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P&O Ferries has been hugely successful in developing engaging content across all on and offline marketing channels, with each area having its own specialised targeting and measurement approach.

However, whilst all channels were profitable in their own right, with a finite marketing budget it was important that any marketing investment was working as hard as it could.

In order to ensure that every last penny was being spent wisely, P&O needed to gain a full view of ALL their marketing activity in one place, along with the interdependencies and ROI of all channels measured alongside each other.

Critically this challenge was preventing a clear picture of how all of the channels were working together (or not), as well as delivering an understanding of which are the most cost-effective channels and when.

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This was clearly going to be a game-changing project that would not only give P&O Ferries a clear and accurate picture of their marketing but help see the impact of any change to strategy.

The team knew they would need to take the best of traditional customer and database analytics combined with powerful insights from the world of econometrics – inventing a fresh approach for delivering a holistic view of marketing measurement.

There were four stages to the project –
1. Data specification and collation
2. Initial analysis – tables and trend charts
3. Modelling to identify demand factors
4. Stakeholder findings presentation

A key requirement of the project was to find a way of using past campaign results to accurately predict future returns. The team developed a powerful ‘Scenario Tool’, using spend by channel, route and seasonality, to accurately predict revenue returns both by booking period and departure period.

As a result, the team were able to identify ‘diminishing returns’ on certain marketing activities which meant that marketing budget could be released and reallocated to other, more profitable areas of P&O’s marketing activity. As a result, the optimised marketing activities are now delivering a significantly higher ROI than before.

One key change was to retain TV advertising but to move it to later in the year, in order to drive greater incremental and the results are demonstrating the benefits of that change.


P&O Ferries’ decision to build a holistic independent view of ALL marketing activity paid off, delivering much more than could have possibly been hoped for.

It can be hard to make significant changes to your marketing strategy, but this ground-breaking approach has revealed the massive results possible, giving the team a clear view on channel performance and interdependencies of each of those channels.

Now this critical insight has proved crucial in setting channel budgets and revenue planning. A consolidated approach has brought channel teams and P&O Ferries’ media agencies together with a consistent and unified approach to generating incremental bookings.

Clear results – effective planning
The results of this approach were also used to validate where P&O needed to adjust marketing spend by channel and also how they needed to adjust the timings. For example, vital analysis of ‘diminishing returns’ clearly highlighted that some PPC spend during particular points in the year could be reinvested for greater ROI.

Taking the results forward
This ongoing activity has demonstrated that using analysis and modelling to create an independent and combined view of marketing activity has not only helped P&O Ferries understand the effectiveness of their marketing spend, but has enabled them to accurately inform the best channels and best times to invest in order to maximise their future ROI.

We believe that this amazing project has delivered a truly innovative platform and the ability for P&O Ferries to squeeze the best value out of each and every single marketing pound delivering better value for its customers and a competitive advantage along the way.

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