Mindshare at 2019 I-COM hackathon in Malaga

Written by Fabio Giraldo, Director, Partner, Advanced Analytics

Carrefour France needed to figure out a strategy that would be environmentally-friendly by reducing their investment in print catalogs, while foster store traffic and sales via digital media channels in the Bourgogne Franche-Comté region of France. The big question was how.

The 5th edition of I-COM’s Data Science Hackathon took place in Malaga, Spain earlier this week, reuniting top data-driven marketing professionals from all over the world to solve problems for some of the largest companies, in a small window of 24 hours.

The Mindshare team (named “Mindshare Synapse”) was composed of 4 “hackers” and one mentor who worked tirelessly to find solutions to the Carrefour challenge. The team built a web-based app to synthesize the brand’s data, with intuitive visual modules for building AI models capable of visualizing the outputs to identify the best model suited for the input dataset. The app was capable of running sophisticated classification and regression trees (CART), including CatBoost, LightGBM, and XGBoost. Of all these AI modeling techniques, CatBoost turned out to be the best one for the given data, which wasn’t surprising given its power when working with categorical features, one of them being the geographies within the region of interest in France.

We found that there were high synergistic efficiencies when print and programmatic were flighted together. When looking for places to reduce catalog spending, the data showed us that money should come out of periods of the year when catalogs are being distributed but programmatic isn’t being used at the same time, since there is no synergies between these two channels when they don’t overlap—and  thus reducing the negative impact such spend reduction would have on store traffic and sales. We also found opportunities to increase digital spending in Dijon, Sens, St. Marcel, Marzy and Maiche — places in which we measured high marginal effectiveness from their current media plans.

In addition to the smart work coming out of the hackathon, the larger I-COM 2019 Summit was a story of success for Mindshare, with our teams in India and China winning three I-COM Data Creativity Awards: Overall Winner & Content Marketing Category, General Category Winner, and Mobile Category Winner. You can read more about one of the winning case studies here, about fighting dengue fever, presented by Mindshare U.S.’s Ikechi Okoronkwo, Managing Director, Marketing Sciences.

Mindshare Team Mentor: Fabio Giraldo

Mindshare Team Members: Robert Rindler (Team Captain), Kefu Zhu, Ben May, Matteo Belloni