AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

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STOMS: Using data science to plan for unpredictablity

Vizeum, Data2Decisions

Difflam is a medicated throat remedy sold only in pharmacies. It competes with a number of products that are more widely available and distributed in supermarkets/petrol stations.

Difflam needed to defend its number 1 market share position within pharmacies at a time of increased competition from new category entrants and established rivals spending up to three times more in media.

However, planning media for the cold and flu season proves tricky as the season peak for colds and flu can shift significantly year-on-year. Vizeum had to develop a way to ensure media would be live when sore throats occurred.

Strategy
No available data sources accurately tracked incidence of sore throats cases in Australia, making a data-driven strategy difficult. Traditionally, planners would use data from previous years as a guide and hoped that historic patterns continued, which was rarely the case.

Vizeum commissioned Data2Decisions to develop a game-changer: The Sore Throat Outbreak Monitoring System (STOMS).

Using over 30 data sources, STOMS was able to predict incidences of sore-throat cases across each state in Australia, enabling increased accuracy of media planning for longer lead-time channels, and the ability to tailor solutions for more responsive digital platforms.

Utilising STOMS, Vizeum worked with Dentsu Aegis Network partners to develop agile plans for sore-throat cases. Accurate long term forecasts also enabled planning of less agile media such as radio and OOH, with investment being split based on these trends.

Daily weather data also highlighted expected short-term fluctuations in sore-throats. Vizeum could then reallocate between states based on higher incidences.

Results
Never before had Difflam been armed with such a sophisticated system of media implementation. Despite increased competitive pressure and a significant decrease in the number of sore throat cases in 2016, sales of Difflam grew by an impressive 3%.

This growth enabled Difflam to maintain its number 1 position in market. When looking back, STOMS has also proven to be incredibly accurate with the model showing an 80% correlation to sore throat sales. Now Difflam has the confidence to plan for the unpredictable well into the future.

STOMS from Dentsu Aegis Network - ANZ on Vimeo.