From your experiences, what qualities make an award-winning entry?
The proposition needs to be new to the industry – something that hasn’t been done before. It needs to solve a real-world problem. Plus, since we operate within a highly competitive and performance-based industry, the numbers should speak for themselves.
Tell us about winning the Best Use of Data?
One of the ongoing challenges with influencer marketing is for both influencers and brands alike to establish authentic partnerships that truly resonate with their audience/consumer base. Meanwhile, the influencer landscape is booming. The number of influencers continues to grow exponentially; algorithms and engagement metrics are changing; new social networks such as TikTok are becoming increasingly popular; plus some influencer accounts suffer from bot-based follows and engagements. The continuously evolving and ever more challenging landscape meant THG needed to ensure it could analyse accounts and take a data-driven approach to global influencer management at scale.
Therefore, THG set out to solve the issue and created tech alongside THG Ingenuity to focus on using data to drive end-to-end decision-making, from influencer prospecting all the way through to campaign and relationship management.
Importantly, the platform has been created with influencers at the forefront. We gather focus groups from our global influencers network – including micro to macro-influencers and representatives from influencer agencies – to hear their own thoughts and opinions on the platform. The feedback has meant we could build a tool that adds value to the influencers themselves, enhancing their experience and ways of working with brands.
Overall, winning the award is validation of how we believe influencer marketing should be done: approaching the channel from a data-driven perspective and keeping the influencers themselves front of mind in everything you do. THG strongly believes this is the best way to build long-term, authentic relationships to benefit both brands and influencers alike.
What challenges did you face in the campaign and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge we’ve had is to develop our predictive model into a mechanism that can apply to every territory, from the UK to Asia, the US, and so on. The goal is to produce a tool that reads behaviours and types of engagements across every social platform globally. This, combined with our e-commerce platform and output tailored recommendations, supports us in making commercial decisions on influencer marketing.
After activity has gone live, we deep-dive into the performance of each individual influencer and campaign to help us better understand the nuances within each. We take a tiered approach, analysing everything from micro-influencers to top-tier brand ambassadors, and we even measure the impact from influencer events that we host at our THG hotels. Our holistic approach ensures we continue to understand the influencer landscape and our return on our investment more accurately every day.
How has team collaboration been vital to your brand’s success?
Rolling out this strategy required support and contribution from almost every single department in the business – from BI, data, PR and marketing, finance, customer service, and so on. The collaboration was the key to success here.
Most importantly, we rely on our global influencer network to give us constant feedback which helps us continue to improve the platform and how we connect influencers to brands.
What’s changed for your company since winning the award?
In the past year, the number of influencer partnerships continues to grow exponentially, with THG brands such as Myprotein and lookfantastic becoming the partners of choice for more and more influencers globally. We’ve also seen fantastic growth in THG Ingenuity: our proprietary, end-to-end technology and operating platform that helps a growing portfolio of international retailers evolve their business.
What’s your take on the IPMAs as a necessary vehicle for driving the performance marketing industry forward on a global scale?
We believe it’s a fantastic way to recognise brands and businesses evolving performance marketing and celebrate the wins and successes across the industry as a whole. It celebrates innovation, which is vital to the ever-changing and fast-paced industry that we live in.