It might seem a long way away, but preparations are already being made for the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. And we at Warc are particularly looking forward to the announcement of the Creative Effectiveness Lions, which were first introduced this year. The new category – 2011 entries are available to Warc subscribers – is open only to Lion winners from the previous year's festival that are able to prove the continuing business effects of their campaign.

The introduction of the Creative Effectiveness Lions – coming alongside the continued success of the long-running IPA Effectiveness Awards, and new awards such as the upcoming Warc Prize for Innovation – is part of an ad industry trend towards prizes that recognise actual marketing effectiveness, not just great creativity. After all, with the continued economic volatility, agencies are facing more and more pressure to prove they can boost the client's bottom line, as well as produce a great-looking ad.

As you can see from last year's cases, a Creative Effectiveness Lion is difficult to win: there were 142 entries in 2011, and just six winners. But, as luck would have it, Cannes Lions has just offered some free guidance on how to win a Creative Effectiveness award in 2012. It comes in the form of a video from Guy Murphy, Creative Effectiveness judge, Worldwide Planning Director at JWT London and regular Admap contributor.

Murphy advises prospective entrants to focus on proving the actual effect of the campaign when writing the case study, ahead of the campaign's creativity or strategy. Proving effectiveness, above all, is now a numbers game; using consumer data from a variety of sources is essential. "You'll need more numbers than you think," Murphy adds. "A few quotes from consumer focus groups and one percentage figure won't get you very far."

You can watch the video on the Cannes Lions site, or read Warc's own analysis of the 2011 Creative Effectiveness entries, with data on the entries' geographic spread, client categories, types of brand, budget size and media channels used.

Armed with these insights, your chances of success should increase. Good luck for 2012!