How HelloFresh's CMO uses a surprising tool to bring data closer to the business

Onling grocery retailer's marketing leader says the group is obsessed with data for digital marketing and decision making

Matt Taylor, HelloFresh
Matt Taylor, HelloFresh

Up-and-coming online grocery retailer, HelloFresh, is making great strides in the Australian marketplace due to its fanatical obsession with data. But the tool it is using to draw insights from isn’t any advanced visualisation or analytics suite – it’s Microsoft Excel.

The Berlin-based company was brought to Australia three years ago by former MasterChef contestant, Tom Rutledge. The company delivers recipes and all necessary ingredients to make three complete meals with cooking time of 30 minutes or less.

Matt Taylor joined the company as chief marketing officer for Australia two years ago, following stints with StyleTread, Cudo and Fairfax Digital, along with eyewear retailer, Bailey Nelson, which he co-founded. He immediately noted a lack of data within HelloFresh, and instigated a series of small trial campaigns using Excel as an analysis tool.

“We would trial as many campaigns as we could, and build out hypotheses around what we thought conversion rates might be, and ensure everyone in the marketing team was sitting as close to the data as possible,” Taylor says.

“We developed a simple Excel sheet and formula we could pump numbers in to and decide whether a trial would be viable. And then we would start with the smallest trials possible and quickly build up a bit of data on a broad range of campaigns, so we could start to see what was going to work, what wasn’t, and what channels we could continue to explore.”

Taylor and his team has since come up with a number of Excel formulas for factors such as campaign performance, customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value. He also continues to ensure that everyone in his team remains “as close to the data as possible”.

“By getting even the guys without a huge amount of marketing experience as close to the numbers as possible, it allows everyone to make decisions on the fly,” Taylor says. “It’s very important to have everyone not only seeing the numbers, but be able to dive in and manipulate the numbers.”

Taylor says the extensive use of Excel means the company usually seeks to hire people with strong Excel experience, or who are already extremely numerate and train them up.

“We find that while sometimes it can take a while to set up the first template, we actually now have a really great set of tools that we have built ourselves in Excel that we can use every day really quickly and can update on the fly,” Taylor says.

“It is such a powerful tool. Every day I sit there and am amazed by some of the stuff you can do, and the way you can crunch certain things. We haven’t felt the need just yet to look for any other solutions.”

Taylor, who will be presenting at the ADMA Data Day forums in Sydney and Melbourne later in March, says his experience with data has been very different to what he expected when he started in marketing.

“When I started many years ago I certainly saw myself as a creative marketer, and as strategic thinking, big picture person,” he says. “One the things I found is without data your creative campaigns mean nothing. By becoming data-focused and a lot closer to the data I allowed myself as a creative marketer to do so much more, because I could come up with a cool funky campaign that I was really passionate about, but then I could prove it and sell it and expand it.”

Even so, Taylor cautions that it is possible to become lose in data.

“Data is, 99 per cent of the time, your best friend, but every so often you can read too much into things. We get as much data as we can and ask simple questions of the data.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Why doing your job well is the key to innovation

The words ‘power company’ and ‘innovation’ probably don’t seem like a natural combination. In fact, when I first went for a marketing role with an electricity company, I semi-dreaded the work I thought I’d be doing.

Catherine Anderson

Head of marketing, Powershop Australia

The great unlearning: How brands can assist with the adoption of voice

Mainstream adoption of voice technology will be all about what consumers are learning not to do.

Ash Mustchin

Director, digital and experiences, Principals

Why getting intimate is key to creating a great customer experience

According to CMO’s State of the CMO 2017 research, 83 per cent of CMOs believe customer experience to be central to their role. An interesting stat considering few of us experience great brand experiences.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

It is indeed great and nice article, but I think the virtual reality, user-generated contents and the Chat bots will dominate the digital...

Almesh

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

Amazing work Nadia. I believe chatbots still have ways to go and are still in Generation 1, the exciting future of transactional and conv...

Giridhar Prathap Reddy

Climate Council pitches at youth engagement with chatbot debut

Read more

This is a great read. Chatbots are going to be the face of customers. Every sector is investing time and money in designing intelligent b...

Giridhar Prathap Reddy

From tacos to HR, chatbots make it personal

Read more

Very interesting article about chatbots. Chatbots are growing day by day and emerging winners in all the industries including Healthcare....

Giridhar Prathap Reddy

​Chatbots, messaging and refining the art of mobile commerce

Read more

'to lesson screen time'LOL someone needs a lesson on how to lessen typos.

Andrew Ward

Golden Circles invests in content play to drive brand purpose

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in