From Marketing Effectiveness to Marketing Excellence, enabled by a strong Effectiveness Culture.

When you think of Marketing Effectiveness, what is the first thing that springs to mind?

  • Measurement?
  • Super complicated modelling?
  • Awards, Gongs?
  • Incremental value?

None of these are wrong but I would argue that they are only part right; they are either part of the process (e.g. measurement, modelling), or an outcome of being effective (awards, gongs, incremental value).

One word that has been missing too often when people think of effectiveness, is culture. I am sure there are others, but let’s focus on culture for a moment and I’ll tell you why.

Too often, I witnessed when working in brands or agencies, that effectiveness projects would fail because people didn’t think about the culture of the organisation; how and when decisions are currently being made, what the short- and long-term business and marketing objectives are and taking stakeholders on a journey of what any project will deliver to help make more informed decisions, and what it won’t.

At Go Ignite, we are 5 years into our journey of helping brands and agencies build strong effectiveness cultures, and we have seen the rewards. To name a few:

  • Agencies winning new business as a direct result of their new effectiveness led ways of working
  • Marketing departments working better together
  • Less opinions around what works and what doesn’t
  • Increased incremental value delivered.

Despite these successes, there are always evolving challenges to overcome on an effectiveness journey. 18 months ago, we witnessed a change in the main challenges organisations face in building a strong effectiveness culture and what we called Effectiveness Culture 2.0 (read here). In a nutshell, challenges shifted from creating the roadmap, to building a strong Effectiveness culture, to getting that approach working in the day-to-day of Marketing teams.

And now we are seeing a slight change again, but a positive change, and this has changed our thinking around the different components of marketing effectiveness and how these fit alongside the newer focus of Marketing Excellence.

One of the key differences with organisations who know how to maximise the positive impact of their marketing effectiveness approach is to fuse it together with marketing planning. And it is where Effectiveness and Planning collide together that we believe Marketing Excellence exists.

There are two quotes from recent(ish) Marketing Week articles which suggest that this might be the case, and how marketing effectiveness, effectiveness culture and marketing excellence come together.

Firstly, from Mark Evans, then CMO of Direct Line: ‘Effectiveness Culture is a trojan horse to becoming customer focussed’ (

And from Jason King, RBS’s Marketing Director for England and Wales, who says excellence in marketing comes from having an unwavering focus on customers. From the Marketing Week article: (

 “Excellence in marketing is thinking about the complete end-to-end piece but starting with customer insight and data; a real insight into what problem or opportunity you’re trying to solve. You need to be consistent with following that through. You need to make sure you execute brilliantly at every step and don’t get bored of the detail. It’s the detail that makes the difference in how you go to market.”

So, how do can any marketing organisation transform to a position of marketing excellence?

Well, you may know Go Ignite best for the 4 pillar Effectiveness Culture framework which has helped create a best-in-class approach to building a strong effectiveness culture:

  1. By working individually with brands and agencies to understand their challenges, build a roadmap to overcome them, and help drive the transformation.
  2. Collectively as an industry with:
    • The IPA through the Effectiveness Accreditation and annual Effectiveness Roadmap Report
    • The WFA 1and the report on Building a Global Culture of Effectiveness
    • WARC as the foundation for the report on building a Creative Effectiveness Culture.

However, as we see the changes in the industry, there are a few subtle changes that we need to account for so we can help drive the next level of required change. Introducing the 5 pillar Marketing Excellence Framework:

The key changes:

  1. Effectiveness Culture is not the end outcome; it is an integral part of understanding the environment needed to drive Marketing Excellence and so has a role to play in organisational performance across each of the other pillars.
  2. Focus’ pivots to help understand what Marketing Excellence means to an individual brand or agency, what is needed to deliver against that definition and destination, and the organisational buy-in to that approach.
  3. People’ focuses on the skills, experience and confidence that individuals have which will help on any Marketing Excellence transformation.
  4. Process’ becomes a clear understanding of what is needed underneath each individual step and what each step needs to deliver before moving on to the next, with clear roles and responsibilities.
  5. Insight & Measurement’ is rebranded from ‘Data, Tools & Measurement’ to encompass the role of consumer and customer insight alongside more traditional marketing effectiveness tools and capabilities.

The timing of this focus on Marketing Excellence is critical. There is significant organisational transformation being asked for and necessitated as businesses are restructuring due to the knock-on impact of the change in operating models needed to navigate the challenges of COVID.

Marketing departments are being asked to deliver more, with less resources.

We are excited about this next step in helping Marketing teams deliver more value back to their organisations and seeing how we can lead this transformation.

#marketing excellence #marketingtransformation #effectivenessculture

  1. ↩︎