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IPA Effectiveness Culture Monitor Reveals Effectiveness Roadmaps Drive Brands and Agencies’ Marketing Cultures by 26%
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19 agencies demonstrating exemplary effectiveness cultures awarded IPA Effectiveness Accreditation following rigorous judging process

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. This is according to findings from the inaugural IPA Effectiveness Culture Monitor, supported by ISBA and published today (16th September). Alongside the publication of the Monitor, the IPA has announced the names of the 19 successful IPA Effectiveness Accredited agencies, who are leading the way in this area.  

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:

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.

Having an effectiveness roadmap positively increases marketing effectiveness culture scores by 26%  - see accompanying chart

Where respondents claim their organisation or agency has an effectiveness roadmap, the marketing effectiveness culture scores 26% higher - from 6.2 to 7.7 There are also increases across all of the four quadrants with the most sizeable in Focus – having that clear vision which understands the levers to impact and value - from 5.4 to 7.8 out of 10.

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 five 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 12th-15th 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 12th October.

Says Janet Hull OBE, IPA director of marketing strategy and executive director IPA EffWorks: “It is most encouraging to see that according to these agencies and brands, there are so many that are understanding and realising the impact that a focus in marketing effectiveness can bring. This is our benchmark year so we would like to be able look back and report that more organisations have started their effectiveness journey and, hopefully, that there is better understanding across brands and agencies in what effectiveness means to them, and what the roadmap to increased value looks like. As part of our ongoing EffWorks Global mission we will continue to drive research and development to help our industry improve.”

19 agencies achieve IPA Effectiveness Accreditation

Alongside the results of the IPA Effectiveness Culture Monitor, the IPA has also today (16 September) announced the inaugural list of agencies that have achieved IPA Effectiveness Accreditation who are leading the way in effectiveness from the agency side.

The initiative was launched by IPA president Julian Douglas as part of his agenda to highlight the value of agencies. The rigorous entry process involved a written paper and video submission with successful agencies rewarded for demonstrating their effectiveness culture across seven criteria including their people, process, collaboration, challenge mentality, commercial literacy, achievement and credibility.

The submissions were assessed by a panel of leading brand owners, academics, authors and renowned effectiveness specialists (see full list here), and chaired by Unilever’s Global Director Marketing Learning & Capabilities, Jo Royce. They awarded 19 agencies with accreditations, who will hold this badge of honour for a two-year period, before having to reapply.

IPA Effectiveness Accredited Agencies 2021-2023

  • Anything is Possible
  • BBH
  • dentsuX
  • Hunterlodge Advertising
  • Leo Burnett
  • MediaCom
  • Medialab Group
  • MG OMD
  • Running Total
  • Talon Outdoors
  • The Corner
  • The Kite Factory
  • The&Partnership and m/SIX
  • the7stars
  • True
  • True Agency
  • VCCP
  • Wunderman Thompson
  • Zenith

Says IPA president Julian Douglas: “Congratulations to all the agencies who have made the inaugural list and gained IPA Effectiveness Accreditation. By investing in effectiveness across the board, we boost business performance, as well as reaffirm our own value. As the results of the IPA Effectiveness Culture Monitor reveal, there is a real opportunity for agencies to lead the way in this area, helping themselves and their clients on this journey and by creating, deploying and aligning their effectiveness roadmaps to ensure mutual success.”      

Findings from Culture Monitor and lessons from successfully IPA Accredited agencies will be analysed at IPA Eff Works Global 2021 conference from 12th-15th October. The findings of the Monitor will also be published in a free new report to be published on 12th October, with paid-for, bespoke reports also available to those who took part in the survey.

Tickets and more information are available here