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Oct 2017

Culture first: how marketing effectiveness works in practice

The improvement of marketing effectiveness culture is now a business imperative. This report, developed in association with IPA and Telefonica, explains why it is about moving from a ‘justification’ culture to a ‘learning’ culture.

Whilst the maturity of the approach varies by organisation and sector, over the last three years substantial additional resource and focus has been invested to better understand which marketing levers are driving the outcomes desired by the organisation. The report details the current behaviours of more than 20 prominent brands, including John Lewis, Unilever, Transport for London and L’Oréal, on their journey to understanding marketing effectiveness. 

We have observed 5 behaviours and practices which are common among the more successful effectiveness cultures. These are explained in detail in the report:

  1. Collaboration - the silos that are so corrosive in organisations are slowly beginning to break down. This change is happening through a combination of structural and cultural changes.
  2. Language - marketing should be at the heart of the growth, profit or other success narrative that organisations strive for, however, consider the accessibility of the language used.
  3. Process - the most successful cultures are those where effectiveness is baked into the beginning not the end of the process: what will be measured, and how is agreed at the outset.
  4. Toolbox - proliferation of data means there is much more focus on finding and focusing upon the metrics that matter, the levers that affect behaviour.
  5. Capability - capabilities for evidence-based, data-driven decisions are increasing, but there is a skills shortage. 

Preparatory workshops demonstrated an appetite for developing a shared language, and a common framework of the most important levers and metrics. Agency strategists, in particular, benefitted from hearing marketing finance people talk about the business model and reporting framework they were operating against.

Dr Noel Tagoe EVP Academics, Management Accounting

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Culture first: how marketing effectiveness works in practice