Advanced Certificate in Effectiveness Syllabus

Develop a greater understanding of and a forensic approach to the evaluation of your campaigns.

The Advanced Certificate in Effectiveness is delivered in 35 hours of online learning, split across 14 modules.


Introduction to Effectiveness Testing

Marketing effectiveness is complex and there's no one technique to guarantee success, but there are fundamentals which provide necessary grounding. This module acts as an introduction to these core principles of effectiveness testing.

It includes:

  • critical factors in effectiveness testing
  • how to read and make sense of data
  • summaries of key effectiveness texts, including the works of Les Binet, Peter Field and Professor Byron Sharp

Planning for Effectiveness

Effectiveness is not a retrospective evaluation technique; you should use the data available, rigorously planning how and what you are going to measure based on clear business and communications objectives, hinged on a defined measurement strategy.

This module provides an overview of the six key steps in best practice evaluation, categorises the different types of objectives and demonstrates how they should be set in a SMART fashion. It also looks at how these steps intersect with key campaigning strategy frameworks, making sure your effectiveness strategies are robust and can be shared clearly and consistently with key stakeholders.

It includes:

  • stages in the evaluation process
  • setting communications objectives
  • key campaign measurement strategies
  • test and learn

Input measures

It's important when looking at evaluation to consider the different types of media, brand and business metrics. This module introduces the different metrics available to us, how to measure what matters and how not to get distracted by data.

It includes:

  • introduction to metrics
  • offline media measures
  • frequency and composition

Output Measures: Business

It's important to understand the key output measures and the associated objectives and metrics specific to your business. By understanding the business contexts of marketing and communications, both in relation to internal and external measures, we can build a better case for both strategy and execution. Understanding what's important in terms of output at a business level is essential to delivering work that does what it needs to.

This module offers an overview of the core business measures for marketing, linking back to the focus on objective setting and the inter-relationships between business marketing and communications objectives explored in Module 2.

It includes:

  • hard business measures
  • measuring price
  • understanding the price elasticity of demand

Output Measures: Behavioural

Any campaign aims to change consumer behaviour in one way or another. If you’re specific about the behaviours that you want to elicit in your audience, you can start to build evidence that shows whether these behaviours are happening, to what extent and within which groups.

This module defines behavioural measures, how they can be calculated and their strengths and weaknesses.

It includes:

  • key and common behavioural measures
  • wider behavioural measures
  • issues with behavioural measures

Output Measures: Awareness and Attitudes

It's important to look at both campaign and brand awareness particularly when thinking about shorter-term tactical campaign effects and longer-term brand building impact. Consideration should also be given to wider attitudinal measures, whether that's emotional response, brand association, brand perception, intent to purchase or act.

This module focuses on two key areas: the component parts of both campaign and brand awareness measures, core knowledge around brand-led attitudinal and perception metrics.

It includes:

  • attitudinal measures
  • campaign awareness and the role of the subconscious, including a summary of the works of Dr Robert Heath
  • brand awareness

Isolating Your Activity: Non-econometric Techniques

You need to be able to isolate your activity, even when you can’t use econometric techniques. It's important to isolate what your activity is doing because it's not just an academic return on investment or payback discussion; you're going to be making real investment decisions based on the evidence. Non-econometric techniques focus on whether brand usage and attitudes have changed in proportion to exposure to the campaign. They aim to establish that there is a correlation between the degree of exposure and scale of effect, and will help you to understand and identify other contributing factors.

This module covers the most frequently used effectiveness evaluation approaches, which don't use econometric techniques.

It includes:

  • factors that affect sales
  • the dangers of jumping to conclusions
  • metrics that matter
  • correlation techniques

Isolating Your Activity: An Introduction to Econometrics

Econometrics has played a key role over the last 30 years in helping to establish how marketing communications have benefited a wide range of brands and businesses. It enables us to isolate the effects of the work that we do, and demonstrate ROI across a wide range of channels, inputs and outputs.

This module focuses on how econometrics works and not just what it does. It also demonstrates how or when to use it to best effect, and in conjunction with other techniques.

It includes:

  • key steps in econometric analysis
  • when it’s useful and when it’s not
  • keeping your adstock high

Payback and ROMI

It’s the fundamental question for any campaign: was it worth it? How do we know if the budget was worth it in ‘payback’ for the client?

This module takes a look at two key methods for working out a campaign's affect on business's bottom line - payback and ROMI. It will give you a practitioner’s eye view of both; moving beyond definition to being able to calculate and explain them.

It includes:

  • calculating payback and ROMI
  • efficiency vs effectiveness
  • evaluating the longer and broader effects

Evaluating Direct Mail

Contributing Authors: Eve Stansell, Senior Strategic Planner, Ben Winter, Head of Data Planning and Colin Bryce, Senior Data Planner, MarketReach, Royal Mail

While traditionally viewed as a medium for direct response, research shows that direct mail can change attitudes, behaviours and ultimately drive commercial action.

This module looks at how direct mail in a multi-media strategy has the power to amplify campaign success and shows you how to set up meaningful and measurable mail tests.

