Effectiveness should not be something that is only considered during the effectiveness awards period but something that is continual within the agency, something that is used internally to help form future strategy to the benefit of the brand. There are many definitions of effectiveness within our industry, but from our viewpoint effectiveness should be about focusing your creative strategy to meet commercial objectives from the very start of the creative process.
Here are some tips to help you integrate effectiveness into the culture of your agency:
1. Invest the time upfront to understand the business issue. It is wise to be sceptical about what is initially presented to you as the problem. You need to satisfy yourself before setting objectives.
2. Make sure that you set objectives that are realistic and achievable within a specified timeframe. The brand objectives at the highest level should be set at a commercial level. This would mean defining shareholder value, profit, revenue or market share objectives (for a non-profit or government brief we would rephrase commercial into ‘saving to the economy’).
3. Focus your strategy needs to be focused on meeting these commercial objectives and then work its way down through the marketing and communications objectives.
4. Collaborate. The days of a single planner (strategist) working on the entire brief are gone, now one has many types of planner all working on the similar briefs. So, one needs to work together with the rest of the stakeholder agencies to meet the clients top line commercial objectives, otherwise more than often the strategy is not cohesive and tends not to maximise ROI.
5. Get into the habit of articulating your strategy from the top line business objectives to either the creative idea or executions. This ‘communications model’ will help you in deciding which metrics are key to creating your dashboard.
6. Create a holistic dashboard within your agency that is relevant to your brand strategy. This will most likely be different to the dashboard created by the other agency stakeholders. Ideally you will want to work together with the rest of the stakeholders to something that takes into account the key metrics to demonstrate effectiveness across the macro level strategy.
7. Conduct creative and business reviews at the same time; so that when one has assessed the quality of the creative work, one also has an understanding of how the client business is performing.
8. Demonstrate the commercial value of your creative output to your clients on a regular basis and then work with your client to showcase the brand’s success with award submissions
9. Learn. Learn from the journey taken above to help the brand grow by taking to account all the learning from your effectiveness process.
10. Use effectiveness to help your agency win new business. Creativity and effectiveness work hand-in-hand.