Specsavers, the British optician and audiologist increased sales by using first-party data yielded from its online appointment-booking tool to prompt patients overdue for an eye test, reducing empty appointment slots and growing sales.

Why it matters: First-party data is key to this campaign and is likely to become more important as browsers phase out cookies. But the campaign also combined this real-time information with robust planning to pitch the eventual creative to a crucial target audience.

WARC Media Awards

For the full insights, read the Grand-Prix-Winning case study here: Specsavers: COVID Booking Engine.

Find all the winners of the Effective Use of Data category here.

  • It focussed on customers who intended to book an appointment ‘soon’ rather than ‘now’, with most citing lack of time.
  • Building the eventual system was a nine-month process, ironing out a system that could scrape store appointment availability from every UK store and collate this into a single cloud-based data-set that could be accessed through an API connection.
  • This allowed the team to build rules that would trigger media buys in paid search, social, display, and DOOH near to stores.

Through a digital booking engine, Specsavers (along with agency Manning Gottlieb OMD) could assess live appointment availability at the level of the individual store and use this data to advertise appointment availability in real time.

“Converting ‘soon’ into ‘now’ was very powerful,” said Sannah Rogers, Managing Director at Zenith UK and a judge in the data category.

“A really good way to get people to book tests. It was the clearest example of super smart use of first-party data. Properly insightful and empathetic of their customer base,” added judge Sam Knowles, Founder & Managing Director of Insight Agents.

Beginning with a test region, the brand saw 68% stronger eye test volume growth compared to other control regions. For the brand, this was a boon as it reduced the cost per booking by 29%; for the franchisees that run half of Specsavers stores, the impact was immediately visible just outside their doors and in their businesses.


  • Testing systems in the real world was crucial to this campaign’s success.
  • Data alone is worthless; it’s only in combination that it can really solve business problems.
  • Working systems can’t be slung together and forgotten: investment in cloud systems, and ensuring buy in across the organisation was fundamental.
  • Scaleability was inbuilt.

Sourced from WARC