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Recruitment of the right talent and expertise to implement marketing effectiveness will be a key challenge for brands in 2018

The prevailing winds of change at the start of 2018 seem to hold out what practitioners like Bart Michel have been saying about the necessity for culture change as THE key way of improving performance. As this great article in Marketing Week inspired by the IPA/CIMA Culture First report notes, major agency holding groups are seeing revenue growth either slow or decline. Advertisers, in particular FMCG, are tightening their belts. As a result company’s are demanding a better understanding of what their marketing expenditure is doing for them.

Download the Culture First report
Watch Fran Cassidy present Culture First at EffWeek 2017

A notable feature of the effectiveness initiatives that the Culture First report investigated was the type of talent they employed. They often did not come from a traditional marketing background. As he explains below at EffWeek 2017, Adam Ben-Yousef, Marketing Effectiveness Director at Diageo originally studied Physics and has a background in business analytics.

Analytic skills and an evidence-based, ‘scientific’ approach are crucial to effectiveness and like Adam, many leaders in the field have them. None more well known perhaps, than Les Binet. Acknowledged as one of the sages of effectiveness in the agency world, he originally trained in physics. He also has an MPhil in machine learning.

One of the most useful sessions at EffWeek 2017 in terms of setting the business context for the year ahead, was presented by Paddy Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Marketing at LBS alongside Martin Deboo, an analyst at Jeffries. Both were passionate about the partnership between marketers and their business counterparts, and Paddy was adamant that marketers at the very least need a decent understanding of finance.

At Direct Line they have set up a dedicated Marketing Effectiveness unit within the insight team. The skillset is dominated by analytical or econometric backgrounds. Quoted in Marketing Week the group head of insight and marketing effectiveness, Ann Constantine notes, “It’s quite a diverse team in terms of skill set and roles and responsibilities.”

Read the Marketing Week article “Brands shift marketing effectiveness focus from justification to learning”

These skills are not always readily associated with marketing. One of the major challenges that brands who want to increase their effectiveness may face in the coming year, is recruitment.

The Culture First report identifies this problem in the Capability section:

“There is a skills gap in all areas of data and analytics, particularly for individuals with client-side experience. So for the time being, developing staff is a key requirement.”

But many of the respondents in the survey were positive about the progress of the changing role of the marketer. One manager reported, “marketing teams are getting involved with the numbers – what their activities do to their profit level. They are getting challenged by senior management which is so much more productive for the business.”

And perhaps one of the most interesting developments is the fact that organisations with a mature marketing effectiveness function are embedding this approach into their remuneration packages. Marketing professionals in those companies were at least partly rewarded on brand health metric measures – probably the most powerful demonstration of the belief that these metrics are the engine of growth.

Download the Culture First report
Watch Fran Cassidy present Culture First at EffWeek 2017

“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