Image source: EuBea Festival
The past two months has seen the FreemanXP EMEA team deeply immersed in the world of marketing awards. We’ve sat on judging panels, entered awards, won awards, and are eagerly awaiting the results of the awards we’ve been shortlisted for. I was even lucky enough to travel to Russia to present some of our work to an esteemed panel of judges.
And while we’ve enjoyed many exciting wins and faced a few disappointments — what’s equally important is that we’ve come away with a huge chunk of insight into how the business of awards can help the brand experience industry place its finger on the next big ‘thing’ or idea.
Boosting Brand Experience
While awards are reason to pop corks and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, beneath that lies a deeper cause — that of pushing our industry forward.
Over the past decade, experiential marketing has moved from below-the-line to an important, focal point of integrated marketing campaigns. It’s not uncommon to see campaigns feature work that has been created to shift seamlessly between a consumer’s live and virtual worlds.
As we move increasingly online, people yearn for those live, face-to-face interactions that brand experiences facilitate — they allow for people to engage with a brand first-hand. Now it’s time to continue to develop this booming industry, and it’s often the awards process that can help us get there.
Unlocking The Future Through Innovation and Creativity
At this year’s EuBea Awards in St. Petersburg, Russia, I saw a strong emphasis on innovation, creativity, and results. This is important for two reasons.
Firstly, it forces agencies to push their thinking ever further to impress judges. The tried, tested, and dependable just won’t cut it anymore, and it’s this which challenges us all to find new ways to connect with our audiences — whether it be by embracing the latest technology or other means.
Secondly, a focus on tangible results mapped against clear objectives helps to shine a light on the importance of measurement, both qualitative and quantitative, in order to demonstrate the all-important event ROI to our clients and further validate the brand experience channel.
The cumulative effect of propelling our thinking and creativity to places that make us even better at what we do, as well as encouraging better measurement tactics, is crucial to the growth and development of the brand experience industry, as we push ourselves to develop new ways for people to experience brands, ultimately changing their perceptions of them.
Awards are no doubt a great opportunity to celebrate our work and gain recognition from our peers, yet it’s also important to recognise their potential to positively impact the growth of our industry now and in the future.