Cracking the effectiveness code

A new industry framework has been launched to help marketers and advertisers focus on creative commitment which correlates with higher campaign effectiveness.

A new framework designed to create a universal definition and language of effectiveness, the 'Creative Effectiveness Ladder', has been launched by James Hurman and Peter Field at the Cannes Lions Live 2020 event.

The Creative Effectiveness Ladder outlines six main levels of effectiveness achievement, from least, such as an influential idea, to most commercially impactful, an enduring icon.        

Marketing effectiveness experts, Hurman and Field, undertook a global study of 5000 effectiveness case studies that revealed the industry lacked a ‘universal definition’ and ‘shared language’ of effectiveness, limiting the ability to what best practice effectiveness looks like.       

In response to their findings, Hurman and Field, alongside Cannes Lions and WARC, developed the Creative Effectiveness Ladder, a framework to evaluate the progress of effective marketing. The ladder has been designed to be used as a continuous improvement tool for marketers and agencies, enabling them to produce more consistently highly effective creative campaigns and initiatives.   

Founding partner of Previously Unavailable and report co-author, James Hurman, said the message is not that creative-award-worthy work is automatically effective. “Rather that, if we have a well-planned and insightful strategy, we can magnify and supercharge the effectiveness of that strategic thinking with work that has creative-award-winning qualities,” he said.

During Hurman and Field’s analysis, they made a new discovery that marketing effectiveness is heavily influenced by a campaign’s degree of what they call ‘creative commitment’. This correlates very tightly with effectiveness – as creative commitment increases, so does effectiveness. 

To increase creative commitment and therefore effectiveness advantage, marketers have three ‘levers’ - spend, duration and number of media channels. The authors said creativity is a fourth and highly impactful lever. 

Field said the industry has increasingly reduced the creative commitment, which significantly mitigates the return on investment. 

“We urge marketers and agencies to reverse this trend, in the interests of improving both the effectiveness of their efforts and the overall value and reputation of marketing.”

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