Marketing effectiveness is a business priority and no longer the remit of marketing alone, according to new research from the IPA and ISBA.

The organisations, which represent agencies and advertisers in the UK, carried out quantitative and qualitative research among 60 brand companies from all sectors, 60 agencies, 100 marketers and finance professionals and 120 agency management executives to assess all aspects of ‘Marketing Effectiveness Culture’.

This found that over half of marketers rated their existing marketing effectiveness culture at just 6 out of 10 or below (with 10 being excellent). However, by 2020, 61% were expecting to see a 2-point or higher increase, with 75% expecting to be at 8 or above, and a third at 9 or 10.

The study highlighted three factors that will be central to achieving this shift, including a growing recognition that responsibility for Marketing Effectiveness extends beyond marketing itself. One in five (22%) agreed that this falls to no one business area, although there was also a significant minority (25%) who regard this area as one for Insights & Analytics.

It was also evident that resourcing, operational and cultural shifts are needed to support this changing dynamic: only 40% of marketers agreed that their company is currently prioritising having the right mix of resources, while respondent’s comments underlined the need for board level support, eradication of silos and credible metrics.

Measurement is critical to assessing marketing effectiveness but only half of marketers (50%) agreed they have appropriate marketing metrics and measures which are aligned across all their relevant business areas (markets, brands, business areas).

So all stakeholders, internal and external, need to establish consensus at the outset on what constitutes success.

The third factor involves shifting the focus of marketing away from the short term, where tactical needs override longer term strategy.

For example, none of the finance professionals surveyed could ‘strongly agree’ that they had signed-off marketing plans and objectives for the next one to three years; for marketers the figure stood at 14% and for agencies’ experience of the majority of their clients, the figure was just 4%.

Libby Child, founding partner of Greengrass Consulting which carried out the study, noted “the complexity of the challenges facing marketers and their agencies as they strive to develop effective solutions, together, for the short and long term.

“There is certainly a will,” she said, “but the way is not so easy.”

Sourced from IPA; additional content by WARC staff