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Effectiveness can be defined as the extent to which a marketing communications programme (or other piece of marketing activity) achieved its objectives. Effectiveness metrics can include intermediate measures such as awareness or brand health; however, ‘true’ effectiveness – particularly as judged by effectiveness awards – requires financial measures such as sales or profits. Effectiveness is often conflated with ROI (return on investment). ROI is an efficiency measure that reflects the ratio of financial returns from a campaign to the cost of that campaign.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

A guide to creating truly effective advertising, addressing the reason to purchase, brand recognition, pretesting and amending - all embedded within a long-term strategy. Overall, effectiveness requires enough emphasis on the brand, positive product information for consumers and judicious use of pretesting.
A guide to selecting the right metric to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
How to balance close targeting against mass reach, and short-term versus long-term strategies.
Five measures CMOs can take towards a collaborative approach to the marketing effectiveness.
Best Practice paper on how to measure and demonstrate the effectiveness of marketing budgets.

Case Study

This case study describes how specialist investment manager Architas, part of AXA, created an educational and interactive tool for independent brokers and Architas managers to help them sell more unit-linked products in France, Belgium and the UK.

Case Study

This case study describes how the app Spott was launched in Belgium, offering retail inspiration for viewers and increasing the relevance and attractiveness of content.

Case Study

This case study describes how Black Mirror, a new rapid insights smartphone app, was launched into the Australian market by CHE Proximity.

Case Study

This case study describes how Turkcell, Turkey's largest telco, turned its focus onto diabetes - a misunderstood and stygmatised condition in Turkey - and created a way to help diabetics through a healthmetre.

Case Study

This case study describes how cider brand Orchard Thieves Cider used a multichannel approach to appeal to Millennials to launch into the market in Ireland.

Case Study

This case study describes how Coors Light, the US beer brand, remedied declines in sales and penetration by creating Climb On, a campaign that echoed a desire shared by all people - not just men: to overcome obstacles.
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This case study describes how Lebanese supermarket chain Bou Khalil enabled the Lebanese people to give money responsibly to Syrian refugees with the Good Note - an alternative currency.


This report analyses the world's best marketing campaigns, as ranked by the WARC 100, to uncover shared creative, media and measurement strategies.


This report provides evidence of how advertising - with an estimated global spend of $542 billion in 2016 - plays a crucial role in driving national economies and generating growth.


This article summarises the results of the 2017 WARC 100, which ranks the world's best advertising campaigns based on performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.


This webinar explores how to craft an award-winning creative strategy, with case studies illustrating how an idea can be made compelling.


This report summarises the tips given by judges of the 2016 Warc Media Awards, who were speaking at an event announcing the winners.
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  1. Article

    This article, taken from the Warc Toolkit 2017 report, discusses how to achieve marketing effectiveness in the digital age by striking the right balance between close targeting and mass reach, and between short- and long-term strategies.

  2. Article

    This article summarises Warc's Toolkit 2017, a guide to six key challenges for brands in the coming year.

  3. Article

    This exclusive report analyses the most effective social media campaigns, including an in-depth review of how social strategy drives effectiveness and practical suggestions for other brands to follow.

  4. Article

    This report highlights trends among the campaigns entered into the 2016 Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions, including campaign budgets, media channel usage, campaign duration, creative approaches, metrics and regional variation.

  5. Article

    This report explores excellence in connection strategy, channel analysis and measurement, by studying the entries to the 2015 Warc Prize for Connection Strategy.

  6. Article

    This report analyses the world’s best marketing campaigns, as ranked by the Warc 100, to uncover shared creative, media and measurement strategies.

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