Marketing Catalyst: Creating a culture of marketing effectiveness

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2020

In 2016 Diageo committed to delivering an incremental £100m in profit from marketing within three years via an initiative encompassing its wide brand portfolio. The approach applied to its many brands such as Guinness, Baileys and Smirnoff, and to both mature and developing markets including in the Americas, Africa, and Australia. Approaches to data were standardised. Marketing Catalyst, a bespoke tool to advise marketers on effective spending, and Creative Sparks, a programme to refocus staff on creative excellence, were used to embed marketing effectiveness into the company culture. It is estimated the initiative produced more than twice its £100m target, returned its investment 16 times over, and enabled Diageo to widen the scope of effective measurement from brands accounting for 30% of its marketing spend to 90%.

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Our marketing effectiveness programme has changed the fabric of marketing, reinforcing our role as business leaders first and foremost, agitating for better business outcomes. We have a deeper understanding of how to create the conditions for creativity and have a learning mindset. We understand how it all works and are comfortable with the integration of measurement and magic .

Syl Saller, Outgoing CMO

Winners 2020

Gold Winner

Best Use of Data

Best New Learning (The Channon Prize)


Marketing Catalyst: Creating a culture of marketing effectiveness


Diageo portfolio





Principal Authors

  • Andrew Geoghegan - Diageo

Contributing Authors

  • Andrew Bertolaso - Gain Theory
  • Jack Carrington - Mother
  • Andrew Deykin - Data2Decisions
  • Sinan Erhan - Boston Consulting Group
  • Vicki Holgate - Diageo
  • Craig Mawdsley - AMV BBDO
  • Neasa McGuinness - Mother
  • Kiel Petersen - Diageo
  • Filina Spanodimou - Diageo
  • Lisa Stoney - AMV BBDO

Credited Companies

  • adam&eveDDB - Creative Agency
  • Anomaly - Creative Agency
  • Hey Human - Creative Agency
  • Kantar - Research
  • Metropolitan Republic - Creative Agency
  • Leo Burnett Sydney - Creative Agency
  • Scanad - Creative Agency
  • Nielsen - Research

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