D 2 D

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by D 2 D's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from D 2 D is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Managing Director
Data2Decisions’ London
Data2Decisions provides consultancy on marketing
effectiveness, employing a wide range of data, analytics
and technology to provide concrete and tangible models
that can drive business performance through better marketing.
It has recently invested in a machine learning hub that will
facilitate its development of the next generation of marketing
effectiveness technology. After being acquired by Dentsu Aegis
Network, they now have a presence around the globe, having
recently opened a new office in China. Managing Director
Katherine Munford tells
The Parliamentary Review
about staying
at the cutting edge of technological advancement.
We were established in 2001 by Paul Dyson to meet a need in the market for a
data-driven marketing consultancy. I joined the business in the start-up phase; even
in the early days, our ambition was to become a leading marketing effectiveness
consultancy. To achieve this goal, we worked with a single-minded focus to
help our clients to drive growth and profit from marketing. We accomplished
this through harnessing data, analytics and technology to assist our clients’
understanding of how their marketing is working and how to deploy it more
effectively – with a focus on turning analytics into action. In 2012, after the
business had grown considerably, we were acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network.
This was a critical point in the development of the company, as it enabled us to
establish our global footprint far more quickly than would otherwise have been
possible. We now operate in 15 countries around the world and have offices across
Europe and the Americas; we are also expanding rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region,
»Managing Director:
»Founder: Paul Dyson
»Established in 2001
»Based in London
»Services: Marketing
effectiveness consultancy
»No. of employees: 55 in the
UK and 150 globally
»No. of clients: 115
having just established a new base
in China. This global expansion has
allowed us to become a credible global
player in marketing effectiveness.
Our ethos is grounded in improving
the performance of our clients. We
endeavour to provide tangible value
to all the companies we work for.
This includes a central focus on the
commercial performance of our
clients, which is supported by our
commitment to innovation. We strive
to make decisions that are fair to both
our employees and our customers. To
ensure our long-term success, we aim
to inspire the next generation of diverse
talent, and our parent company, Dentsu
Aegis Network, has instigated a school
and early careers programme, designed
to showcase potential careers in our
industry. We have also hired a cohort of
data and analytics apprentices, providing
them with experience in analytics in the
dynamic media environment.
Investing in machine learning
We have invested heavily in cutting-
edge technology and have set up a
machine learning hub to build the
next generation of software products.
Inresponse to the increased complexity
of the marketing landscape, we are
deploying machine learning to help to
unlock insight from data and inform
and automate better data-driven
marketing decisions. The increased
focus on linking advertising spend
with business results, coupled with the
rate of technology development, will
accelerate the client demand for this as
we approach 2020.
The technology we build is fundamental
to how we add value for clients, but we
also employ client-facing consultants
who specialise in specific industry
verticals, such as finance, travel and
retail. This helps them to understand the
key challenges in any given industry and,
collaborating closely with our software
teams, to deploy technology to help
with specific business challenges.
Evolving artificial intelligence
technology has had a massive impact
on the sector, helping brands to
serve digital adverts in a smarter and
more cost-effective manner. We have
leveraged this capability and built
specific marketing technology in our
machine learning hub that can buy
media in real time, based on learning
Data2Decisions’ global
We harness data,
analytics and
technology to
assist our clients’
understanding of
how their
marketing is
working and how
to deploy it more
Highlighting best practice
from a multitude of datasets. This
enables brands to make activation-
related changes at a rate not possible
with human management, powered
by insights that continue to evolve
as more data becomes available.
Such systems not only learn but,
importantly, also adapt in response
to changing demand and market
conditions. This kind of marketing
technology has the potential to drive
an enormous change in the industry, if
it is backed with significant investment.
Re-evaluating marketing
campaign measurement
One of the key discussions in the sector
centres on transparency. Obtaining a
read on marketing cut-through has been
made more difficult by the use of bots
that can impact the veracity of digital
performance data. This has proved
to be a big concern for our clients, as
it has forced them to re-evaluate the
key performance indicators used for
marketing campaigns. The focus has
shifted from readily available digital
metrics, such as campaign clicks, to a
more in-depth study of how marketing
campaigns translate to concrete business
outcomes, such as return on investment.
The uncertainty that surrounds Brexit
has also impacted the advertising and
marketing sector. The threat of wider
economic challenges affects marketing
budgets swiftly, and this has led to
an increased focus on maximising the
return on marketing investment. It is
vital to make marketing budgets work
as hard as possible and understand
where media spend should be cut if
clients are faced with a reduction in
marketing budgets.
Dealing with digital
Internet expansion has given brands
new and different ways to reach
customers and the opportunity to sell
internationally, which has contributed
to a growth in global brands. As we
have grown, we have taken on a
number of large companies with big
portfolios of different brands, which
must all compete for the same internal
marketing budgets. We consult these
clients on how to manage their global
marketing budgets across brands,
countries and media channels in order
to maximise the return on investment
from marketing.
Over the past few years, there has
been a significant shift in marketing
spend towards digital marketing
channels, often at the expense of
offline brand-building channels, such
as TV. A key focus of our work with
clients is to help them to balance these
areas of spend to drive both short- and
long-term growth.
Our ambition, as it has been from
our inception, is to become a leading
global marketing effectiveness firm.
Our new office in China is a symbol
of our growth, and we hope to
sustain this with investment in our
technological capability, specifically
focusing on developing our machine
learning techniques to build the next
generation of tools. By continuing to
innovate and expand globally, we are
confident that we can partner with
our clients to increase profit from
marketing investment.
We have built
that can buy
media in real
time based on
learning from
a multitude of
data sets
Founder Paul Dyson


This article was sponsored by D 2 D. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister