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Developing a measurement strategy for marketing effectiveness is a daunting task. The first thing you need to understand is, where your organisation sits on the spectrum of measurement capability.

As the saying goes, you shouldn’t try to run before you can walk. Gain Theory’s white paper on measurement strategy, published at EffWeek 2018 sets out to help organisations evolve their measurement practices to the highest level. One of the first things they recommend is making sure you understand exactly where you are on the journey to measuring effectiveness before you decide what your next steps are. Our paper identifies three different stages: crawl, walk and run.

Infographic showing the journey that organisations are on to measure marketing effectiveness


The crawl stage is all about the past. Reporting is retrospective, and planning is done with an eye on short-term results like getting the best inventory and avoiding late booking fees.


Organisations that have reached the walk stage have gone beyond retrospective reporting and are much more tuned in to the ‘now’. They’ve standardised KPIs across all their teams, departments, brands and even markets. And they are paying attention to who is going to be reading their reports, carefully curating them to make sure they are relevant and in a language that the audience can understand.


The run stage is where it gets really interesting because this is where organisations are looking to the future and starting to make predictions and run scenarios, rather than just explaining the past. Marketing can start to have a real influence on the business, especially if they have the backing and trust of their finance colleagues. the biggest challenge here is staying on top of things as they change, constantly innovating and improving measurement activities.

Jon Webb, Managing Partner at Gain Theory talks through these stages in more detail in the short video below. Two things stand out in his analysis.

Measurement strategy in the digital era

The importance of language and culture

First the emphasis on getting the language right in order to move from the crawl to walk stage. This echoes the findings of our Culture First report in which there was a big focus on language. The language of marketing is not necessarily understood in the same way by everyone. It’s essential that any analysis of marketing effectiveness is couched in terms that the wider business can understand.

The idea that marketing needs to get the backing of finance was also a familiar finding. In their talk at EffWeek 2017 Professor Patrick Barwise and analyst Martin Deboo were absolutely adamant that marketers must understand the language of finance and must develop trust with finance teams to be successful. As Jon says in the film, once you are in the run stage and actively creating predictions about the future, those predictions need to be backed by finance to have credibility. This requires a close collaboration between the two disciplines.

The full white paper will be published on effworks.co.uk at EffWeek on 09 October 2018. In the meantime watch Jon talk through the stages of development below.

Related content: Download, or watch a presentation of, the white paper on measurement

“Just what the industry needs, great collaboration between clients and agencies on the topics that drive business growth.”

Bridget Angear, Joint Chief Strategy Officer at AMV BBDO

“It’s great to see the IPA in the UK bring the whole industry and particularly the trade bodies together to focus on effectiveness. This new Marketing Effectiveness initiative will enable people across the industry to work together to build on best practice.”

David Wheldon, Chief Marketing Officer, RBS

“Effectiveness is a team sport, so it was great to see the industry in the widest sense, come together. In an increasingly diverse and fragmented world, only by using all parts of the brain will we solve effectiveness challenges and design our campaigns to deliver short and long term value. That’s why what happens next is important – if the IPA can help facilitate progress on this with a long-term initiative around Marketing Effectiveness, we’ll definitely crack it.”

Bart Michels, Global CEO Kantar Added Value and Country Leader Kantar UK

“The time spent at #EffWeek was extraordinarily effective. It was great to hear the diverse views from all areas of the industry. All tied together with the common themes of accountability and effectiveness.”

Andrew Canter, Global CEO, BCMA

“It has been a privilege to be part of the inaugural Effectiveness Week. The agenda is one which we at O2 UK feel passionately about. To see and hear perspectives across the industry demonstrates how the breadth of marketing effectiveness is increasingly being valued within businesses. Data, insight, social, customer experience, test and learn, ROI, these are all fundamentals and were covered expansively at the event”.

Sandra Fazackerley, Marketing & Consumer, Telefónica UK Limited

“The full week of effectiveness events brought into clear focus the need for marketers to use data and insight to achieve the key business objectives of growth and profits. Marketers today are in a better position to quantify their knowledge of customers and measure the ability of investments in marketing to increase brand and shareholder value.”

Chris Combemale, Group CEO, DMA