It includes:

  • best practice direct mail tests
  • attributing sales to direct mail activity
  • the role of JICMAIL

Evaluating Digital

Contributing Author: Patrick Mazzotta, VP, Head of Analytics, Essence EMEA

Digital channels have traditionally been associated with tactical activity, but you can measure branding activity too. As digital advertising continues to grow and evolve (in both scale and nuance), it is increasingly useful for all marketers to understand the principles of effectiveness for the digital landscape. Through this shared understanding, everyone reaps the benefits.

This module provides an overview of the key concepts in measuring the effectiveness of advertising within a digital landscape.

It includes:

  • digital behaviour
  • attribution modelling
  • bid optimisation
  • beyond channel: advanced analytics

Evaluating Experiential, PR and Sponsorship Activity

Contributing Author: Peter Raymond, Sponsorship Consultant and Course Director of the ESA Diploma, European Sponsorship Association

Traditionally seen as ‘hard to evaluate’, these fields are now developing specialist measurement frameworks. This module provides an understanding of how to evaluate Experiential, Sponsorship and PR campaigns. These disciplines are grouped together as there are similarities in how and where they are deployed in the marketing mix.

It includes:

  • IPM Experiential Council’s Effectiveness Measurement Model
  • AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework for PR
  • RAE model for sponsorship

Evaluating Public Sector Campaigns

Contributing Author: Emma Scoular, Head of Effectiveness for OmniGOV, Manning Gottlieb OMD – the buying agency for HM Government

Public Sector communications by the Government, wider government departments, or Arms’ Length Bodies (ALBs), aim to drive awareness, change perceptions, or encourage positive behaviour change in society. This module gives an overview of the key frameworks used by the Government, and how we should use them.

This module is of particular interest to people involved in public sector campaigns, but there is also much to learn for wider activity.

It includes:

  • setting C-SMART objectives
  • the Government’s OASIS comms planning approach and Evaluation Framework 2.0

How to Win an Effectiveness Award

Contributing Author: Tom Roach, multiple Gold IPA Effectiveness Award-winning Executive Strategy Director

The IPA Effectiveness Awards programme started in 1980 to help prove beyond doubt that advertising works. Nearly 40 years later they've become a permanent fixture in the industry's calendar. There are, of course, other effectiveness award schemes, like the Effies, the Creative Effectiveness category at Cannes, and the Marketing Society's Brave Awards.

This module discusses the effectiveness awards, the value to individuals, agencies and clients, and how to write an entry for award success. The principles outlined in this module are equally applicable to all effectiveness awards schemes.

It includes:

  • the value of awards and what to expect
  • the right questions to ask
  • best practice for writing a case study

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Studies

To help bring the learning to life we have included a selection of winning IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Studies that students can download and keep.

Recommended Resources

We have also provided a list of recommended resources, ranging from articles to books, that we encourage students to explore as wider reading on the subject matter.

Final Exam

Students must pass a formal online exam to achieve the Certificate. The exam comprises of multiple choice, mathematical and short form essay questions.

Qualification Contributors


Richard Shotton, Author and Consultant, Astroten

Richard is the author of The Choice Factory, a best-selling book on how to apply findings from behavioural science to advertising. Richard started his career as a media planner 20 years ago, working on accounts such as Coke, Lexus and, before founding Astroten, a consultancy specialising in applying behavioural science to business problems. He tweets about the latest social psychology findings from the handle @rshotton.

Contributing authors

  • Emma Scoular, Head of Effectiveness for OmniGOV, Manning Gottlieb OMD – the buying agency for HM Government
  • Ben Winter, Head of Data Planning, MarketReach, Royal Mail
  • Colin Bryce, Senior Data Planner, MarketReach, Royal Mail
  • Eve Stansell, Senior Strategic Planner for MarketReach, Royal Mail
  • Les Binet, Group Head of Effectiveness,adam&eveDDB
  • Lorna Hawtin, Disruption Director, TBWA Manchester
  • Lucas Brown, Chief Strategy Officer, Total Media Group
  • Patrick Mazzotta, VP, Head of Analytics, Essence EMEA
  • Peter Field, Independent Marketing and Advertising Professional: Author, Public Speaker, Consultant
  • Peter Raymond, Sponsorship Consultant and Course Director of the ESA Diploma, European Sponsorship Association
  • Tom Roach, multiple Gold IPA Effectiveness Award-winning Executive Strategy Director

Other contributors

  • Gerald Breatnach, Head of Strategic Insights, Google UK
  • Jessica Salmon, Head of Customer Value and Growth, O2 (Telefónica UK)
  • Jon Webb, Managing Partner, Gain Theory
  • Neil Godber, Joint Head of Planning, Wunderman Thompson
  • Nick Milne, Founde and Director, Go Ignite Consulting
  • Paul Arnold, Coach, Trainer, Facilitator and Strategic Planner,Paul Arnold Consulting
  • Robert Shaw, Professor of Consumer Behaviour; Mathematics, Cass Business School
  • Sera Holland, Co-Founder of Fawnbrake and Co-Chair of the IPA Excellence Diploma
Last updated 01 May 2024