Marketers' Constitution Tenet #3

In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the Association of National Advertisers has created The Marketers' Constitution. Its goal is twofold: to acknowledge the marketing industry's many contributions to our society, and to help the marketing profession move beyond the inefficiencies, limitations, restrictions and unknowns of the past to a new, effective, transparent, economical and socially responsible model of marketing and media for the future.

The Marketers' Constitution sets forth what the ANA believes are ten essential "musts" of marketing for the next 100 years. These will help ensure that the industry thrives and continues to contribute to the growth of the nation's businesses -- as well as to the economic and social wellbeing of our society. Read the entire Marketers' Constitution and show your support for its tenets by digitally signing here.

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The third tenet of the Marketers' Constitution states, "Marketing must become more effective -- more creative, insightful and accountable." Marketing as a whole encompasses a wide range of activities geared to address and inform the consumer and provide a return on that marketing investment. However, business leaders are challenged to measure the impact of their marketing strategies. A successful plan involves the implementation of three pillars which serve as the basis for marketing effectiveness:

  • Smart consumer insights
  • Great creative
  • Accountability



The success of a marketing campaign can best be gauged by attaining meaningful, actionable and predictive consumer insights. To target the right audience and establish a solid framework for a marketing campaign, intelligent consumer analysis is crucial. Accordingly, findings that are significant and accurate are vital to the effectiveness of the entire plan. Sometimes these insights may even kick off an overhaul of strategy so that consumers can stay loyal to their brands.

For example, as the recession unfolded in 2004, Dunkin' Donuts' research revealed the need for a new message that acknowledged consumers' hardships. That insight led to an empathetic, value-oriented campaign known as "You Kin' Do It." This marketing campaign combined TV with out-of-home and online media. Created by agency partner Hill Holiday, it included a highly engaging social media component that encouraged consumers to design their own donut flavors and toppings. Nearly 130,000 entries were submitted, making this a classic example of how smart consumer insights translated to a successful campaign.

Effective marketing requires creativity to truly captivate and persuade. It is the inspiration that connects a marketing message to a consumer's heart and mind, and the force that propels brand and business growth. An example of outstanding creative was demonstrated with Burger King's "Super Fan" campaign. Burger King and its agency, Crispin Porter, reinvigorated the quick service chain's brand with a succession of creative, edgy campaigns and promotions aimed at the core audience of Super Fans.

Skillfully using digital marketing and entertainment, the brand's breakthrough creative efforts ranged from the Subservient Chicken, to the Whopper Sacrifice to the Xbox King Games. These creative tactics demonstrated out-of-the-box thinking and Burger King's willingness to find innovative ways of connecting with target audiences. This is the kind of creativity that attracts individuals to its franchise.

Marketing effectiveness is advanced by the third principle: accountability. True marketing accountability must provide insight on the "cause/effect" relationship to marketing investment. Since 2005 ANA has tracked marketers' perspectives on accountability. We are seeing progress towards making accountability a company-wide mission led by senior marketers.

For example, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has built a highly strategic marketing accountability and effectiveness program to support its three core marketing thrusts: brand equity marketing, retail marketing and loyalty marketing. This focused, measurable approach drives business growth and underscores the substantial return on the marketing investments of senior and brand management.

Far beyond the media metrics obtained from Nielsen and the Audit Bureau of Circulation, and the site visits, page views, click-throughs and other KPIs from Internet campaigns, genuine marketing accountability must reveal the effectiveness of targeted marketing investments. This gives marketers the capability to determine future investment levels and assess marketing mix allocations.

These three pillars of marketing -- smart consumer insights, great creative and accountability -- are fundamental to our third Marketers' Constitution Tenet: effective marketing. Each element must act in conjunction with the others in order to elicit optimum results from a given marketing campaign. As business leaders, assessing and rebuilding marketing strategies is a complicated and critical challenge. However, to do so, we must be disciplined and focused to improve customer insights, elevate creativity, and be driven to enhance accountability processes.

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