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Les Binet and Peter Field are working on their latest paper using decades of effectiveness data from the IPA Databank. Their most recent work looks to see if the last decade, which has been so disruptive in terms of technology and consumer, has fundamentally changed the effectiveness of marketing communications. At Effectiveness Week 2016 they launched the first part of their research ‘Media in the Digital Age’, watch their session or scroll down to read some of their key insights.

Key Headlines


Which metrics actually correlate with growth?

  • Binet and Field identified that profitable growth is driven mainly by new users and reach
  • The correlation between share of voice and growth is greater – SOV is twice as important as it was according to the data

Infographic of Key Findings from Peter Field and Les Binet's Media in the Digital Age

How have media channels been affected by the last decade?

  • Binet and Field’s analysis of the latest data shows no signs that mass, and mainly paid for media is becoming any less effective, even in our digital age
  • Campaigns with paid are 3X more effective than those with earned or owned only
  • Earned media is mainly gained in conjunction with paid
  • Owned content still generally demands paid to draw attention to it. Content without anything to draw attention to it, is like building cathedrals in the desert
  • Effectiveness is driven by scale, i.e. reach and frequency. In a digital age that means online as well as TV
  • But online it’s video more than anything else that drives effectiveness, offline it is TV

“There is no sign in the data that mass marketing is becoming less effective in the digital age”


Les Binet adam&eveDDB timecode 17.11

The three smoking guns that are undermining effectiveness in a digital age:

  • Increasing short-termism, leading to a failure to build sales or users longer term
  • A blind focus on ROI, leading to smaller budgets that increase ROI but reduce reach and lead to lower absolute returns and an efficiency-driven spiral of decline
  • An over focus on short term activation versus brand building

Illustration showing the idea that brands who focus too much on short term goals and media impacts become too inward thinking

Here are their recommendations

  • Return to a balanced perspective on short vs long-term
  • The right Brand/ Activation balance is 60/40
  • Value video over non video, both on and offline
  • Design campaigns for long-term effects, use emotional priming and associations
  • Invest in growth – monitor and restore ESOV (Excess Share of Voice = SOV > brand share)
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Effectiveness Week 2016

“Just what the industry needs, great collaboration between clients and agencies on the topics that drive business growth.”

Bridget Angear, Joint Chief Strategy Officer at AMV BBDO

“It’s great to see the IPA in the UK bring the whole industry and particularly the trade bodies together to focus on effectiveness. This new Marketing Effectiveness initiative will enable people across the industry to work together to build on best practice.”

David Wheldon, Chief Marketing Officer, RBS

“Effectiveness is a team sport, so it was great to see the industry in the widest sense, come together. In an increasingly diverse and fragmented world, only by using all parts of the brain will we solve effectiveness challenges and design our campaigns to deliver short and long term value. That’s why what happens next is important – if the IPA can help facilitate progress on this with a long-term initiative around Marketing Effectiveness, we’ll definitely crack it.”

Bart Michels, Global CEO Kantar Added Value and Country Leader Kantar UK

“The time spent at #EffWeek was extraordinarily effective. It was great to hear the diverse views from all areas of the industry. All tied together with the common themes of accountability and effectiveness.”

Andrew Canter, Global CEO, BCMA

“It has been a privilege to be part of the inaugural Effectiveness Week. The agenda is one which we at O2 UK feel passionately about. To see and hear perspectives across the industry demonstrates how the breadth of marketing effectiveness is increasingly being valued within businesses. Data, insight, social, customer experience, test and learn, ROI, these are all fundamentals and were covered expansively at the event”.

Sandra Fazackerley, Marketing & Consumer, Telefónica UK Limited

“The full week of effectiveness events brought into clear focus the need for marketers to use data and insight to achieve the key business objectives of growth and profits. Marketers today are in a better position to quantify their knowledge of customers and measure the ability of investments in marketing to increase brand and shareholder value.”

Chris Combemale, Group CEO, DMA