Creative is the Key to Marketing Effectiveness

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By: Dr. David Bridwell, People Scientist and Jake McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer

Marketing effectiveness experts, on behalf of Cannes Lions and WARC, recently analyzed and compared thousands of campaigns that were submitted for the highest marketing awards. What they found was pretty interesting: the piece of data that most closely correlated with advertising effectiveness was something called Creative Commitment.

Creative Commitment is a composite measure of media budget, duration, and the number of different formats applied to a campaign. The notion that media budget and duration are important isn’t super surprising. We know that more money will generally lead to more eyeballs, but we also know that spending alone isn’t enough. Advertisements should align with consumer psychology with great creative storytelling. This helps ensure that the single brand message comes across to meet the business objective, and it’s this clear creative direction that helps focus that strong media commitment. 

The third component to creative commitment is important to pause on for a moment. This component, â€śnumber of different formats”, reflects the different media channels that are used in the campaign. Consistent with previous research, the optimal number of media channels is more than one, as a result of what is called “multi-channel synergy”. Boiled down, multi-channel synergy is the result of the powerful psychological impact of being exposed to information in different contexts. When we see an advertisement appear in multiple locations, like TV and then DOOH, we psychologically assume that the campaign is bigger and that it has reached a much larger number of people. This leverages the principle of social proof, one of the many biases and heuristics that the brain uses to distill complicated information into something simple and actionable. 

While the latest research suggests that creative commitment is a strong contributor to effectiveness, the research also shows that creative commitment has been declining over the past ten years. This decline in marketing creativity has been reported by many others, including the important work of Binet & Field, and it is often referred to as “short-termism”. The emphasis on digital targeting pulled marketers into focusing on short term activation metrics which were easy to measure, distracting from long term brand building and growth. Fortunately, there’s an opportunity to correct this mistake. 

As marketers, we must remember the importance of long term brand building and how it aligns with consumer psychology to create effective marketing campaigns. At Intermark Group, we leverage psychology and the behavioral sciences, including memory science, to help make sure that advertisements have the most impact. We work with you at all levels of the campaign, from strategy, creative, production, and media, and more. Feel free to give us a call at 833-578-1314 or email us at [email protected] to discuss how we can help with your marketing challenges. In addition, sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch with the latest insights in marketing psychology.