The term ‘effectiveness' can cover a wide area, as was evident from what Warc subscribers were reading on the subject in 2016, ranging from ROI to brand positioning, from media choices to product launches.

The most-read article was an analysis of the campaigns entered into the 2016 Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions. Cannes Lions Creative Effectiveness: Insights from the 2016 awards found a notable skew among the shortlisted and winning entries toward higher budget levels, while emotion was a popular creative approach among this group.

A Warc Best Practice paper was in second place: 7 steps to effective brand positioning distinguished brand positioning from brand strategy and advised working back from the commercial ambition and developing a purpose that does not limit the brand to its current business.

Another Best Practice paper, How to maximize the return on investment from digital marketing, took the third spot. This emphasized that measurement and operational promises require tight management, which should be professionally undertaken, with audience guarantees negotiated with publishers in the same way as with TV.

New product failure rates are high, but it is possible to improve the chances of success by understanding who is most likely to buy. The fourth most-read article on effectiveness, How to launch a brand successfully: insights from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, noted that heavy category consumers, who typically have large brand repertoires, are most open to new products, but as they rarely convert to brand loyalists, marketers quickly need to expand their audience to include light and medium buyers – and that might be after just one purchase cycle.

In fifth spot was a report from the first IPA Effectiveness Week, held in London in November. Marketing in the Digital Age: Binet and Field on how media choices impact effectiveness covered new research from the authors which demonstrated that penetration and reach is a far more important driver of effectiveness than loyalty, and that mass reach channels such as TV still deliver much bigger business results than newer digital channels.

Data sourced from Warc