This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3. With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.
I often feel when seeing agency credentials presentations that sometimes agencies take the term “let the work speak for itself” far too literally. Sure it may be a funny television idea or a clever technology app or a beautiful piece of print. But without the context of market, audience and any challenges that need to be overcome, it can lack impact beyond the obvious and visual.
For the past 4 years I have been asked to judge the MAA Worldwide – GLOBE Awards. The judging is one line and I noticed that the criteria were very clear, simple and focused. It included all of the elements you need to consider when you are reviewing ideas:
Strategy: What strategy was developed to meet the marketing objectives and why? Is the strategy sound for the brand and the target audience? What insights were uncovered and how do they support the strategy? – Judges will be looking for appropriateness, relevance and quality of the strategic thinking.
Concept: Given the stated objectives, how strong and relevant is the concept? Is it strategically sound for the brand and the target audience? How was the campaign planned? Is this an original idea? – Judges will be looking for originality, creativity and overall impact of the concept.
Execution: How well are all the elements of the program executed? Copy, concept, creative, program implementation? What issues were faced, and overcome, with customers, trade, sales force…? How did the campaign stand out? – Judges will be looking for a strong presence in the market, the quality of the materials in communicating the core strategy and idea and finally how the execution was carried out.
Results: Explain the results of the campaign using as much detail as possible. How well does the program perform against the stated objectives? Have credible industry standards been provided to give context of the strength of the results? If actual results are confidential, qualify, index or describe them in as much detail as you can. – Judges will be specifically looking for how well the campaign performed against the stated objectives. Use widely accepted industry standards where possible.
Now think if agency case studies were presented in the same way.
Instead of a rambling introduction from either the account manager on the client ‘challenge’ and then the creative director talking about how they managed to get a hot new director / photographer / app designer / UX expert, you were presented with a logical, yet interesting actual case study which:
- Provides a strategy focused on delivering a marketing or communications objective and is enlivened by an interesting and relevant consumer insight.
- Demonstrates a powerful and original idea that is perfectly relevant to the target audience and focused on delivering the objective.
- Delivers an execution which is aligned to the strategy and enhances the communication of the concept, without the strategy stomping all over it.
- Finally has delivered the results required, and not just the results delivered. That is results which were clearly aligned to the objective and the reason for doing the work in the first place.
Now before you think I am saying there should be a template, there is nothing wrong with structure and function. As any good designer knows, the skill is in delivering functionality in a way that surprises, delights and engages the user / audience.
Can you think of a better approach? Let me know by leaving a comment here with your ideas.