Jessy Wang | Carlsberg China

China is the world's biggest consumer market for beer, with several multinational breweries vying to be the number one choice among customers. Carlsberg is one of these brands, and the company has seen its market share rise significantly since opening its first brewery in Greater China nearly 35 years ago. Remaining competitive in such a challenging environment means Carlsberg must possess the ability to accurately gauge the impact of its marketing communications. Access to comprehensive consumer market research, advanced analytics and the latest modelling tools can therefore provide a crucial added edge.

Finding the right tool

Carlsberg China began working with global market research firm Ipsos in 2014 to discover ways of improving the beer brand's methods for evaluating media investment impact. Ipsos subsequently recommended Pointlogic as a partner based on the organisation's sophisticated modelling techniques. Together, the three companies collaborated on a Media Tracker project, which utilises Pointlogic's analytics and software to run different scenarios that test the effectiveness of proposed media plans.

Jessy Wang, Strategic Planning and Intelligence Director, is responsible for investigating and integrating commercial insights and market research at Carlsberg China to optimise decision-making and business performance.

"This is the first time we have had a tool to deeply understand each contact point contribution on our media campaign effectiveness," Jessy says. "The model is powerful in helping us evaluate our investments, and we can make media mix changes and adjustments on future campaigns based on the findings."

Optimising city-specific plans

According to Jessy, the tool also enables Carlsberg to accurately formulate marketing strategies for China's key cities. Carlsberg ran a thematic campaign for the popular brand Tuborg in Chongqing, one of the country's largest cities. The media objective was to raise brand awareness to 30% and unaided brand awareness to 10%. The campaign used traditional TV, online TV and a range of out-of-home advertising, such as ads in subways, bus shelters and on the outside of buses. The model showed brand awareness jumped 42% during the first wave of the campaign, however, unaided brand awareness climbed just 8%.

"When we drilled down on why the 10% target wasn't achieved, we actually found that some of the contact points didn't work," Jessy explains. "For example, we launched two 15-second TV copies, but one of them wasn't driving unaided brand awareness."

Conversely, other contact points performed extremely well, including ads on buses and in the subway. Carlsberg leveraged these insights by removing the failing TV copy and extending the duration of bus ads, among other changes.

"We launched the second burst with the new media mix and the final outcome was extremely positive," Jessy says. "Brand awareness was up to 63% and unaided brand awareness was 17%. Both KPIs had significantly increased compared with the first wave."

Working with Pointlogic

While the results have been positive, there were some challenges along the way. The data required to build accurate models was not always available or of high quality, which meant relying on internal assumptions. Communication also created issues, with Ipsos and Carlsberg's offices located in China, while Pointlogic's teams were primarily based in the Netherlands. Furthermore, there was some confusion regarding the methodology and philosophy behind the modelling process. Pointlogic worked to consolidate and clean up Carlsberg's database and provided additional training to explain in more detail how the models work and the best ways to use them. Jessy says the training was very useful and the project ran much more smoothly afterwards.  

"I appreciate Pointlogic in their service and professionalism in working with Carlsberg China," she adds. "The Pointlogic team is very supportive and helpful, and this is a great tool for us to measure our campaign ROI."