As my team @DDB Sydney won the Silver Effie Award for Best Digital Platform with partner agency OMD and client Telstra this Thursday (wooop!), I have been asking myself what was the benefit of such a prize… Above of course bringing our trophy back to sit on a shelf at the agency – the client actually got it – and congratulate each other. What are the after effects of receiving an industry award?
For my family and friends, what this award represents is very abstract as it’s very much an industry buzz. So I patiently explained to each of them what it was: ‘it’s a bit what the Oscars are to the movie industry, but without Brangelina’ (haha). But as I was trying to explain a bit further what it meant and what it was bringing to the agency, to the team and to myself, I surprised myself in not having a lot to say. These are a few thoughts that I would like to share, not to wow about our work or to talk specifically about digital in this instance, but to truly try to understand what’s in it for a company and it’s employees, all the more that I was told their was a lot of politics involved in the final judges decisions – this is not a criticism, but just acknowledging a point of view that I was given.
From the official website The Effie Awards ‘honour the most significant achievement in advertising and marketing communications: effectiveness’. This is pretty clear to me and I am glad that our work with Telstra this year got recognised for that, as we are indeed contracted to increase ROI i.e. effectiveness on their advertising though data-driven marketing.
Now, how does this win impacts us?
Firstly, from an agency point of view it’s always good to be represented and recognised on the market, from our competitors as well as from our clients or prospects. And in this instance, this was the only entry for which we won the highest prize (no Gold was attributed in this category). Great! It also demonstrates a successful partnership built over the last months between creative and media agencies to deliver best results, which is very unique in this industry. Most of the time, the two have different strategies and KPIs, which leads to major disagreements. This is also an awesome win for our client, re-enforcing their partnership with us and giving them industry recognition. Surely, they can comfortably go to their manager showing that they are making the most of their marketing budget.
But the value I really find in this award is beyond the wow effect for both parties client/agency. I see a motivational value to the teams, to leverage pride and recognition from their pairs, from the hard work done and a certain visibility internally as well as externally. Let me explain this. This prize brought an extreme buzz amongst our colleagues, only because our work won, but also because it reflects on them as well! There is a certain pride in saying that you are working with people who received a prize for their work, it makes you feel that you work along with a brilliant team and sharing their success makes you successful as well. And in an industry were the average turnover is 2 years, this is a strong way to improve employees’ loyalty to the company!
Being rewarded and taking pride in our work is clearly something that makes us feeling happier at work and make us forget about all those over hours we made, overnights and weekends we worked, stress and frustration we experienced… Receiving recognition by people that don’t know you and haven’t necessarily seen your work yet are respected and known in your industry is the most compelling reason why one would want to keep up with their company. On top of this, it makes your profile a bit more valuable to another potential employer, as it gives you confidence and strength that you are doing well your job.
The conclusion here is to say to advertising agencies, and specifically HR whose role is to attract the most talented candidates: if you want your teams to achieve more, be motivated and potentially stay in your company, make them visible externally, endeavour people’s passions and hobbies, and find multiple ways to reward them, above and beyond the monthly staff beer & pizza lunch as this will make you a Google #1 Great Place to work.