In 2019, WARC, the global authority on marketing effectiveness, launched the highly successful Anatomy of Effectiveness report at Cannes Lions. Three years on, an updated edition is released at this year’s Festival, to give brand marketers, advertising agencies and media owners a fresh perspective on the five key building blocks of effective marketing.
David Tiltman, SVP Content, WARC, says:
“In 2019, we noted a sense that advertising, in its current form, was not driving the growth it should be. This was backed up by researcher Peter Field declaring a 'crisis in creative effectiveness.'
“Today, there’s no sign that the crisis is over. In fact, there are a host of new questions and issues to resolve. We’ve had a pandemic that saw budgets switch out of brand investment into performance marketing; we’ve seen the rise of ‘retail media’ platforms that are reshaping the media landscape; and with the impending death of the cookie, we see a growing lack of confidence in advertising and media measurement.
“This updated edition of our white paper draws on new thinking and the latest evidence to present the key building blocks required to deliver commercial impact today.”
WARC’s “Anatomy of Effectiveness: 2022 Updated Edition” highlights the following five priorities for brands wanting to improve the impact of their advertising:
1. Invest for growth
Understanding how factors such as brand size, campaign investment and category dynamics will determine effectiveness are key first steps when it comes to setting budgets and agreeing on objectives. Getting the right framework for investment is crucial if a campaign is to meet its potential.
2. Balance your spend
Set the right framework for investment to ensure sustainable success. Whether it is long-term effects vs short-term sales impact, brand-building vs performance marketing, broad reach vs active in-market buyers or upper funnel vs lower-funnel, plan for effectiveness across different timeframes, messaging, audience types and buyer journeys to deliver maximum growth.
3. Plan for reach
Campaign reach is becoming harder to achieve as media consumption fragments. This is forcing marketers to reconsider long-held assumptions about reach and frequency management. Factors to be considered include brand objectives, media selection and consumer purchase habits.
4. Be creative
Creativity makes a difference and is the most powerful weapon under the marketer’s control. There is widespread evidence that creativity delivers increased effectiveness when it is distinctive, engaging, emotional and has some longevity. Recent research cited in LIONS’ State of Creativity 2022 study claims only 8% of agencies feel confident in convincing clients to invest in high quality creativity and 12% of clients feel confident in convincing the CFO to invest in high quality creative.
5. Plan for recognition
Advertising must be associated with the brand behind it if it is to work. Planning for recognition involves creating shortcuts in consumers’ minds that make brands more memorable, impactful and easy to recall. Failure to brand communications properly is a common pitfall. Investing in and nurturing distinctive assets will enable quick recognition.
The white paper features new case studies, expert opinions and over 20 “Evidence” decks. WARC clients can read the report in full, and a complimentary sample edition is available for all here.
Highlights from the white paper will be presented to Cannes Lions attendees on the Discovery Stage in the Palais des Festivals. These complement a full week’s worth of content presented by WARC together with the world’s leading effectiveness experts, covering strategy, media, creative and digital commerce.