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IBM’s Heba Sayed: Entries, Effectiveness & Effies

Heba Sayed IBM

Effie Mena Awards

IBM’s Heba Sayed: Entries, Effectiveness & Effies

Heba Sayed, marketing manager – IBM Watson Customer Engagement, MEA, and MENA Effie Awards 2018 jury member shares his tips for case studies and talks about the importance of the MENA Effie Awards and what it represents: marketing effectiveness.

3 must-haves in a winning Effie case study:

  1. The case has a logical flow from beginning to end: the insight, creative and results have to address the problem(s) identified by the brand and agency for the case study.
  2. Clear KPIs that are easy to measure and compare results! These KPIs should also be derived from the problem statement in the case study.
  3. Enough context on the industry and business the brand is in to ensure judges can relate/see the conditions impacting the execution and results of the campaign being assessed.

3 mistakes to avoid in an Effie case study:

  1. Not giving enough focus to the problem definition or insight; these two elements account for 45 percent of the total score of each entry and not being able to articulate these clearly shows the brand/agency did not properly research the campaign before execution.
  2. Creative not really linked to problem definition and the insight for the campaign. Even if the creative had good results, the judges feel the brand/agency just got lucky and this will impact case study scoring.
  3. Extremely complex graphs and tables for KPIs and results. Case studies should highlight the relevant KPIs and present them in a way that is easy for judges to read and interpret.

Why are the Effies important for the industry? 

Marketers today are challenged to demonstrate their impact on the businesses and brands they work for, and marketing effectiveness is an easy way to demonstrate the solid contributions marketers make to their organizations’ bottom line. It’s not all only about the revenue though, because the focus on effectiveness drives marketers to develop a better understanding of their customers and create campaigns that resonate well with them, leading to overall better customer experiences for brands in our region.

What is ‘marketing effectiveness’ to you? 

Marketing effectiveness has become an ever-elusive term in today’s marketing world. Every industry, brand, agency, media platform and even every campaign can have its own view on marketing effectiveness metrics and measurement. If I would come up with a universal definition to marketing effectiveness I would define it as the ability to properly identify a real business challenge, address this challenge with a marketing activity that addresses this challenge by building stronger connection between the brand and its audience.

An example of a campaign that truly celebrates marketing effectiveness?

Not showing off here but IBM Middle East and Africa’s outreach to the marketing professionals in Middle East region is in my view a clear example of marketing effectiveness. I have been lucky to lead this campaign over the last two years and the campaign has shown measurable positive change in all campaign elements from brand recognition to revenue for IBM’s martech solutions for this audience. In fact, it has been short-listed for an Effie in the 2018 awards!

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