They went short. We went long.

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2018

DLG had to demonstrate the business case for marketing its multiple insurance brands: Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. The company analysed what factors drove sales at each brand, measuring the contribution of brand and acquisition activity over short and long-terms. It used the learnings to set investment priorities across its portfolio, including more focus on brand-building TV, improving propositions and customer service. Brand preference and consideration rose across the portfolio. Total customers increased, led by Direct Line. This case estimates DLG brands contributed £46m profit to its home and motor insurance businesses.

Click to purchase this case study >

This project was a huge undertaking for Marketing, spearheaded by the Marketing Effectiveness team. It required patience and perseverance. What we built is knotty in the extreme, but has become a key platform to cement the confidence, capability and credibility of Marketing within the business. Coincidentally at the time of writing we are responding to a cost challenge. However we are not panicking since we have the Finance community saying that Marketing “is the last place we want to have to take from”. There is no greater accolade for the team than moving us from the front of the “cuts queue” three years ago to the back of the queue today. Because we are able to articulate precisely the short and long term impacts of our Marketing investment decisions we have changed the tone of conversation with the business. This empowers us to do the right things for our brands with a very explicit long term perspective in mind. This backdrop has also provided a context for genuine creativity in our communication as evidenced by bold projects such as Fleetlights and Smart Crossing which were unimaginable a few years ago. Implicit to this we have been able to “prove it” i.e. acceptance across the business that the art of long term brand building is alive and well. Seemingly the more things change the more they stay the same! We are proud that we went long when others went short. It was painful at times given that we were moving against popular opinion. However there is a restless ambition in the team so this journey represents how we constantly aim higher to bolster our brands and drive towards a Customer-First business.

Mark Evans, Marketing Director
Direct Line Group

Winners 2018

Gold Winner

Best New Learning (The Channon Prize)


They went short. We went long.




Direct Line Group


Direct Line Group

Principal Authors

  • Carl Bratton - Direct Line Group
  • Ann Constantine - Direct Line Group
  • Nic Pietersma - Ebiquity

Contributing Authors

  • Thomas Skinner - Ebiquity
  • Richard Woodward - Ebiquity
  • Maria-Louiza Konstantinidi - Direct Line Group

Credited Companies

  • Hall & Partners - Research
  • Kantar Millward Brown - Research

< Back to entries