Top tips for marketing effectiveness from Effie Award winners

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being the MC for a very fascinating and informative Brainy Breakfast event from the Marketing Association. 

It was all about achieving marketing effectiveness with lessons from two of our top-performing Effie
 Award winners and a judge. We had the pleasure of hearing from Jonathan Waecker, Chief Customer Officer from The Warehouse Group and Effies Judge, Tourism New Zealand & Special Group for their ‘Good Morning World’ campaign, and Lion & DDB for their ‘Speights – The Dance’ campaign. It was so inspiring to see such thoughtful and groundbreaking work. 

One thing that rang true throughout all the presentations was the critical nature of customer insight. Insight truly is the key to making your marketing effective. Now I know that’s a statement we’ve all heard before and it’s not groundbreaking - but as Marketers, this core insight can often get lost. We get caught up in campaign planning, media mix, targeting, etc, but what’s often lost is that key research that informs your creative strategy. 

Here are three key insights learned from these insightful presentations: 

The importance of benchmarks 
As Chief Customer Officer for The Warehouse Group and Effies judge, Jonathan Waecker spoke about the importance of marketing delivering value back to the business. Our marketing and our campaigns must be effective and must make a difference. And to measure effectiveness, you need to first start with your benchmarks. Before you even start your campaign get the financials, get your engagement rates, your brand scores, get whatever analytics you have access to, and draw insight from them. You then pick which results are going to help you shift the dial. And if you're not lucky enough to have any benchmarks it’s time to use your gut and make some assumptions. Draw line in the sand, because you have to start somewhere, and this is ultimately how you’ll prove effectiveness at the end of your campaign. 

Tap into the simplicity of an insight 
For both the ‘Good Morning World’ and ‘Speights – The Dance’ campaigns, they did their research. And it was this market and customer research that allowed them to tap into the simplicity of an insight to really find their killer creative. They both said that once they had that core insight the creative strategy and concept became extremely obvious.  

There are multiple ways of uncovering your core insightWorking with a good agency is obviously super helpful. But if you’re not able to work with a creative agency, don’t lose hope, there is insight everywhere. Look at where you talk to your customers - email results, social media comments, NPS surveys – there is customer insight in many places. 

And once you have that core insight, let that inform amazing creative. Jill Chestnut’s advice from Tourism NZ was to make sure you pay for good creative strategy and expertise, because it’s worth its weight in gold. 

Back yourself 

It’s not often that a creative concept will go unchallenged. In fact, Rory Gallery from Special Group explained that agency creatives have to be very thick skinned. But this is where you need to fight for your insight and be confident in your chosen creative strategyIf you truly believe that your approach is solid and will resonate with your customers, stand by it, and don’t get distracted with a few wobbles along the way. Remember to stick to your single-minded message, answer questions confidently and challenge back. You don’t want to simply be the caretaker of a brand; you want to make your contribution and make an impact. 

During the event, we did a little research of our own to gain insight into what the audience believes truly drives marketing effectiveness 

Here are the results: 

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As you can see, the overwhelming belief was that you need a good blend of media mix and targeting, fresh creative, and customer insight to deliver a killer campaign and marketing effectiveness.  

Marketing really is a blend of art and science. So get your benchmarks, your insight, and your creative strategy, and make magic happen.  

 You can read about the award-winning entries here
Good Morning World 
Speights - The Dance 

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