How Click Frenzy director Grant Arnott re-learned the rules of online
A short course in digital marketing and analytics taught Grant Arnott it's never too late to learn new tricks – even after you've founded one of Australia's most popular online shopping events.
Grant is the man behind Click Frenzy, the annual sales festival attracting hundreds of retailers, thousands of deals and millions of customers for a 24-hour period every year.
Inspired by the US events like Cyber Monday, Click Frenzy was founded in 2012 with humble origins – and a scrappy strategy.
"We certainly started as that classic self-funded startup with a team of two before gradually putting on more resources," Grant says.
"A lot of what we did was just fly-by-gut feel, a try-and-fail mentality without any modelling or data rigour behind it. That has changed a lot over the years and certainly took on a new level after I did the marketing analytics course."
Grant took part in the four-day Delivering Value Through Digital course co-designed by the University of Oxford after hosting several Melbourne Business School students at his business.
"We had a cohort of Masters of Business Analytics students spend five weeks running a project here on-site, which was how the course brochure came across my desk," Grant says.
"It looked like a great opportunity to learn more about digital marketing analytics and see if what I thought I knew about analytics was reflective of best practice.”
Grant joined around 25 other participants for the course, where their expectations and assumptions were turned upside down.
"I really enjoyed it. I had always been a massive fan of analytics and how it could be applied for strategically commercial benefit," he says.
"The two professors, Ujwal and Andrew, really challenged my assumptions. They flipped a few things on their head – such as attribution modelling, oddly enough."
Other speakers on the course opened Grant's eyes to more than just modelling.
"The industry speakers were really great. One of them talked about digital marketing spend and why bringing programmatic paid marketing in house can change the game," Grant says.
At the end of the program, Grant and his cohort were asked what they would do differently after having been exposed to a different outlook on analytics.
"I said that I would advertise for a data analyst and that's what we did. He's been with us a year now and his work has been a great asset for the business," he says.
In the last twelve months, Grant says a lot has changed in the way he and his team operate – and it all starts with analytical modelling.
"In everything we do now, we make sure to understand the assumptions behind the model, test them out and then put more rigour behind it," he says.
"It's made our forecasting more predictable, less chaotic and less prone to the ups and downs that startups have. It also helps support our sales team – particularly, when they say, it's tough out there.
"We can now pull apart the data and see that, say, our client retention rates are higher than what they may believe, so then we can go back to them and work out where the actual problems are. That can eventually lead to bigger bonuses for them."