LONDON: Direct Line, the insurance business, has made effectiveness an integral part of the marketing function in order to improve its performance and drive results.

“The big word for us is about commerciality – it’s about being seen as a commercial function,” explained Ann Constantine, Head of Insight and Marketing Effectiveness at Direct Line Group.

“Effectiveness does that in leaps and bounds from where we were a few years ago,” she told Marketing Week.

Constantine has ditched the previous siloed approach to bring together consumer, brand and comms research, market and competitor intelligence, and marketing effectiveness in one unit.

“While they are three different disciplines there are some natural tie-ins and a lot of it does dovetail into each other,” she said. “That was my goal in bringing the three together – to maximise what we effectively could do.”

She described it as a “consultancy approach” that combines short-term measures with a longer-term outlook in order to assess the true impact of the brand’s marketing spend.

No longer focused on mere “efficiency”, the marketing department is now “leading the conversation” around how best to drive the brand, Constantine added.

Qualitative research for the IPA has indicated how marketing effectiveness is increasingly seen as being primarily about business outcomes rather than being limited to marketing itself.

Launching the Culture First study at Effectiveness Week in October last year, marketing consultant Fran Cassidy declared that “Improving marketing effectiveness is now a business imperative”. (For more, read WARC’s report: Rethinking marketing effectiveness: changing culture and the performance mentality.)

“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,” she 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.

Sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by WARC staff