New IPA Effectiveness Culture Monitor results released

Findings from the inaugural IPA Effectiveness Culture Monitor, supported by ISBA have now been published.

The marketing effectiveness culture of the industry – both on the agency and brand-side – looks to be in a strong position at the surface level, but there is significant work that can be done at a deeper level to boost business performance, most significantly through agencies and brands creating effectiveness roadmaps. 

The IPA Effectiveness Culture Monitor defines marketing effectiveness as: “The process of improving business performance from marketing activities, made easier and more impactful by people, technology, and a strong and clear focus.” How well organisations rate their performance against this definition, and against the quadrants of Focus / Process / People / Data Tools & Measurement sets their effectiveness culture which the IPA believes has a strong influence on their business success. By analysing organisations’ performance across these quadrants, it is possible to identify ways to improve the industry’s marketing effectiveness culture.

Core findings include:

  • State of industry’s marketing effectiveness culture is healthy overall

The surveyed agencies rate their overall average marketing effectiveness culture at 7.3 out of 10. Brands rate theirs fractionally lower at 6.9 out of 10. Although the spectrum across each set of respondents ranges from 2 to 10. 

  • Starting the effectiveness journey boosts an organisation’s effectiveness culture immediately

The marketing effectiveness culture score of organisations increases from 3.7 among those who have yet to start, to 7.0 out of 10 once they have begun.

  • Buy-in from senior leaders to an effectiveness approach is a key driver of the culture score improvement across brand owners and agencies

The Effectiveness Monitor Culture scores increase from 5.7 when there is no senior buy-in to 7.4 when those values are shared by the leadership.

  • More brands and agencies need to invest in creating a marketing effectiveness roadmap

An effectiveness roadmap is about having a coherent strategy and plan for continual improvement to business value across four quadrants: Focus / Process / People / Data Tools & Measurement, which is understood by the organisation as a whole.

Nearly half (49%) of respondents state that their organisation has a marketing effectiveness roadmap; 22% do not and the rest are unsure. The Monitor demonstrates, however, that there are major benefits to creating this path for both groups.

  • Brands with an effectiveness roadmap are more likely to balance long and short-term value and consider long-term value crucial

Existing IPA evidence reveals that a balanced long-term and short-term approach to value creation leads to superior growth for brands. This new data suggests that having an effectiveness roadmap helps deliver this approach.

In comparison to where there is no effectiveness roadmap, respondents that report their organisation as having one are:

- More likely to agree (+55%) that a balanced short and long-term approach is best for value creation
- More likely to agree (38%) that long-term brand effects are considered crucial.

  • Opportunity for agencies exists to become a stronger partner with their clients to show them the road to value

Over half of brand owner respondents who state their organisation does not have an effectiveness roadmap, are either reliant on agencies helping them to measure the value of their marketing investment, or are open to the idea of agencies playing that role. Once agencies have set their own effectiveness roadmap, the opportunity is there to become a key partner to their clients do to the same.

  • If an effectiveness roadmap does not exist with a brand or agency, there are 5 sets of key questions, relating to each effectiveness quadrant, that an organisation should ask itself

These questions, alongside the findings, will be discussed in detail at the upcoming IPA EffWorks Global 2021 Conference taking place from 12-15 October for which free virtual tickets, and paid-for, in-person conference tickets are available. The research will also be published in a new report, to be launched on 12 October.