This autumn, once again, we share and celebrate an annual enquiry into the latest research and hot topics around marketing effectiveness, as EffWorks wraps up for the 2022 season. EffWorks promotes evidence-based decision-making across a week-long event that consists of various speakers from leaders within the industry, to discuss pioneering research, case studies, and award-winning marketing effectiveness work. We were fortunate to attend on Wednesday and Thursday, the two days featuring industry talks, and have collated the most important take-outs.

On Wednesday, Dr. Grace Kite from Magic Numbers & Carl Carter from IRI revealed the latest results from the ARC database, which consists of an econometrics pool across 8 different marketing science teams. Their talk was focused on what we can learn from the pandemic about advertising effectiveness going into the cost-of-living crisis.

Kite and Carter explored how a brand’s marketing investment strategy and effectiveness had changed during COVID-19, and the key learning was that each brand acted differently, according to its market. At a broad level there were three sectors into which these brands fell:

  • Beneficiary brands, such as D2C or E-Commerce advertisers, who thrived during COVID-19
  • Secure brands, such as FMCG or financial services, who were broadly secure throughout the pandemic
  • Victim brands, such as transport or retail, who were making the best of a bad situation

Depending upon which category your brand occupies, this indication could heavily influence your marketing decisions going into 2023. Evidence also reveals that brands who made big bets during Covid-19 did see some reward – with a 30% uplift in revenue and £3.60 average ROI.

On Thursday, Les Binet from adam&eve took to the stage for a talk that was, unintentionally, closely related to Dr. Kite’s, on marketing in the post-COVID-19 economy. Binet discussed previous recessions noting that, typically, they enabled lower-cost media, as many brands cut marketing investment and demand was pent up for a relatively less expensive entertainment source.

Binet also highlighted the importance of optimising price and promotions prior to marketing. Price optimisation is dependent on the demand and supply of your category. Understanding your product’s price elasticity, which can be measured through econometrics, informs this planning process. Furthermore, Binet noted that excessive promotions can erode the sensitivity of price and, thus, incremental sales from promotions are often much lower than perceived – another force that can be tracked and optimised accurately with econometrics.

The rest of the week featured an abundance of engaging, evidence-led case studies – too many to list here – and, notably, there were common themes that threaded between all presentations: relationships, cost of living, and models of success. To ensure these learnings are circulated amongst our partners, we will soon share our seven key themes in detail – and what we can learn from them about effectiveness and measurement.