Building an Effectiveness culture

By Emma Chaplin, Senior Planner

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To create ambitious, impactful work means ensuring effectiveness isn’t just a box-ticking exercise, but an agency-wide dedication. Effectiveness needs to be part of the agency culture.

But effectiveness isn’t exactly a glamorous word. It conjures up images of complicated stats, charts and acronyms; something that happens in boardrooms with flip charts and laser pointers. It can feel opaque; a concept that only a select few people in the agency concern themselves with.


At Drummond Central, we are making great progress to demystify the concept of effectiveness, spreading the enthusiasm and embedding it within day-to-day culture across the agency.

The concept of effectiveness is relatively simple; understanding whether you measurably achieved what you set out to do in the first place through your campaign. Crucially, it’s also about what you can learn from that and how you can do better next time.

It’s something that touches every part of the campaign creation process and every role in the agency. Therefore, the responsibility towards effectiveness really belongs to us all.

Singing from the same hymn sheet

The interesting thing about a culture of any sort is it’s often more of an unspoken collection of rules, relationships, agreements, processes, behaviours. But having a collective language means that when one person is talking about effectiveness, it translates across teammates, disciplines and also across communication with the client.

One of our Senior Art Directors said: 'We've always talked about effectiveness, but maybe just in our own language, because it's definitely ingrained in the creative mindset here.’

Having shared and agreed upon language therefore means we can have meaningful conversations across disciplines; creatives and clients can strive for the same goal.

Reinforcing the end goal

While we don’t need everyone to be a decorated professor of effectiveness, becoming comfortable with the key principles means that work can be easily stress tested.

‘It’s not to say I wasn't aware of it before, but I find myself more actively thinking, "what is this creative work aiming to achieve?”’ – Junior Creative

Creative check-ins and WIPs are all the more productive when the whole team has a clear understanding of the objectives and what is required to reach them.

Empowering the team

Having a shared approach towards effectiveness means more people are empowered to push harder for better work at every touchpoint.

‘We're always pushing for that extra bit of time to ensure the work is correct and the brand is being represented as best it can. Effectiveness gives hard evidence that brand and messaging consistency is important to the success of a campaign.’ – Studio and Operations Manager

The litmus test

‘There’s a really positive culture around effectiveness as everyone is moving towards being effective together.’ – Account Executive

While planners might relish pouring over the effectiveness detail, the real cultural test is what is being spoken about at the water cooler – or in our case, the beloved coffee machine called Franke.

From a more formal show of collectivism – where more than half of our agency have been working towards their effectiveness qualification – there’s also the joy of effectiveness-themed wisecracks that we’ve overheard around the agency. If we can get everyone feeling comfortable with the practice of effectiveness, we’re onto a winner.