As the marketing industry descends on Cannes, David Tiltman says it’s time to raise the level of debate around effectiveness.
Today WARC launches a new white paper: Anatomy of Effectiveness. It’s a distillation of the current evidence, case studies and thinking around effective advertising.
Why do this at Cannes Lions, a celebration of creative excellence?
Well creativity, as the report shows, remains one of the most powerful tools for driving effective marketing – when it is properly applied.
But what sort of creativity? And what kind of framework should it sit in? With what budget behind it? In what channels?
Those are the kinds of question that broad-brush studies of the business impact of creativity tend to ignore. But they’re exactly the sort of questions WARC’s clients in both agencies and advertisers come to us with. They’re the questions we try to answer in the content we commission, the analysis we produce, and the sessions we run (including at Cannes). And they’re the questions we try to address with the new white paper.
As we sifted through the research, we found it coalesced into five core considerations brands need to make:
- Invest for growth – are you spending enough on your advertising to drive growth?
- Balance your spend – how are you splitting your investment between brand-building and performance marketing?
- Be creative, be emotional, be distinctive – is your creativity set up to drive effectiveness?
- Plan for reach – is your media budget going to the right places?
- Plan for recognition – will consumers know whose ads they are seeing or hearing?
Sounds simple. But none of these concepts is easy to apply. Every element involves trade-offs and hard decisions on where to invest. And, of course, insights and creative thinking are required to bring it all to life – that’s what makes marketing such a dynamic industry.
The report looks at the rules of thumb around effectiveness – and also what is changing in a fast-moving industry. It features expert comment from the likes of Les Binet, Peter Field and Jenni Romaniuk of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute.
So at a time when growth-starved brands are wondering how to get more bang from their marketing buck, Anatomy of Effectiveness gives them a framework.
Read the report at makeitwarc.com (or, if you’re a subscriber, get it on WARC.com) – let us know what you think.
And if you’re lucky enough to be in Cannes this week, get a hard copy at the WARC stand in the Palais – and get some fresh thinking on strategy and effectiveness at the WARC day of sessions in the Palais on Wednesday.