Tom Braybrook reveals the “secret sauce” behind Acceleration’s AI Marketing Maturity model

Acceleration - GroupM - Tom Braybrook

“We believe this will add more near-term value to marketers and how they want to adopt AI.”

Acceleration, GroupM’s data and technology consulting practice, began work on its AI Marketing Maturity model in early 2023 as its clients and internal teams invested more time and brainpower into implementing the technology across marketing functions.

Tom Braybrook, managing director of Acceleration in Australia, told Mediaweek that while marketers had an abundance of options – from ChatGPT and Bard to Copilot – it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start or what would give them the most impact.

Acceleration’s recently launched Marketing Maturity model slimlines the process to find themes where clients were getting the most impact in their marketing from AI.

Braybrook explained the model’s benchmarks and learnings is based on more than 100 previous AI transformation consulting projects and 30 different use cases that resulted in media efficiency and lowered cost per acquisition. 

“We believe this will add more near-term value to marketers and how they want to adopt AI. To adopt it fully is a multi-year effort, and the incremental value of this tool is about enabling clients to get more immediate value.”

Braybrook said uplift can span anywhere from three to 12 months in either operational efficiency or improved advertising outcomes and can be used to springboard investment in broader AI adoption transformation programs.

Braybrook explained that the model is a framework with a few stages, beginning with a standard assessment of a client’s current capabilities and defining its AI ambitions for the future. He said that the “secret sauce” of the maturity model is the six maturity vectors, or areas, that give the most value for marketers based on the learnings from the 100-plus consulting projects and 30 different use cases.

Those six areas are marketing analytics, digital analytics, commerce, creative AI, audience, and bidding.

Braybrook said the model learns where the client is placed across those six areas and its future ambitions based on organisational factors, budget and risk. The consultancy discusses with stakeholders to define its current state and desired future and the path of least resistance to progress to that desired future.

“We essentially start to mark use cases that can help them get from A to B, such as a predictive customer lifetime value model or a custom bidding algorithm to help them drive more leads or more applications for a financial product,” he said.

The demand to integrate AI into businesses – from large brands to SMBs – will continue to grow. Braybrook noted that the key to making this work is how much a business can leverage what is available.

“There’s an abundance of capability there that you don’t need to go and hire 20 people, a bunch of data scientists and ops engineers to be able to take hold off and utilise. Businesses need to decide where it makes commercial sense to customise that capability and start building something unique to their business.

“It’s (AI) going to touch every business, and it already is. It’s around the degree to which you make additional investments on top of what’s readily available for every business.

Braybrook said the consultancy looks forward to its first wave of client engagements in Q1. Its early clients include a global tech brand across custom bidding, AI-driven audiences, commerce, and digital analytics. 

“We’ve been focusing with them on how they can do smarter things with their first-party data to generate more media efficiencies and move the metrics that matter to them. We’ve generated a 14% decrease in their paid search cost per acquisition.

“For their subscription-type product, we’ve been able to decrease their cancellation rate by 86%, and overall, they’re getting a 19% increase in conversion rates.”

Braybrook also highlighted Acceleration’s work with an optical retailer in which bidding and marketing analytics use cases to help tie its advertising expenditure in line with the capacity of product stock.

“We’ve been able to increase their online bookings by 15% and add a 16% decrease to their cost per acquisition because we no longer promote products that are not necessarily in stock in the store that’s in proximity to the customer,” he added.

Braybrook said the consultancy is looking at taking the model to more clients at a scale as an engagement and giving directional input on where they might want to invest in developing its AI capability.

“We want to take it as far and wide as possible. For customers that are making this a priority into this year, of which there were quite a few, we’ll be doing more in-depth engagements, robust discovery work with them, road mapping and technical solution designs,” he said.

“It’s a tool that’s going to be open and available to all GroupM clients and has been a big part of how we built the tool, in terms of making it web-based, interactive and training our teams up so that they can start to use this as a tool to help guide our clients around what they can achieve with AI into the year.’ Braybrook added.

See also: Acceleration launches marketing maturity model to help marketers in the race to adopt AI

Top image: Tom Braybrook

To Top