Effworks 2023 Movers, Shakers, Effecters

Last week marked the annual gathering of Effectiveness practitioners at Effworks 2023, hosted by the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising). The event’s theme for this year was “Movers, Shakers, Effecters,” and it was divided into three informative sections: “Marketing Marketing,” “Managing Marketing,” and “Measuring Marketing.”

Throughout the day, we were fortunate to hear from a variety of brands and agencies through keynotes, interviews, and breakout sessions. While the content presented didn’t unveil groundbreaking discoveries, the speakers delivered their insights in intriguing and thought-provoking ways.

Amol Rajan provided a refreshing, albeit somewhat sobering, perspective on the trends affecting humanity, a credit to his showmanship as he divulged that he has a 6-week-old baby at home. Orlando Wood took us on a journey through the advertising ages to show how to adapt your creative principles according to whether you are trying to address the right side of the brain i.e. more of the traditional branding view of the left side of the brain i.e. more activation focused. To conclude the day, Josh Krichefski from The IPA chaired a lively debate on whether AI acts as a brand destroyer or a brand builder. The pro-AI side emphasized how AI enables progress, citing examples like how chess has been enhanced by AI. Conversely, the opposing view raised concerns about the potential setbacks AI may bring to fields like the justice system, including the rise of deep fakes, and even pondered the idea of whether we could be living in a simulation. These debates sparked intriguing ideas and discussions.

Key insights emerged throughout the day. Grace Kite emphasized the importance of understanding your brand’s category and its size when addressing inflation. She pointed out that in some categories, potential buyers may postpone or delay purchases, while others might be more inclined to shop around. Hannah Gillett from The LEGO Group took us through how they have designed their teams, measurement and processes to make the most of their owned channels, highlighting the importance of creativity, collaboration and connection when doing so. As you would expect, play and experimentation is at the heart of everything they do at LEGO.

Ross Farquhar, Marketing Director at Little Moons, provided insights on making Marketing Mix Modelling more convincing in the boardroom. Suggestions included involving experts in the discussion and incorporating broader variables to provide insights that interest other directors.

Ian Whittaker discussed the importance of analysts viewing Marketing as an investment rather than a cost. He referred to an IPA and Brand Finance Online survey that highlighted analysts’ recognition of the value of accounting for brand strength in assessing the potential success of an organization. And finally, we heard from the godfathers of effectiveness Les Binet and Peter Field who, it turns out, are largely in agreement with the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute and Byron Sharp when it comes to most of their effectiveness views.

Once again, it was a pleasure to convene with fellow industry practitioners, share ideas and knowledge, and have our perspectives challenged and enriched by this event.

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