The IPA Effectiveness Accreditation is an endorsement that your agency culture is dedicated to business effectiveness. It can turn what you already do into a competitive advantage for attracting clients and talent.
Accreditation will be assessed every two years starting 2021, and the accreditation will last for two years.
The IPA Effectiveness Accreditation is available to all IPA member agencies regardless of discipline or size.
We believe that some of the benefits of obtaining accreditation are as follows:
In this video, the IPA Effectiveness team are joined by Chair of Judges Jo Royce to break down what you need to know about our new Effectiveness Accreditation, why it matters, how it is evaluated and how you can achieve Effectiveness Accreditation.
No, the accreditation is offered free of charge to all IPA member agencies.
The online submission, will be comprised of two parts: an essay and a video submission. These should detail the organisation’s philosophy and approach to effectiveness, and demonstrate why it’s important to their business. Prior to submitting, it is expected that you will have obtained sign-off from your agency’s leadership team.
A written description of 1500-2000 words, explaining the agency’s philosophy and approach to effectiveness and why it’s important to your business.
We are flexible about the format of the description, but here are some questions to get your started:
The content from this section will be confidential. Agencies will also be allowed to attach an Appendix, which will not be included in the word count.
A video submission (up to 3 minutes) which demonstrates your agency’s attitude to effectiveness and its impact.
Here we are looking for you to bring to life your effectiveness culture – a way of showing your effectiveness culture in action. You may consider including your clients, who may be able to help demonstrate that effectiveness is on your agenda day to day, and/or show how you engage, and educate colleagues and new recruits. It is an opportunity to demonstrate a different narrative of your culture and how the focus on business results is managed and celebrated.
It is our intention to showcase an edited version of a number of these videos at IPA events and promotional platforms going forward. However, we will, of course, ask permission before using them.
In addition to the submission above, all agencies will be required to complete a short questionnaire, which will not be judged and will be anonymous. The objective of this is to provide an industry benchmark on effectiveness culture and practice, and to understand which tools, platforms, research and education resources are most helpful to IPA members. Details of this questionnaire will be communicated to agencies once they have submitted their application.
After submission, the IPA will own copyright on the submission. Our objective is to pull together elements of successful practices for publication, to promote the adoption of a better effectiveness culture industry wide. This will include highlights of video submissions. However, you will be able to indicate which elements of your written submission you wish to redact and not include in any external promotion. We have no wish to negatively affect any competitive advantage that an agency believes they possess.
The submissions will be assessed by a panel of leading brand owners, academics, authors and renowned effectiveness specialists, and Chaired by Unilever’s Global Director Marketing Learning & Capabilities, Jo Hagger Royce.
None of the assessment panel will work for an existing IPA member agency. Full details of the panel will be announced soon.
If a submission is considered by the Assessment Panel to achieve a proficient vision of effectiveness and demonstrate and evidence a consistent capability to deliver it, the agency will be given Accreditation.
The Assessment Panel will also award a higher level of “Outstanding” for submissions that reflect advanced standards of performance, evidence, consistency and proven capability throughout the organisation.
The criteria against which Accreditation will be assessed is listed below, alongside the broad weighting that will be applied to each.
It is important to stress that the IPA and the assessment panel are very aware that a successful effectiveness culture is not easy to create. Panellists will not be expecting flawless execution in all the areas below, but focussed effort to drive and achieve commercial return. We do not want to dissuade agencies from creating a submission. Even the creation of a submission itself can deliver huge insight and reward.
Process: Depth and breadth
Does the submission evidence an effectiveness culture from pre-briefing to results. Is there evidence that it is in practice day to day? Across all clients? This includes use of data and evidence for decision making (15%)
People: Depth and breadth
Does submission show depth and breadth of usage with a cross section of employees – from senior to junior, and from planners to creative to account management. What learning processes are in place for less experienced employees to gain knowledge to the state where it can be used, and decisions made upon that knowledge, rather than just be part of a system of examinations and tests. Does the agency have access to the necessary data analytics, skills and understanding to maximise short and long term objectives – both activation and broader brand building perspectives. (25%)
Collaboration across agency partners for understanding and learning
Effective Marketing does not work in a vacuum. Is there evidence that the agency works collaboratively with other agencies and partners (including research partners and comms focussed agencies) for a mutually beneficial outcome? Is there evidence of data sharing where possible, to generate understanding and learning. (10%)
Most agencies have a spectrum of ‘effectiveness literacy’ among your client base. When data, evidence, or process is not sufficient to maximise the effectiveness process, how much does the agency challenge the client (within the realms of tolerance) to improve the outcome? And not just those clients who already have an existing brand commitment to these processes. These challenges could also include broad approach - e.g. ‘excessive’ focus upon short term performance. What have you found succeeds in these endeavours? (10%)
Is there evidence of sufficient financial literacy and analytical skill either within the agency or bought in, to make robust commercial links to effectiveness? (20%)
Does the agency culture achieve robust and impressive results? Whilst the Accreditation process will not be driven by the results achieved, clearly one of the criteria needs to consider whether the culture is “working” in practice. (15%)
To what level is the submission convincing in its entirety? Is the evidence strong enough beyond the narrative? If the definition of culture is “It’s just the way we do things round here.” – does the submission enable the assessors to believe that “effectiveness” is the “way things are done”. (5%)
If successful, your agency will receive an effectiveness kite-mark and certificate to use in communications. The selection of accredited agencies will be celebrated by the IPA in press and online.
Once achieved, the Accreditation will last for 2 years. Agencies will then have to reapply in 2023 to retain their status.
Those agencies who put forward a submission and are not awarded Accreditation will receive feedback from the Assessment Panel on which areas did not meet the necessary level and / or additional comments on their submission content. The names of these agencies will be kept confidential.
Kay Heenan, Marketing Manager, Effectiveness | 0207 201 8266 | Kay.Heenan@ipa.co.uk
Once you have prepared your written and video submission, please complete the following form and upload your documents. Please ensure that you have consulted our guide above and taken into account the judging criteria.