Industry Awards – valuable assets or vanity project?
As agencies, it is difficult to garner recognition, not least in field marketing because we generally hide behind our brands as they take centre stage. When we are representing our customers, we inhabit their persona, their profile, their offices and their brand values. Our colleagues literally are an extension of their own in-house teams. We often joke that if you cut our colleagues in half, they would bleed the lifeblood of the customer and not the agency. The agency name seldom gets a mention although we are the ones who recruit, train, mentor, manage and motivate the teams. This is just the way it is and we are proud to have the support of leading international brands and be recognised as the industry leaders for field sales, sampling, merchandising, mystery shopping etc. So, is it wrong therefore for us to throw our heart and soul into our annual industry awards which recognise and celebrate our agency talent? These awards are the only occasion in the year when we get to take centre stage, literally, and shout our names from the rooftops. However, on the back of the annual Field Marketing & Brand Experience Awards held on 22nd October, and ever mindful as our customers’ representative, I’m prompted to revisit the question – “are industry awards a valuable asset or a vanity project?”.
Are industry awards just an excuse to pat ourselves on the back and show off to our customers? As the winners of 6 awards this year (our best result ever), I was able to stand back and watch the reaction of the team. The sheer joy, excitement and energy displayed by these folks was tangible. Whilst I’ve always felt they are a motivated team, the effect of networking with customers and competitors alike and then seeing us win was worth every single penny we invested in the Awards and I just know that the positive ripple effect will go beyond the next few months. For many, this was their first event and will live forever in their memory. I know mine did, way back when field marketing was in it’s infancy. Similarly for our clients, the result of the industry recognising them as winners amongst stiff competition, was a joy to behold and judging by the amounts of champagne quaffed and congratulatory emails sent after the event, it was every bit as important to them too. As a relatively new kid on the block (8 years old) we have to look to innovative ways to promote our services, attract the best talent and cut through the noise. So, to all the naysayers who shun such events, think again about the positive effect and recognition manifested by Award ceremonies. For me, they are indeed a valuable asset and we can’t wait for next year!