LONDON: Marketing effectiveness is increasingly seen as being primarily about business outcomes rather than being limited to marketing itself, with major FMCG companies among those creating senior roles and dedicated teams to address the issue.

“Improving marketing effectiveness is now a business imperative,” marketing consultant Fran Cassidy told the IPA’s Eff Week conference, where she unveiled research that indicated how businesses are shifting from simply justifying marketing expenditure to creating a culture to sustain a new way of looking at effectiveness that is rooted in business outcomes.

As well as encouraging greater collaboration between marketing, commercial and finance teams, she , along with several other speakers, stressed the need for a common language. (For more, read WARC’s report: Rethinking marketing effectiveness: changing culture and the performance mentality.)

The language of finance tends to be black and white, while marketing operates in shades of grey, she noted, and both sides can find themselves using the same words but with different interpretations.

“There is a need to strengthen the association of marketing terminology with commercial value,” she said.

So conversations around concepts like brand awareness and loyalty have to be connected to how these contribute to topline growth and financial returns.

Drinks giant Diageo is well advanced on this route, having 18 months ago appointed a global marketing effectiveness director and developed a data-driven platform, Marketing Catalyst, which enables marketers to make more informed decisions on how best to allocate marketing spend to achieve growth.

The commercial impact of marketing plans can be modelled in minutes anywhere in the world, according to Adam Ben-Yousef, the first holder of the post, and the system is now “driving real change in how we do business and a real measurable performance uplift from our marketing”.

Not only is the program “substantially over-delivering its business case”, he reported, but in little over a year it “has become our official way of doing marketing business planning [and ] it’s getting embedded in a way that is sustainable”.

Sourced from WARC