Nielsen Meets Alcon’s Need for Speed With Marketing Mix Modeling

July 26, 2019 Anne Curtin

Innovation, myopic Millennials and digital marketing are three factors that are changing the eye care industry. Brands must take these factors into consideration when launching new products.

In a world of consumer choice, B2C companies need to optimize their marketing budgets and channel investments to drive both short-term sales and long-term brand equity. Marketing measurement strategies are key to achieving both goals.

When Alcon developed an innovative solution for dry eyes, it needed answers to critical questions to ensure the product’s success, including:

  • Which digital vehicles are the most efficient spends?
  • How can the advertising plan be improved?
  • What are the ROIs from each major marketing element?
  • Which tactics should be leveraged to drive growth?
  • What can we learn to inform our 2019 media plans?

Alcon selected Nielsen’s marketing mix modeling solution to get answers. With those strategic insights, it grew share of equity sales by 8.7%​, driven in large part through the launch of the new formula.

Largest Eye Care Device Company Introduces Advanced Solution

Alcon is the largest eye care device company in the world with complementary businesses in Surgical and Vision Care. In 2018, the company introduced Systane Complete, a new formula of over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops designed to provide soothing relief for every major type of dry eye. The product joined the Systane family of dry eye drops as the brand’s most advanced solution to date. 

OTC Brand Turns to Nielsen for Performance Insights

To jump-start product sales and awareness of Systane Complete, Alcon launched a 360-degree marketing campaign in April 2018 designed to reach the 30 million people living with dry eye in the US. Since the OTC dry eye drop segment has relatively low household penetration, the company needed to maximize the efficiency of its budget by strategically targeting its core consumers.

The brand sought to optimize direct-to-consumer marketing budget and channel investments to drive short-term product sales and long-term brand equity growth for Systane Complete.

Measurement would be critical to its success. But the window for analysis was short if Alcon’s marketing team wanted to leverage those learnings to inform their 2019 plan and budget. Alcon turned to its long-time measurement provider Nielsen to get the performance insights it needed, fast.

Nielsen’s Marketing Mix Modeling Solution Delivers Timely Results

Nielsen’s marketing mix modeling solution delivered timely, actionable insights Alcon needed to assess the impact of its 2018 360-degree marketing campaign and determine the optimal level of investment for 2019. 

​With Nielsen’s strategic insights, Alcon grew Systane’s share of equity sales by 8.7%, driven in large part through the launch of Systane Complete. The team has since received funding for continued media support, and is basing its marketing investment decisions on recommendations from the analysis.

“The stakes are always high when launching a new product. We knew we had a solid measurement methodology in place with Nielsen, and their ability to quickly mine and draw performance insights from a tremendous amount of data gave us confidence that the right planning and investment decisions were being made,” said Jeff Huffman, Director of Marketing, Dry Eye & Ocular Health, Alcon. “We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to show that the dollars allocated to Systane are yielding a return that’s growing the Alcon business overall.”

In order to deliver the results in time for the planning deadline, Nielsen worked with Alcon’s Systane brand team to prioritize the business questions and factors that were most critical to understand, including competitive actions, retail distribution, price changes, promotions, TV, online video, print, online display, social media and coupons.

Alcon Gets Answers to Key Business Questions

Nielsen was able to leverage proprietary media and sales data, as well as its unmatched access to data through partnerships, to speed up the data collection process. Once collected, the data inputs were integrated into a robust regression model to tease out the incremental impact from each factor.

The analysis revealed key insights and optimization opportunities that the Alcon team could use to get a head start on its 2019 planning:

  • The Alcon team could compare the efficiency of different marketing channels and tactics and learn that addressable TV was highly effective at reaching the target market.
  • The team was able to drill down to evaluate the performance of different dimensions within each marketing channel and see specific results for each of its addressable TV vendors.
  • The team was able to compare and contrast performance over time and plan its go-forward marketing strategy with confidence.
  • The analysis confirmed that Alcon’s media mix was solid, its creative was resonating with its audience, and that the team had the right plan in place.
  • With sales volume and brand equity for Systane Complete on the rise, the team could turn its focus to refining the plan to optimize results going forward.

Measuring the Impact of Marketing on Sales

Nielsen’s Marketing Mix Modeling solution provides a holistic understanding of what’s driving sales including online, offline and the trends and competition that can affect demand for your products.

To learn more about marketing mix modeling, download our ebook Untangling Attribution’s Web of Confusion.

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