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The Brief

Championing the role, wellbeing and happiness of older people in society, McCarthy Stone has built more than 54,000 individual apartments in 1,200 different developments nationwide, and they don’t plan on stopping!

With ambition to reshape the retirement housing industry, they came to RocketMill to build a connected, data-driven digital ecosystem that would support their next stage of growth.

Alongside their brand-building activity, McCarthy Stone were looking to gain a deeper understanding of their customer to better accommodate them on their journey and increase inbound enquiries. 

Their current marketing technology stack had gaps that would prevent us from understanding and optimising ad performance so our ultimate aim was to bring their digital marketing setup to gold standard, ready for the cookieless future, using the latest best practices across channels including Google, Meta and Bing.

How we did it

With reporting still relying on Universal Analytics (UA), it was essential that we first onboarded Google Analytics 4 (GA4) ahead of the deprecation of UA in July 2023. This would put McCarthy Stone ahead of the curve and well placed to take full advantage of the new features in GA4 as they become available, such as predicted audiences and consent mode. Critically it gives the business enough time to pivot their reporting and KPIs to the new Google Analytics, which has a completely different event-based data model.

To ensure our reporting was providing the depth of detail required,  we first ran a measurement framework workshop with them to define and articulate the right KPIs to improve marketing performance. We then began the implementation phase, building strong and robust measurement foundations that would feed self-service campaign analytics reporting and KPI monitoring within GA4. 

With reporting now automated at campaign level and providing a single source of truth for the McCarthy Stone team and their supporting agencies, we then implemented GTM server-side for GA4, Meta conversions API and Google Enhanced Conversions. This provided the highest possible data quality and tracking coverage ahead of the demise of third party cookies, giving us a granular view of performance, down to cost per prospect. 

Cookieless attribution in place, we could now uncover insights and opportunities, from their two biggest channels, to grow and improve campaign performance and customer experience.

What’s next?

To enable a fully connected technology stack, the next stage in this process will see us connect McCarthy Stone’s CRM and digital platforms to provide a greater understanding of which audiences have the greatest propensity to convert, and where and how to reach them.

Tom Malins, Head of Performance Marketing, McCarthy Stone

“We needed a digital agency partner that can deliver across our digital channels to reach our in-market audience and drive commercial outcomes in line with our business goals. By providing us full visibility of campaign performance in Google Analytics 4,  we can deliver more meaningful customer engagements across all touchpoints, helping to drive incremental growth through continued optimisation.”

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