Unless you live in a cave, you’re well aware of the Geico insurance company’s Gecko spokes-lizard. You probably know that he’s about six inches tall; his scaly skin is a calming shade of green; he has a winning personality – although some might say annoying – not to mention a “loverly” Cockney accent.
But there are a couple things about the Geico Gecko (@TheGEICOGecko) that I bet you don’t know.
For one thing, he’s just become the “world’s greenest author.” And for another, he’s a product of big data analytics.
Despite the Geico Gecko’s initial popularity, the insurance firm really didn’t intend for the little guy to become its long-term, brand representative, the company’s chief marketing officer, Ted Ward, tells AdAge.
Nope. The iconic spokes-reptile owes his life, so to speak, to data analysis, Ward says.
“The green scaly spokes-character . . . was actually born in a petri dish of data,” Ward tells AdAge. “The Gecko was ‘hatched’ with absolutely no research or even the intention of producing a long-running, iconic campaign.”
Rather, after analyzing the results from running the first set of TV ads starring the Gecko, the Geico big wigs noticed an increase in business – and they liked it.
Then after using big data analytics to figure out exactly what was going on, the company was able to attribute the bump in business directly to the Gecko’s charm and verve.
So the insurance company decided, of course, to continue trotting out the cute little reptile to interact with his adoring public.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
“From that point on we have incorporated more traditional market research to track and monitor consumer sentiment related to the little green guy,” Ward says.” I’m happy to report he is still one of the best-liked icons in advertising today.”
Additionally, Geico uses analytics to make sense of the structured and unstructured data coming into the company from every customer channel.
Although most of the traditional data sets are still relevant to Geico, the level of detail and analysis has changed, Ward notes.
“Also the ability to discretely reach consumers via new channels has perhaps had an even greater impact,” he says. “It wasn’t that long ago that none of us had personal email addresses or an IP address.”
Today, these data elements are as important for most marketers, as street addresses, ZIP codes and carrier routes were just years ago, Ward notes.
“So, I’d say [an] address is a critical data element regardless of the form it takes. The other element is name. There’s nothing like addressing communication to someone by their name – as long as it is correct,” he says. “Attaching levels of data and insights to that name is what big data [analytics] is changing.”
Spotfire Blogging Team