Marketing effectiveness is increasingly seen as being primarily about business outcomes rather than being limited to marketing itself. Some of the biggest spenders on marketing are creating senior roles and dedicated teams to address the issue and to look at how they can shift institutional thinking in this area.

“Improving marketing effectiveness is now a business imperative,” marketing consultant Fran Cassidy told the IPA’s Eff Week conference (London, October 2017) as she unveiled the findings of the Culture First study, based on interviews with 30 senior figures at brands, non-profits and agencies. “We’re talking about making sense of the complexity of the landscape they’re operating in and finding out what works in delivery of the objectives set,” she explained. 

Changing culture 

Alongside that there is an observable shift from simply justifying marketing expenditure to creating a culture to sustain a new way of looking at effectiveness that is rooted in business outcomes. “At least three quarters of the sample had massively increased the resource and/or changed the marketing investment decision-making structures over the past two years,” Cassidy reported, with one third developing specialist effectiveness units. Agencies too have noticed things changing, with one seeing “KPI culture” doubling among clients over the same period.