Results-driven marketing campaigns powered by SAS for iris Worldwide

Enhanced market insight enables highest level of provable marketing delivery

The synergy of creative work and powerful analytics is the route to impactful, innovative campaigns for iris Worldwide, the global creative innovation network. iris has made this strategy a reality using the advanced analytics capabilities offered by SAS, which has given the agency the ability to garner deeper insights using larger data sets, ultimately resulting in higher returns for its customers.

Representing some the world’s most recognised brands, such as adidas, Shell, Samsung, Heineken, MINI and Barclaycard, the agency is well aware of the need to show Return On Investment results.

This is made challenging in today’s market place, with consumer brand loyalty becoming more and more disjointed. Insight into consumer behaviour is increasingly important for brands to stay ahead of the curve. iris realised that to best support its clients it needed to gather insights from its growing amounts of data to maximise its campaign results.

There’s a powerful synergy that occurs when you combine creativity with analytics, and the more data you can feed into the process, the sharper your focus becomes. Ultimately that adds up to better work, better results for clients, and continued success for our business going forwards.

Alan Tomlinson
Director of Analytics, iris

To maintain its competitive edge in the changing marketing world, iris acquired Datalytics in 2013, a leading UK customer management and insight specialist organisation, and aligned it with the network's consulting, customer relationship management and strategy arm, iris Concise. The vision was to create a partnership that would 'marry the left and right sides of the brain' and deliver highly creative campaigns giving the highest level of Return On Investment for its clients.

"Creativity and analysis are often seen as diametrically opposed and incompatible, but we know today that's simply not the case," says Alan Tomlinson, director of analytics at iris. "Analysis and creativity are compatible, and can actually feed off each other. By using analytics to focus and measure the success of our creativity, our work evolves and improves, delivering better results."

iris Concise and Datalytics were both established in working with SAS, so when the companies joined forces the opportunity to migrate onto a single SAS platform was easily recognised. The combined teams created the economies of scale to make this move beneficial for both the business and the individual users. As a result iris campaigns have solid foundations in the insights gathered from data, which ensure the highest level of provable results.

"Traditional brand and media thinking is coming under real scrutiny and the industry is becoming increasingly fragmented," continues Tomlinson. "The newly-formed division addresses this by focusing on delivering insight and evaluation. With consumer behaviour evolving, and the increasing demand for measurable results, analytics plays a fundamental role in almost everything we do. SAS was the analytics platform of choice for both organisations, and therefore, the natural fit for helping us stay at the forefront of the data-driven marketing world."

While creativity in marketing remains absolutely essential, its benefit is limited in isolation. When backed up by analytics, it becomes a powerful tool that enables brands to communicate effectively with their audiences. With this approach, iris gathers value from its reams of previously untapped data in addition to integrating third party data into its projects, so its campaigns no longer miss important insights.

The centralised platform also allows for better resource allocation, with team members brought into projects when required and without the need for lengthy training. This offers iris key advantages – the ability to work with more customers, using larger data sets and with greater expectations on results. Moving forward, it sees even more opportunities to harness the SAS platform.

"Performance, so far, has been beyond our expectation," says Tomlinson. "Because our data is now managed centrally, our team can work more flexibly. Working collaboratively, our teams are interchangeable across different projects — maximising the use of our impressive pool of talent. We can also bring in new people to a client project whenever required, without lengthy training."

Iris Worldwide


Looking for an edge in the fragmenting marketing world, iris Worldwide sought a way to embed analytics into its creative campaigns to show its world-recognised clients real return on their marketing investments


SAS Server Analytics Pro


  • Impactful, innovative campaigns driven from data insight
  • Advanced analytics delivers unprecedented return on investment insights for iris clients
  • Centralised platform allows the marketing agency to maximise the use of its creative talent
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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