What does it take to achieve excellence?
On 25 September we joined 200 Society members and guests in the engine room (or auditorium if you like) of BT's HQ, to soak up wisdom and insight from winners of our 2013 Awards for Excellence.
Our speakers (and the prizes they won) included Sainsbury's/Channel 4 (Grand Prix), Mars (Leadership), McLaren (Brand Extension) and Notcutts (CRM and Finance Director's). Here's a snapshot of their top tips:
Minnie Moll – Notcutts
Winning an award was an example of marketing driving real change: through brand, culture and engagement. An achievement considering there was no marketing department 5 years ago. Prior to launch of the loyalty scheme, the CEO and FD were involved from the start, which helped drive things. First and foremost a privilege club had to be about emotion to engage so customers felt they were part of something.
- Keep a loyalty scheme SIMPLE and HONEST – otherwise people see straight through you.
- Your colleagues MUST be engaged to sell the scheme. Have a champion in each business location.
- If you get your main big idea right, everything else follows. Just ensure you keep it fresh.
Maria Grigorova – Mars
With Mars being a $32bn family-owned business, it was important to grow in a way that did no harm. Looking back to Louis Pasteur and germ theory, a question was raised. What's the business equivalent today? Through a combination of science meets marketing, ‘Reach theory’ was born - so to sustain growth you must recruit more users.
- Come up with a human truth and a product truth – and tell that tale distinctly.
- Ensure as many people as possible notice, remember and understand your brand, e.g. - Snickers 'Betty White' superbowl.
John Allert – McLaren
McLaren is a company defined by calm, however Brand Extension as an award category is largely ruled by emotion. How do you stand out? Luxury brands need a story: Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin all have one. McLaren’s roots began humbly in Woking, but what approach do you need to go from track to road?
- Find a niche. McLaren is all about perfection and precision, quality over quantity.
- Look to your heritage. Fuel the myth of Bruce McLaren's story and the company's humble beginnings.
Sarah Warby – Sainsbury’s
Olympics easy to sponsor – an easy win. Paralympics? A much harder proposition. Public awareness and understanding was very low. How do you bridge the gap and make people connect?
Q: How should you target, narrow or wide?
Sarah: When it comes to targeting, you cannot shrink your way to greatness.
Q: What's the secret to engaging your employees?
Sarah: Begin with a huge focus on internal engagement, find the hook that gets people to buy in. Make it fun, but be sincere or people see through you.
Q: What’s the single piece of advice you can give to those entering awards?
Minnie: work closely with your agency; Maria: have a good success story; Sarah: get your grammar right or it shows you don’t care so why should the judges?; John: be clear which category you are entering and why.
Q: We’ve heard about successes, but what was your worst moment on the road to success?
Minnie: research groups testing our resolve early on in the process and technology constantly tripping you up; Maria: the slow journey of getting people to believe in what you are doing; John: it was a six-year journey from track to road and a steep learning curve to understand all aspects of that journey; Sarah: the company wasn’t joined up internally. Something we needed to do, particularly when working with an external partner on a project this size.
Q: To what degree was creative part of the brief?
Maria: The Snickers brief was short and it was a creative leap, mostly driven by the agency.
Q: Does F1 driver performance affect marketing plans mid-season, particularly in terms of selling sports cars?
John: When you have blips you can fall back on your heritage and history, but in all honesty what happens on the track doesn’t hugely affect a customer’s plans to purchase a car in-store.
Feeling excellent? Submit your entry for 2014
To find out more or submit an case study entry for the Awards for Excellence 2014 visit our Awards site.