Insight-led, motivational and behaviour changing: The key to effective marketing

What makes effective marketing? Ahead of Marketing Week’s Masters of Marketing Awards, we caught up with some of the judges to get their take on what masterful marketing looks like.

Whatever the objective, effectiveness is arguably the key measure all marketers should judge success by. Shifts in the media landscape, new platforms and changing demands from the c-suite may have changed how it is measured but has it changed how marketers define effectiveness?

Ahead of the extended deadline (15 May) for Marketing Week’s Masters of Marketing Awards, we caught up with some of the judges for the awards and asked them what they think makes effective and, yes, masterful marketing.

Annabel Venner, global brand director of Hiscox

It all starts with a clear understanding of what consumer behaviour you are trying to change – what do they ‘think, feel, do’ in relation to your brand now, and what do you want this to be in the future.

You then need to spend time focused on developing a brand idea born out of a powerful consumer insight. This information, alongside clear business and marketing KPIs is used to brief an agency.

What you are looking for is a single-minded idea that is flexible enough to use across every consumer touch point, but differentiated and impactful enough for it to create cut-through with your target consumers. The creative idea needs to succinctly communicate a motivating message that will persuade consumers to find out more about your brand.

Chris Duncan, managing director, TNL at News UK

Great campaigns do what they set out to do and then surprise you. To be masterful the campaign has to deliver on the targets that it was conceived for; that validated a clear ambition, which in turn translated into strategy, creative, and execution across media and customer experience.

What you are looking for is a single-minded idea that is flexible enough to use across every consumer touch point, but differentiated and impactful enough for it to create cut-through with your target consumers.

Annabel Venner, Hiscox

The great campaigns also tend to have knock-on impacts. Sometimes this will be catching a PR break or an endorsement, sometimes catching customer sentiment and being able to listen to customers in the call centre quoting back your own creative at you. These days it will often be the case that great campaigns act as a catalyst to releasing ideas and collaboration within the organisation that have a longer lasting impact.

Jonathan Earle, Dixons commercial marketing director, Dixons Carphone

A masterful campaign must start with the basics. What is the customer insight? Not the facts but the underlying reasons. From there a clear understanding of your target audience to drive offer, communication, channel selection, experience and wording.

Then it’s about your imagination and continuously testing the thinking with customers to make sure you don’t go off piste.

Some of the best marketing campaigns I have been involved in lived these principles. From partnering with AEG at Curry’s on the ‘No Fading’ through-the-line campaign, to the introduction of Gurus at O2.

Helen Warren-Piper, marketing director at Premier Foods

A brilliant campaign has a number of important components. First, it needs to be grounded in strategy – a great advertising idea is the creative transformation of the benefit.

Second, it needs to answer the question ‘Is it distinctive? Does it really stand out in the category? Third, is it ownable? Do your distinctive brand assets give you permission to uniquely own this space? Or could it equally be taken by your nearest competitor?

And finally, is it campaignable i.e. will it run and run over time? And will it have enough depth and breadth to carry through the line?

Best live example for me is our Bisto Together Project campaign. Now in it’s third year it is growing the brand and collecting awards.

Simon Carter, CEO of Comres and former CMO of Fujitsu

It is very simple. [It’s activity] that delivers business results, changes customer behaviour and usually results in a sale. ‘Masterful Marketing’ is not about beautiful design or being patted on the back by peers.  It is about generating the result that the brand intended from commissioning the marketing activity in the first place.

Whether this is a talked-about TV campaign, an over-subscribed event, a piece of social media that is retweeted many times, or a PR stunt that people are talking about months later – it is all meaningless if it has not had a (positive) impact on the customers it is aimed at.

Masterful marketing is marketing that drives commercial benefit.

Marketing Week’s Masters of Marketing Awards celebrate every aspect of a marketer’s job from strategy through to execution, while also rewarding excellence in key vertical sectors and in tackling some of the biggest issues and challenges brands face. To find out more, see a full list of judges and enter go to

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