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Iris nation/Powerade (Coca Cola)

Measuring the efficacy of the WRC promotion for Powerade


Iris nation is one of the world’s leading independent integrated marketing services agencies, with whom Aszent has partnered since 2005, providing data services to the majority of their key client teams.  They specialise in youth oriented brands, such as Sony Ericsson, SoCo, Adidas, and invest in undertaking specialist market research into their target audiences.   Iris nation have been providing marketing services to Powerade for over three years and are responsible for designing and producing all in-store and digital materials.


Powerade is a sports energy drink, operating in a sector that is overshadowed by Lucozade Sport.   Powerade use sponsorship as a way of increasing brand awareness, engaging in events such as Rugby World Cup.  As with the majority of FMCG brands tracking of efficacy of spend is undertaken through longitudinal tracking studies and consumer panels, however for small brands where market penetration is in single figures, it can be quite difficult to drill into the data and pinpoint precisely the areas for development or success.

In 2007 iris nation developed an on pack promotion for Powerade, using the “Try Me Free” mechanic to encourage awareness and increase consumption levels.  The mechanic had never been used in this category so it was very important that a robust analytical study to measure impact was initiated.

We had previously worked with iris nation on analysing tracking studies and panel data for Powerade so we were familiar with the brand objectives and challenges, market statistics and existing measurement methodology.

The requirement

We were asked to undertake a number of analysis and measurement studies to provide the Powerade teams at Coco-Cola and iris nation with insight, specifically:

  1. To cross check the national measurement data from suppliers such as TNS, AC Nielsen, Millward Brown, et al  and establish if the tracking studies provided a robust measure upon which to make decisions and report progress
  2. To cross reference and give a view on the success of the microsite that was developed specifically for the promotion
  3. To determine whether the Try Me Free mechanic worked in raising awareness and sales levels

The challenge

There was little budget available for analysis so we had to design a low cost measurement method that would provide statistically significant results.

What we did

Task 1:     Assessment of national tracking study data

We analysed and recalculated tracking studies from TNS and AC Nielsen, and then reviewed the website traffic and captured data.   We concluded that the results of these national studies had to be treated with caution due to the small sample sizes and market share of Powerade at that time.  We noted that the studies were not capable of isolating cause and effect and so gave a distorted view of the number of new to brand buyers, for example.

Task 2:  View of the success of the microsite

We analysed the web data and found consistencies between the tracking study, field study and the web registrations.   However, the microsite suffered a lack of stickiness and engagement mechanics, so the registration and opt-in rates were below industry standards.

The webstats which were provided to us focused only on the efficacy of the ad spend, and not the measurement of the consumer experience, which is important if considering ROI and engaging prospects with the brand.

Task 3: Determining whether the Try Me Free mechanic worked

Working with our partners, Information By Design, we constructed a fieldwork study that took place at the point of purchase.  The idea behind this was to be able to interview buyers and non-buyers as soon as the transaction took place and probe their reasons, motivations, comprehension and awareness levels.

Over a period of one week we undertook 8 field depths, in the stores where there were plentiful supplies of the promotional bottles along with the in-store POS creative.

We designed a survey that probed areas such as:

  • Reasons for buying
  • Reasons for drinking
  • Likelihood to buy (repeat purchase)
  • Comprehension of the promotion itself
  • Depth of feeling towards the POS creative
  • Demographics

We were able to analyse the data by day-part, age, gender, reason for buying, shop location, presence of POS, etc in order to provide as extensive an analytical study as possible.  The resultant data was weighted so that it would be statistically robust.  The results of the study remain client confidential.

We designed a presentation deck and provided recommendations to Coca-Cola on how to utilise the findings within their next set of promotions and beyond, as well as methods on how to interpret the tracking studies.

The benefits

The Powerade brand team were able to understand the effect of the promotion on short term and long term sales, as well as the perception of this type of mechanic by consumers
Through our recommendations and observations iris nation was able to increase the engagement mechanics and intrinsic value of their next microsite for Powerade.  This helped them to increase the registration and opt-in rates, as well as collect deeper information about the registered participants.   Our analysis also provided them with the basis for ongoing e-communications plans.

Our review of the national tracking study provided iris and Powerade with pragmatic recommendations on how to make better use of the tracking data, to enable both parties to identify cause and effect.
In the longer term our analysis and recommendations enabled Powerade to save budget and redeploy on mechanics where greater ROI and sales could be achieved.

Aszent has proved invaluable in automating SeachStar’s web analytics and statistics; we’re able to save time and focus on our core business as a result of their innovation and dedication. They have delivered 100% customer delight & are hugely recommended for their intelligent solutions and genuine customer service. — Dan Fallon, MD, SearchStar

Call Aszent on 07887 653595