Marketing Effectiveness in the Digital Era

Last week was the IPA’s Eff Week, a comprehensive view of marketing effectiveness and how to measure it across the whole industry, and we were delighted to be a part of it.


Our founder, Sophie Morris, spoke alongside Matt Stevenson from EE about how sponsorship has changed in the digital era using the example of his partnership with Wembley Stadium and in particular the Wembley Cup. Whilst our presentation was very brief at EffWeek itself, Sophie has expanded on the points she made at the event, below.




The digital era has had a radical impact on sponsorship, as it has most sectors. For the purposes of EffWeek, we summarised the impact into three areas:

  • rights holder assets,
  • sponsor activation,
  • and sponsorship measurement.


Rights holders now have an infinite asset inventory. No longer limited by the number of boards around a pitch, space on a car or tickets to an exhibition. With digital based assets you are limited only by your imagination and appetite for innovation.


Sponsors find themselves in the same situation. They can do so much more in activation and in integrating the sponsorship across the rest of their promotional channels, CSR and employee engagement through digital means.


For example, AIG created a fantasy game for all its staff to engage with their sponsorship of the All Blacks rugby union team. Amongst DHL’s digital assets in their F1 sponsorship are the DHL fastest lap and DHL fastest pitstop awards.


But digital changes haven’t just affected sponsorship assets and their activation. Analytics dashboards and visualisation tools can now bring together your econometric and attribution measurement frameworks to combine all your output measurements e.g. views and engagement, alongside your outcome measures of brand preference, sales, repeat purchase and loyalty, staff engagement, long-term branding building and profit driving measures.



It is this effectiveness measurement that we explored further with the other panellists when discussing how to collectively move the industry forward. Representing ESA, alongside the BCMA, ISBA, MRS, IAB, DMA, AMEC, PRCA and the IPA (Countdown Conundrum anyone?), we debated how we can make a collective change to improve marketing effectiveness measurement across the board.


There was agreement on working towards a universal set of metrics for all areas of the industry to use and promote. We also talked about the importance of focusing on metrics that measure the impact on business objectives and a move away from the short-termist focus on sales activation metrics or input measures. We must also take responsibility for achieving a cultural shift from the short-term to longer-term brand building measures which have a stronger impact on market share and profit.


The IPA’s reports on Culture First and Media in Focus will help Marketing Directors to enable this change within their own organisations.


The panel agreed that we need to collaborate, be transparent and commit to change if it is to happen. We, therefore, pledged to meet again to progress universal marketing effectiveness measurement.


As part of Effectiveness Week, I was also interviewed for an article “Sponsorship is the king of brand-building but is it reaching its potential?”, which you can read here.


If you’d like to talk about improving your marketing and sponsorship effectiveness, please do get in touch.