Effie Worldwide has just kicked off its first official six-month marketing effectiveness certification program for the next generation of industry professionals – The Effie Academy – which Chairman Daryl Lee says will help advance both the organization and the marketing community as a whole.
Lee, who is in his second and final year as chairman of the Effies, said the idea for the Academy has been in the works for about four years, with a pilot program that took place in 2018.
In addition to teaching marketing effectiveness principles and approaches to industry professionals with three to seven years of experience, the Academy "makes the Effies a professional services organization to marketers," said Lee.
"Hopefully it’ll expand people’s understanding of the value of the Effies organization as not just a place that recognizes great work, but a place that can contribute to its development and educate, train and supports its professionals," he added.
The class of 30 participants, who work across brands, agencies, media companies and more, go through an "intensive one-week immersion" of classes and lessons with professors, tutors and industry thought leaders. Throughout the six months, participants work on a real project from their respective workplaces.
One of the most beneficial aspects of the program is that participants get to meet peers and mentors, said Lee.
"It’s a place where experienced marketers who know about effectiveness can help educate new marketers," he said. "Marketing is about driving better business outcomes as opposed to doing cool campaigns or cool digital things."
The program has a fee, but each participant earns a certification at the end as long as they go through the entire six months.
Lee added that he wants Effie Worldwide to be the most progressive organization around marketing effectiveness and show that the future is about "how brands can behave in integrated ways to drive growth."
While this is his last time as chairman, Lee plans on staying on the Effie board.
Effie is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, so the organization plans on hosting a summit in May to discuss where marketing effectiveness will go in the next 50 years. And at this year’s Effie Awards, the group will honor the five brands that have demonstrated the most sustained marketing effectiveness over the last 50 years.