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Many of the debates at EffWeek 2016 touched on how to effectively builds brands in the long and the short-term.

The final panel session of the event asked stakeholders from all areas of the marketing business to share where they sit on this question of long-term investment.


How do we balance the long and short term?

  • It’s an essential truth that ‘the long term is made up of a lot of short terms’.
  • Both short-term and longer-term thinking – and activities – are necessary for any brand. What businesses need to ask, and be sure of, is how short term activities are connecting with the long-term, and so delivering sustainable growth.
  • This connection between the short and long-term investment made, can come from creating brand meaning and distinctive memory structures such as that associated with classic brand advertising and other iconic brand behaviours.
  • Equally it can come from usage and the associated experiences that come being a customer and using a product or service. But this doesn’t come automatically, the product and broader experience has to deliver something special and distinctive, and you have to attract the right kind of customer for the right reasons (deal-seeking consumers buying mainly on price can quickly churn making sustained growth impossible to deliver).
  • It’s also important that brand’s have long-term growth measures in place: brand equity and meaning; distinctiveness/ difference; affinity; predisposition/ consideration; penetration. If these aren’t growing you are not connecting the short term with the long-term, and the nature and balance of your marketing isn’t right.

“Penetration is an absolutely critical long-term metric”
Ed Pilkington Diageo timecode 21.51

Create purpose for your brand and your people

Illustration demonstrating the concept of creating a brand purpose to align staff, attract consumers and create long-term investment in your brand

Balance brand-building and activation activities

  • Businesses also need to ask whether they have the right balance between Brand and Activation activities. The work by Binet and Field (‘Media in the Digital Age’) provides solid learning on this from an analysis of marketing behaviours associated with strong business growth based on the IPA DataBank.
  • This work indicates that growth has tended to suffer due to an over-emphasis on short-term Activation – with evidence indicating an optimum Brand/ Activation balance of 60/40. This may not be optimal for all businesses, but if a brand’s balance is significantly different from this it would be prudent to ensure that you have strong evidence that this is in fact fueling sustainable growth, a Boom Loop not a Doom Loop.

“We’ve identified the number one metric for success – salience. It drives success both in the short and long term”
Louise Ainsworth Kantar Millward Brown timecode 21.51

  • Short-term Activations are important to get new people to experience the brand, encourage repurchase amongst those for whom it is already in their portfolio, and ensure that short-term sales budgets are met. But generally do little in terms of creating brand meaning and distinctive memory structures. Brand-level activities and long-term investment on the other hand, build longer-term meaning and predisposition but generally have a less pronounced impact on short-term sales.


(Chair) David Wheldon CMO RBS & President WFA & MGGB
Louise Ainsworth CEO UK Kantar Millward Brown
Jane Christian Business Science Director MediaCom
Patrick Mills Director of Professional Development IPA
Ed Pilkington Marketing & Innovation Director Diageo Europe

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“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