A dedicated approach to marketing effectiveness works, strengthening the marketing effectiveness culture of both brands and agencies and leading to stronger business value from marketing effectiveness.
This is one of the core findings released recently from the 2022 IPA Marketing Effectiveness Roadmap report, supported by ISBA, and Marketing Week, which reports the levels of marketing effectiveness competency within the industry and sets out a clear model for future success.
Now in its second year, the IPA Marketing Effectiveness Roadmap defines marketing effectiveness as: “The process of improving business performance from marketing activities, made easier and more impactful by people, technology, and a strong and clear focus.”
How well organisations rate their performance against this definition, and against the quadrants of Focus / Process / People / Data, Tools & Measurement* defines their effectiveness culture which the IPA believes has a strong influence on their business success. By analysing organisations’ performance across these quadrants, it is possible to identify ways to improve both for individual companies and the industry as a whole.
Core year-on-year findings
In analysing the performance of the 36% of returning brands and agencies that have completed both the 2021 and 2022 Marketing Effectiveness Roadmap, it is evident that a dedicated approach to marketing effectiveness has helped strengthen marketing effectiveness culture in two ways:
It has helped brands and agencies either strengthen or maintain their effectiveness culture year-on-year:
- Effectiveness culture for brands has improved 10%, scoring 7.2 (2022) versus 6.6.
- Effectiveness culture for agencies has maintained equilibrium at the higher level of 7.6.
For brands, it has helped create consistency in how their marketing effectiveness performance is viewed, with a tighter range of scores across each of the effectiveness quadrants.
Core 2022 Roadmap findings
There are also findings in the 2022 data that reinforce findings from the 2021 roadmap, including:
The biggest single increase in marketing effectiveness culture is when the effectiveness journey is started
For brands it increases (+88%) and for agencies there is a more moderate 33% increase from a higher base (4.3 v 3.8).
Having an effectiveness roadmap is revalidated as a key component of creating a strong(er) marketing effectiveness culture.
- It increases perceived marketing effectiveness culture by 37% for brands and 38% for agencies. There are also improvements across all other marketing effectiveness quadrants (fig 1). Brands and agencies with a roadmap score consistently higher for effectiveness culture across all stages of their effectiveness journey.
- It helps create a more balanced approach to value creation within brands and agencies. When a roadmap is present:
- Brands are 41% more likely to believe that their organisation balances the long and short term and 71% more likely to believe long term brand effects are crucial.
- Brands are also 86% more likely to disagree that their organisation focuses solely on the short term to create value.
- Agencies are 14% more likely to believe in balancing the long and short term.
More brands and agencies need to create an effectiveness roadmap.
26% of brand respondents and 37% of agency respondents claim that their brand or agency does not have an effectiveness roadmap
There are some key new findings which will help prioritise how and where brands and agencies can improve their effectiveness cultures in the next 12 months.
- From a Focus perspective, not only do more brands and agencies need to create their own roadmap, there is also an opportunity for agencies to create effectiveness roadmaps for and with each of their key clients, to really help push a strong effectiveness partnership. At the moment, only 20% of agency respondents claim their agency has an effectiveness roadmap for their key clients.
- From a People perspective, there are three areas agencies are already prioritising to improve their effectiveness culture:
- Putting effort into helping the whole organisation better understand the agency’s effectiveness approach increases effectiveness culture (+63% from 5.4 to 8.8)
- Helping clients understand that the agency is a creator of value rather than a cost to brands (+50% from 4.8 to 7.2)
- Not allowing effectiveness to be siloed within planning, analytics or other departments (+43% from 5.6 to 8.0)
- From a Process perspective, brands which are adopting a more clearly defined planning process are already positively improving effectiveness culture in three ways:
- It increases their own effectiveness culture (+43%)
- It also increases their agency’s effectiveness culture (+31%) when their work has a process to feed into
- It increases the chances of both their own and their agency’s effectiveness recommendations being activated
- From a Data, Tools & Measurement perspective, both brands and agencies agree that this is where the biggest effectiveness challenges lie in the next 12 months. Of particular importance is the finding that the biggest data challenge faced by individual agencies is the lack of (or perceived lack of) data sharing from and with their clients, and also from and with other agencies that work for the same client.
In its conclusions, the report makes a number of rallying cries to the industry, including:
- for more agencies to start or reignite their effectiveness journey with an effectiveness roadmap;
- for agencies and brands to start building effectiveness roadmaps in partnership with each other;
- for the industry to rally around one definition and one framework for understanding how to improve marketing effectiveness;
It also calls for an increase in applications for IPA Effectiveness Accreditation from IPA member agencies, for which applications open in spring 2023.
Says Janet Hull OBE, Director of Marketing Strategy, IPA: “This could have been the difficult second album; finding something new to say alongside reinforcing the clear and obvious recommendations from the 2021 IPA Marketing Effectiveness Roadmap. However, there is a really strong new message: a dedicated approach to marketing effectiveness works. Specifically it helps create a stronger effectiveness culture and a more consistent view of how marketing effectiveness is performing across the four quadrants. This will lead to increased business value coming from marketing effectiveness. This is exactly why the IPA is keen to encourage brands and agencies to take marketing effectiveness more seriously and to make it part of the boardroom agenda.”
Says report author Nick Milne: “The findings and recommendations in this 2022 IPA Marketing Effectiveness Roadmap present a great starting point or place from which brands and agencies can evaluate how their journey is progressing, or change course if needed. But each journey is individual, which is why we always recommend starting with a roadmap to create alignment and ownership. The next step then is about creating trusted effectiveness partnerships between brands and agencies so that there can be better integrated ways of working to deliver against the same goals and objectives.”
Says Clare O’Brien, Head of Media, Performance & Effectiveness, ISBA: “These 2022 findings of the Marketing Effectiveness Roadmap, that reveal the benefit of a dedicated approach, should be encouraging for marketers, especially those who have been promoting the adoption of effectiveness culture across their organisations for many years here in the UK. An effectiveness culture is not a ‘nice to have’. It’s essential that whole organisations – and their agencies – recognise that business objectives are inextricably linked to the effective management of increasingly complex on and offline marketing-to-consumer routes as both media and retail channels continue to expand and multiply. This requires board-level recognition and these latest survey findings will be a source of clear evidence to support those brands and agencies just embarking on their effectiveness culture roadmaps.”