One of the things I like most about shopper marketing is its measurability. As compared to a brand TVC, the impact of our in-store displays has an instant, tangible effect on sales. It’s hugely satisfying to see positive results start to come in within days of a project going live. After all, our clients’ success is our success, which all comes down to the effectiveness of what we do.
It was therefore with great anticipation that I joined two other colleagues to hear a recent CAANZ/Nielsen presentation uncovering the secrets behind Effie Award winning campaigns. The report promised to focus not on how to win an Effie (an advertising effectiveness award), but on the lessons to be learnt from these campaigns.
Whilst the findings may seem obvious, they are nevertheless crucial to hold ourselves to:
- Research is a must – 100% of gold award winning entries were backed with research, and 94% of finalists. The presenters stressed the importance of using research as part of the planning process, but then going beyond this to find a human truth that connects. We refer to this as a strategic insight, and these are at the heart of what we do.
- Digital has become the norm – 96% of finalist entries included a digital touchpoint in their communications mix. Interestingly, whilst in-store was only an element in 11% of finalist entries, it was a part of 29% of gold award winning entries, over-indexing considerably in this regard. My feeling, echoed by many influencers in the shopper marketing space, is that digital, mobile and shopper marketing are converging at a rapid rate, making this convergence a key area to invest and upskill in.
- Of the 15 award categories, the most highly awarded category was ‘Limited budget (less than $300k)’. This is pleasing to see, as it shows that effective campaigns do not have to be hugely expensive, and in fact the requirement to fulfil objectives under budget constraints may lead to more innovative and effective thinking.
- What was not so pleasing was that the least awarded category was ‘New product or service’. I wonder whether there is any link between this and the finding that when it comes to objectives, less is more. The majority of winning campaigns had 2 or less objectives. Perhaps in our collective excitement to launch a new product or service, we are trying to do too many things at once (sales, behaviour change, brand launch, brand engagement, market share, public awareness…) and would do better to really crystalise what success means in the short-term and how this can be measured.
The over-arching message was that effective campaigns are underpinned by clear objectives from the start. This relies upon strong agency/client relationships, allowing briefs to be challenged to ensure we’re all crystal clear on what we’re trying to achieve. Without this clarity, we’re just crossing our fingers on launch day waiting to see what happens, and we need to be better than that.