At a time of economic uncertainty, it is perhaps understandable the marketers are doing all they can to keep costs down. But by placing emphasis on cost marketers risk reducing their chances of creating content that will both work and drive long-term business growth.
A direct link between the creativity of an advertising and marketing campaign and the campaign’s effectiveness was identified in a study of global brands by UK’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
Across an 8 year period, the IPA’s examined 213 advertising case studies, including campaigns conducted by global brands such as Cadbury, Volkswagen, Budweiser, Honda, Audi, and Orange. The report found that creatively awarded campaigns are 11 times more effective than non-creative award-winning campaigns.
Going further, Hamish Pringle, director general of the IPA claims that by reducing costs results in reduced effectiveness. ‘’It’s not possible to save 15-20% each year and still work with good quality agencies. Agencies will go bust or refuse to do business with them’’.
Instead of focusing on cost, Peter Field, the report’s co-author suggest that marketers should instead consider measuring creative success in terms of value added by creatives, such as input, output and the results that they achieve.
By studying business metrics to determine campaign effectiveness, such as market-share growth, sales, profits, return on investment, likability and emotional appeal, Peter concluded, that “Creatively awarded campaigns are a more reliable investment — they achieve greater effectiveness levels”.
The ‘buzz’ effect that creativity offers and the emotional communication model that most the most successful creative campaigns implement are factors are import to ensuring creativity and effectiveness. But does investing in quality creative services necessarily increase cost?
In 2017 Unilever chose to cut production costs and the number of agencies it works with, in doing so they elected to focus on quality over quantity, an approach which brought a 3% increase in sales, equating to £47bn in revenue. Speaking to Marketing Week, Unilever’s CFO Graeme Pitkethly described their strategy, “We had too many pieces of traditional TV advertising and we took them off the air before they reached full effectiveness. We now make fewer ads, show them for longer and reinvest the savings behind the best ones,”
As Bert Moore, chief strategy officer of Lowe Worldwide points out, “Creativity and effectiveness are inseparable” he continued, “A provocative idea is the magic. It’s not linked to media spend. A marketer’s only exposure to risk is to not develop a powerful creative idea.”
As part of the procurement process, Mr. Moore agrees that marketing teams should consider the value that creative agencies bring, but concedes that there may be a cost implication.
Cracking a brief takes people, resources and time, and finding that spark of inspiration and developing that idea into an award-winning campaign is an art, not a science. No one knows this more than us. History shows that large agencies, such as BBH, tend to win more awards, and arguably to the fact that they have the resources available to them whereas smaller agencies do not
At Zula Creative, we have experience of developing award-winning creative content and campaigns for some of the worlds largest and most successful agencies. We offer these services to agencies and clients of all sizes and budget, as a regional agency producer once said of us, “With Zula, you get world-class creative at a fraction of the cost”.
So, if like us you appreciate the value and benefits that good creative work brings to your campaigns then speak to Zula.