shot to fame during the 2010 World Cup, no prediction competition would be complete without a psychic animal and we have our very own in Mystic Mog the psychic cat. In reality, this should be a random option that we would hope our model is able to comfortably out-forecast, but you never know.



Rating the predictions

To keep things simple we will not be listing score predictions for every match of Euro 2016. Instead we will initially be rating each method on the ability to predict the 16 teams to get out of the group stages and into the knockout rounds.

In two weeks’ time we will return to reflect on how each method has performed, and reveal the Gain Theory model prediction for the semi-finalists and winner of Euro 2016. We will also provide more detail about how our model is created.


NEW YORK, LONDON – (June 09, 2016) – Gain Theory , the global marketing foresight consultancy, today announced the appointment of Manjiry Tamhane to Worldwide CEO. Tamhane previously served as Worldwide Chief Operating Officer and CEO of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for the company.

As WW CEO, Manjiry will be responsible for all Gain Theory regions, setting the vision and strategy and leading global client relationships.

“Manjiry is a well-known and highly-regarded executive – having been integral to Gain Theory’s success since its inception,” said Harvey Goldhersz, Chief Data Officer and CEO GroupM Analytics. “As the availability of granular consumer event level data grows, so does the need to understand how to find core insights and obtain actionable recommendations that can maximize the benefit of marketing investment. Manjiry’s passion and deep understanding of how to do this and her long pedigree of guiding brands to success make her the perfect person to take the global helm at this pivotal time for Gain Theory and the industry at large.”

Tamhane succeeds Jason Harrison, who will be transitioning to a new role leading Team Arrow Partners, Group M’s first-of-its-kind multi-disciplinary marketing agency offering built exclusively for Target, a current client of Gain Theory.

The appointment of Tamhane shows Gain Theory’s commitment to connecting data, insights and outcomes against KPIs via a consultative approach, which has led to Gain Theory’s high client retention rate. In the first year since launch, Gain Theory has added over 15 brands to its client roster.

“I am honored to have been appointed Gain Theory’s WW CEO. At Gain Theory, our goal is to give clients the confidence to make the best marketing decisions now and in the future. Without doubt, the expansion of event level data and technology offers us even more access to faster, smarter insights, however navigating this landscape can be a challenge. As a trusted unbiased advisor, we can help clients navigate the complexities and deliver successful business outcomes” said Tamhane.

For more information contact:

Claudia Sestini
Global head of Marketing & Communications
M: +44 (0) 7825 781 038

“We live in a world where there are more questions than answers”

        Chris Brooke-Carter, Editor-in-Chief Retail Week Magazine

This year’s Retail Week Live saw the great and good of the retail industry gather again to discuss several pertinent themes. Not surprisingly, one of the most discussed themes was the Customer. Here we capture the six take-aways from the likes of Tesco, Asda, Harrods, Virgin Atlantic, and Jigsaw; and offer some advice around Value Propositions and getting to the bottom of what drives customers today.

Topics include:

  1. Customer satisfaction
  2. Chief customer officer
  3. Customer insights
  4. Customer experience
  5. Customer centric cultures
  6. Customer loyalty


Download the full report on the link at the side.

© Gain Theory 2017. All rights reserved.