Ashton Media
Marketing & Customer Experience Hub

The intersection of data and marketing



Data wrangling is such a massive job, initial efforts were taking a team of people at Energy Australia up to three days a week to tackle the task. That’s according to Kier Draven who is part of the NextGen team at Energy Australia where he develops analytics solutions for digital as well as the organisation’s customer experience function.


“That’s not just client-side for us, it’s agency-side as well,” said Draven.

After partnering with global marketing analytics company Datorama which provides a data integration engine focused on marketing analytics, Energy Australia has seen a marked improvement in the time spent handling data assets.

“Using this has freed us up to spend more time doing analysis, which is really what it’s about, but it’s also enabled our agency to have a bit more free time,” said Draven.

Where data meets marketing

The intersection of marketing and data is a question many marketers are looking to answer and Draven sees this as a necessary challenge in the quest for actionable insights.

“For us, it’s basically about being able to pull all these bits and pieces together. We collect data from all different sources. We’ve got all of our digital marketing data, we’ve got our first party data, as well as some of our third party data as well. It’s been about how we can join the dots for all of those and drive extra insights,” said Draven.

The biggest challenge in this regard for Energy Australia has been having a centralised platform to bring together various data assets as Draven works to create relationships between data sources and understand the customer journey.

Today Energy Australia utilises Application Programming Interfaces or APIs to reduce the workload of its people. The result is working in almost real time with the organisation’s data.

“We’ve gone from retrospective – looking at the previous week or previous months trying to find actual and precise recommendations out of that – to now where every day we’ve got new data available to us. As soon as the campaign goes live, we’re able to start to see the effectiveness of that campaign, whether it be on-site or off-site. We’re able to start making tactical decisions as we go, rather than looking at things a week in the past.”

The ability to optimise and tweak campaigns on the fly is a step change for the business.

MarTech and attribution

While close to real-time campaign analysis may be light years ahead of where other organisations are at on the data and MarTech journey, Energy Australia still has some mountains to climb. Among them is attribution.

Draven said: “Attribution is one of the things that we’re really trying to fully understand. For us, it’s about getting that full life cycle journey over multiple touch points. From basically a first interaction they had with us, whether it’s a site advertisement or a TV spot, all the way through to onboarding that customer. And then, starting to work our way through that customer’s life cycle as well. It’s definitely a massive focus for us.”

Draven empathises with organisations struggling to get a handle on the MarTech and other processes required to be truly data-driven. He said: “I think a lot of organisations are still quite afraid of change. There’s also a lot of concern around cost. There’s probably a bit of preciousness as well around the way some of these processes are owned and governed and managed.”

The best way forward, Draven said, is to show the value in doing the hard yakka. He said: ““If we can demonstrate to the group that having a strong data strategy can create better efficiencies in our team, then we should.”

Moving forward in the organisation’s MarTech and data journey, Energy Australia is focusing on making digital integral to the business offering. “One of our strategic pillars is making digital part of our DNA,” said Draven.

In order to action this, work is being done to the Content Management System to set it up for delivering better personalisation and to create the best possible digital experience for the brand’s customers.

Culture is also important in making this a reality and as the organisation becomes more efficient in its data handling, the benefits are felt and then championed by more and more departments.

“The process has probably been the biggest thing. We have so many different sources of data, so being able to demonstrate efficiencies within our immediate team, as well as having across the business a stake for the management as well, it’s probably been the easiest push for us,” said Draven.

For other organisations embarking on the MarTech and data journey, Draven advises they get creative. “Think outside the box around your analytics,” he said. “Obviously data is a massive part of it, and making data-driven decisions is really important. But being able to test new ideas, and see the results of those, look at the recent points of your customer journey, that’s what we’re doing now. It’s really about bearing our crosses where we don’t test something, or try something new.”

The use of a marketing analytics engine has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the business. In fact, the platform has been nominated for a Chairman’s award within the organisation. Draven said: “It has transformed the way that we automate all of our stakeholder reporting. It’s freed up our team to spend a lot more time doing analysis. It’s definitely made some massive changes in the digital landscape of our business.”

Mark Abay - Content Director, Ashton Media About Mark Abay - Content Director, Ashton Media
Mark is Content Director at Ashton Media. It's his job to create interesting and engaging conference programs that stretch the thinking of our attendees. Mark works closely with our industry advisors to ensure the conference content is aligned with the needs and interests of our audiences.