TalkTalk's Data Driven Marketing Strategy Connecting GA Premium, DBM and YouTube

September 2015

TalkTalk prove the power of data driven marketing and what can be achieved when marketing and analytics teams truly collaborate. With the assistance of m/SIX agency they segmented and retargeted new and existing customers based on previous interactions with the brand.


Integrated customer product information from CRM system into Google Analytics Premium using custom dimensions

Utilised AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager integrations with Google Analytics Premium to use CRM data to target their campaigns

Ran test retargeting campaign against standard URL-based retargeting campaign (the control)


Gain deeper understanding of customers in order to reach them with most relevant campaign messaging

Reach a high proportion of TalkTalk’s consumer base with content marketing

Generate incremental sales and increase Return on Investment


Test DBM campaign outperformed the control with 219% better conversion rate while also achieving a 77% reduction in cost per acquisition (76% reduction in CPA for YouTube campaigns vs control)

Reached over 50% of customer base as they consumed content on YouTube and delivered higher engagement rates and ad recall

Understanding customer behaviour

TalkTalk wanted to better understand their customers and react with the right campaign message at the right time. To accomplish this, they worked with their agency, m/SIX, to augment sales and behavioural data with information from TalkTalk's own CRM system. Google Analytics Premium's integrations with DoubleClick Bid Manager and AdWords provided an efficient way to empower the brand's remarketing activity in display and video.

TalkTalk utilised custom dimensions, a feature of Universal Analytics, allowing additional customer product information to be introduced into Google Analytics. Some examples of information captured through custom dimensions include the method of customer recruitment, a customer's eligibility for certain products and an existing customer's current products, offer eligibility and other key attributes. As a Google Analytics Premium customer, TalkTalk had 200 custom dimensions to work with, rather than the 20 available in standard Google Analytics accounts.

The Google Analytics Premium and DoubleClick integration coupled with CRM data has allowed us to utilise the rich Google Analytics Premium dataset for the first time in driving significant improvements in conversion rates and lower costs per acquisition.

-Andrew Morris, Senior Analyst, TalkTalk

The custom dimensions were coded into the site's data layer, which contained information that would be sent to TalkTalk's tag management system and Google Analytics Premium. This would enable TalkTalk to have a better understanding of the depth of a customer's existing relationship with the brand. TalkTalk then created remarketing lists, shared from Google Analytics Premium to DoubleClick Bid Manager and AdWords, as a method of targeting the brand's display and video advertising.

Using multiple Google Analytics lists enabled m/SIX to differentiate existing TalkTalk TV customers by their various TV packages and connections. The YouTube video delivered to these customers included messaging about optional add-ons available with their existing TV packages. This strategy was complemented by programmatic Display ads run through DoubleClick Bid Manager to increase the reach of the campaign.

To target non-TalkTalk customers as they consumed content on Youtube, multiple Google Analytics lists were split out into hot, warm and cold leads based on previous interactions with the TalkTalk website. For example, a consumer who had only visited a product page would be identified as "warm" but one who had started on the purchase journey would be "hot". The YouTube video delivered to these users promoted TalkTalk as a TV and broadband provider, and also communicated the great value in supplementing a TV package with additional TV boosts.

Results that speak for themselves

To measure the effectiveness of the strategy across DBM and YouTube, TalkTalk and m/SIX ran test-versus-control campaigns, where the control used standard URL-based remarketing. The results?

  • On DBM, the test campaign demonstrated a 63% higher click-through rate
  • The DBM campaign also outperformed the control by 219% in conversion rate, while producing a 77% lower cost per acquisition
  • The YouTube TrueView campaign reached over 50% of TalkTalk's customer base and delivered a 76% reduction in cost per acquisition compared to standard URL-based retargeting

Summary & Next Steps

Separating users into segments in the above ways allowed the team to deliver the appropriate message to the correct audience. Going forward, the company will continue to build upon the amount of anonymous customer product information passed to Google Analytics Premium from its CRM and other systems. This will allow TalkTalk to grow its advanced remarketing strategy, as well as enhance its ability to increase the value of existing customers.

When asked how they plan on building upon this success, Online Marketing Manager Richard Bailey states "We plan to get even more focused with our creative by utilising Google Analytics Premium custom dimensions to inform our dynamic creative for remarketing."

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