As entries for the WARC Awards for Effectiveness (Global Edition) flow in, Beatrice Boue, Global Head of Media at De Beers Group, spoke to WARC’s Anna Hamill about the importance of clarity in effectiveness goals and the role of data in marketing.

Download the Entry Pack to have everything you need to submit your work. The deadline for entries is 29 March 2023.

As a judge, what is your philosophy on effectiveness and what does that mean to you in the context of these awards?

Effectiveness is the holy grail for every marketer and can only be addressed in a context where KPIs ladder up to clear goals and are set against realistic benchmarks. This sounds basic but too often effectiveness and efficiency are muddled. Judging the effectiveness of a campaign for the WARC awards is simply looking at what has been achieved against a pre-defined set of rules and the measures put in place to improve specific metrics.

In your view, how has the role of data and channels in a brand’s marketing strategy evolved over the last few years?

Data should play a center stage in all brand marketing strategies. It helps comfort opinions, justify instinctive thoughts, and even dismantle myths in certain categories. It empowers the team to challenge the status quo based on hard facts. The evolution of technology has been adding value to the marketing ecosystem by creating interconnectivity between channels but also between marketing functions which used to be planned and optimized in silo.

You’re the judge for the channel pioneer category. What type of work demonstrates a true pioneering spirit for channels?

This category is where we should find all the folks with a true challenger spirit. Take an issue and turn it into an opportunity. Break the model to empower and support those in need.

An amazing example that came out last year is Data Tieda, which won two Grand Prix last year at Cannes Lions. It is a financial information center created by DDB Mexico and WeCapital.

Over 80% of women in Mexico do not have a credit history but they have credit records that lending institutions do not recognize. Therefore, these women cannot access funding to pay for their education or provide capital for their startup businesses. By creating a platform that makes this data accessible to financial institutions, WeCapital has helped 23% of women access bank funding through this initiative.         

What does success look like for a data-driven marketing initiative? What would you say is best practice around measurement to determine effectiveness?

Marketers are often facing challenging situations where final choice is driven by the position their brand has in the mental availability ranking.

In a landscape where bigger brands are expected to spend even more, the value of each contact with the audience becomes crucial. Data-driven marketing initiatives should help maximise the potential of each contact.

Best practice is to put in place post-cookie measurement metrics and avoid marking your own homework by putting in Marketing Mix Modeling.

In the WARC Awards for Effectiveness, what would a winning entry look like? What’s going to catch your eye as a judge?

Be concise and to the point. Avoid high-flown and somewhat presumptuous phrases and stick to presenting a concise and informed submission supported by facts.

Any tips for writing a winning case study?

Work on your narrative or find someone to help you get that thread throughout. Once a brilliant CSO weaved in an analogy of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War to one of my average entries and changed the fate of that submission for the best. It really helped accentuate the mindset we were in strategically with that brand and elevate the story.

What will be the watch outs, or the things to avoid?

Watch out for over engineered submissions. It is a bit like packing a suitcase. When you have written it and think you are done, cut it by half. When finally, you think you cannot cut it anymore then cut it by half again. You will have exactly what you need and be concise and to the point. Avoid jargon at all costs and make sure all data points are meaningful and true. Judges have a second sense to unpack the truth.