Tashan Nicholas, Analytics Lead at the7stars, shares five steps to creating a successful marketing effectiveness culture.

At the recent IPA Effworks, there was a focus on new learnings and a continued commitment to driving effectiveness culture across the industry.

But, during the notoriously busy Q4 period of launching new brand campaigns, gearing up for retailers’ peak season and planning for the new year ahead, how can we continue to facilitate marketing effectiveness and break new frontiers in measurement?

The key to propelling agencies and advertisers onto the road to marketing effectiveness lies not in fancy frameworks or branded banners, but actually with your people. Specifically, analysts.

At the7stars, we believe strategic analysts can facilitate marketing effectiveness, through ‘Being G.R.E.A.T’. Here are five recommendations behind the acronym:

Be the ‘guru’

Knowing a business as much as the client does is a must for any analytics practitioner. Being the ‘Guru’ speaks more to proactive management of both business knowledge and data architecture. This means moving beyond a plug-and-play resource business model, where you engage exclusively on advanced analytics project.

When asked, “What do you think the most important factors are in delivering a sound marketing effectiveness culture?” half of planners agreed that “access to quality data” was an important driver. This highlights a business need for analysts to cultivate knowledge surrounding data architecture as well as know the business. In being both business and data experts we give our agencies the secure base from which marketing effectiveness culture can grow.

Be a redistributor

Redistribution pertains to distributing in novel ways to achieve greater equality. The work of an analyst can sometimes be shrouded in methodological jargon. We can encourage a marketing effectiveness culture within organisations by deepening the understanding of our work. We should therefore redistribute our knowledge to the wider agency and clients. Share knowledge and stripping away any jargon or esoterica.

One of the stickiest methods of redistribution I have seen has been where there is a clear value exchange between knowledge giver and recipient. At the7stars, we do offer our Effectiveness University, or Eff U for short, where clients and colleagues come together to engage in a course of effectiveness modules. This empowers the open discussion of marketing effectiveness.

Be everywhere

If redistribution is about sharing, then being everywhere is about the application of that knowledge.  Planners at the7stars were most likely to agree that “Upskilling and training beyond analytics teams” is the most important factor in delivering a sound marketing effectiveness culture. This highlights the appetite to have an analytical mindset at every touchpoint of the agency to maintain effectiveness. Therefore, we should measure thrice and cut once.

This means taking a more consultative approach and investing time equally across all parts of a campaign life cycle – response to brief, reporting and evaluation. Analysts are more than an engine for evaluation and getting involved earlier in the process allows for deeper analytical insight.

Be agile

Often dealing with the task of attribution exercises of marketing to business outcomes, analytics teams are primed to be agile translators. As such, analysts are often fluent in both marketing and business lingo. We can use this skill to be the agile translator between board, client and agency when necessary.

In the B2B Institutes ‘Marketing to the CFO’ study, language was one of the key areas in which marketers should develop skills and fluency for greater partnership with finance. We also know from the IPA Effectiveness Culture Monitor that “buy-in from senior leaders to an effectiveness approach is a key driver of the culture score improvement across brand owners and agencies”.

Analysts are in a prime position to foster even stronger relationships with our clients’ executives. These stronger relationships will open up the conversation of marketing effectiveness beyond marketing departments.

Be a torch

Lastly, by being a torch, we can empower our stakeholders to make the best for their businesses. We do this by shining a light on the possible solutions. There exists no one analytical method that is the panacea to all marketing needs, as such analytics departments should leverage knowledge. If we can coach rather than coax brands surrounding their analytics, we can ensure they feel enabled and have the right knowledge to make the best decisions for their businesses.

The IPA’s Culture Monitor also sets out that “there is an opportunity to become a stronger partner with [our] clients and help set their effectiveness roadmap”. Through coaching advertisers, we can create effectiveness roadmaps that are formed through partnerships.

Beyond attracting a lot of buzz, marketing effectiveness culture is business-critical. In fostering marketing effectiveness culture across our agencies and advertisers we should look to our analysts as catalysts for progression in this area. Ultimately analysts can grow, share and apply our deep business expertise with agencies and advertisers alike.

All you have to remember is to ‘Be G.R.E.A.T.’.