Over the years we have worked with dozens of brands. Some have grown to become multi-billion-pound companies that trade the world over and employ thousands of people and set the standards other aspire to.
What defines these brands far and beyond their business acumen is a culture of bravery. They refuse to play it safe and follow the social norms. They choose to lead as opposed to follow.
But courage should not be mistaken for recklessness. Courage comes from knowing the consequences of your actions and strategically anticipating how you will respond to all possibilities.
When working with a brand that has courage, you get a sense of liberation and that translates through to the work you produce. You find yourself charting new territory and carefully planning the route ahead.
So whilst to your competitors it may look like you are being reckless – the truth of the matter is that you know where you’re going. You’ve scouted the road ahead and are clear on your destination.
Before they know it, your competitors are left staring at your taillights as you pull away and they are left in your dust.
Fear by contrast can and will cripple you. If your brand has a culture rooted in fear, customers, competitors and followers will see it and react accordingly. You will find yourself paralyzed with indecision and that makes you a vulnerable target.
So ask yourself, what sort of brand do you want to be?
Well here it is – the forth ad in the PeopleAX campaign. This ad really got us thinking about the future and what we’d all like to do when we retire. There were some pretty out there ideas including taking a motorbike trip across the United States to writing a series of novels.
With retirement plans like that, we’re guessing the guys are going to have to do some serious saving for their pensions.
This month sees the second treatment in the new Equiniti-ICS PeopleAX integrated campaign strategy. In this treatment we explore some of the unique insights that the software offers to HR managers into staff behaviour and habits.
Continuing the theme of integrating infographics into real and relevant life and workplace scenarios, the campaign clearly demonstrates the scope of information that can be drawn from PeopleAX and the advantages it can offer HR departments.
Equiniti ICS offers outsourced payroll services using the latest technologies, driving unprecedented payroll accuracy for a wealth of private, public and not for profit organisations throughout the UK.
Following a creative review involving a number of agencies, The Mission Control was hired to create and deliver a fully integrated campaign solution to raise awareness of the brand’s standalone PeopleAX payroll software. Accredited by Microsoft and HMRC, PeopleAX combines powerful processing with a familiar Microsoft UI.
Working in tandem with the Equiniti marketing team, The Mission Control has created an intelligent and insightful response that clearly illustrates the benefits of PeopleAX to both Payroll and HR departments.
The campaign was created following extensive market research and will see a host of people presented as infographics over coming months to demonstrate some of the key metrics that PeopleAX can be used to identify. The underpinning creative message is that PeopleAX is much more than just an intelligent piece of software for doing payroll – it offers companies and organisations a unique insight into their workforce.
Whilst digital and traditional agencies continue to trade shots over which camp offers clients the better solution, has anyone actually stopped to ask clients what they want? Well yes, actually someone has. In a report published on Forbes based on feedback from 1,850 CMOs and other marketing executives, it appears that clients are actually pretty clear on what they want from their agency partners.
Topping the list of requirements, 68% of CMOs put integrated marketing communications ahead of “effective advertising” (65%) when asked what was the most important things they wanted from an agency.
The rationale for this is actually pretty simple. CMOs are under an immense amount of pressure in a rapidly changing environment, with 54% of respondents indicating that marketing is becoming more complex due to the explosion of communication channel options available and by default this is making their job more challenging. So reading between the lines, clients are not looking for a traditional or digital agency – they are looking for an agency “partner” that can integrate messages holistically across all channels.
Two key words emerged from the findings, “Integrated” and “Partner” and its important that we in the industry take note of this and leave historical misconceptions in the past.
When asked what is the most important consideration for choosing a new agency, 68% of CEOs said “Chemistry” with the proposed agency team over a 62% belief that “the creative presented is likely to be a Big Idea.” This would reinforce our belief that the relationship between agency and client is key. For that very reason, our culture is rooted in working “with” clients as opposed to simply “for” them. This subtle difference has a profound impact on how things are done.
Firstly, it allows clients to see that we have a genuine and vested interest in their brand that extends beyond the traditional perception of agencies only being interested in billing. This has actually led to a very unique look inside the companies we work with which then opens up the possibility for much more honest and meaningful communications.
Interestingly the fact that CMOs place such a weighting on the importance of a fully integrated approach echoes our own commitment to integration. From our earliest days we have championed the viewpoint that ‘communication’ is in a state of constant evolution and by default, it is the responsibility of those within the industry to understand the ability and willingness of people to absorb messaging overlapping channels.
When The Mission won Gold at the 2013 An Post Integrated Direct Marketing Awards, it was for an integrated campaign that embraced a holistic approach to utilising the relevant strengths of each medium and making it intrinsically relevant to our audience. This required an understanding of not only the strengths of each channel, but also its limitations. It was also a case of practising what we preach.
The future holds many challenges and equally just as many opportunities for clients and agencies. But the biggest challenge for all will be accepting the need to adapt and evolve and the necessity of working together. Ignore the insights of the 1,850 CMO’s who took part in the survey at your own risk.
Working with the digital marketing team at Kingspan Environmental, The Mission was to create a tactile bridge between the traditional printed formats that Kingspan Environmental staff, suppliers and customers were familiar with and the new wider digital environment in which the brand sought to engage with its audience after the launch of its new website.
Our strategy was to embrace the motivators that we recognised as triggering a positive reaction amongst the audience and using these to stimulate a natural migration to the new site. This lead to the development of a printed info-brochure that provided users with the knowledgebase they would need to engage with the site in a familiar and approachable way, thereby overcoming the very human fear of change. Not only were users empowered but they were also presented with clear benefits as to how the site would make their daily working lives easier by way of specifying and getting technical information relating to the extensive range of products within the brand portfolio.
As a marketing tool, the info-brochure clearly showed that both traditional and digital communications channels could be used in conjunction to bring about positive audience engagement and behavioural change when you approach a project with an open mind and no preconceptions and allow the strategy to evolve organically.
OK. So last Thursday night we had to go to the 2013 An Post Integrated Direct Marketing Awards in Dublin. We were the only agency from Northern Ireland that had been shortlisted. This left us with a problem. How do we amuse ourselves for 2 hours on the car journey there?
We decided to create a diary of the journey and the exploits of our Creative Muse…
…Meet Boris, the original Creative Monster and the inspiration behind our now award winning ‘Unleash Your Creative Monster’ campaign.
Boris wasn’t always this fortunate however. When we first found him back in 2012, he was rummaging through some old concepts in our studio. Like many of his kind, Boris had been ignored by other agencies before escaping and finding his way to The Mission; attracted by the scent of great ideas and the lights burning into the small hours of the morning.
A little T.L.C., and some belly rubbing and Boris was soon part of our team. We found that the more great ideas we fed him, the more of his kind turned up. Pretty soon we were overrun by Creative Monsters.
So we began to release them back into the wild. We tracked down hundreds of brand and marketing managers and soon we were Unleashing Creative Monsters all over the world.
Our release programme proved a massive hit. Within weeks Creative Monsters had been unleashed in New York, Los Angles, Vancouver, Toronto, Seattle, Frankfurt, Cologne, Sydney, Belfast, Dublin and London. Well you get the idea…
Then last month we heard that An Post had shortlisted us in their 2013 Integrated Direct Marketing Awards for all of our hard work in helping people like you to ‘Unleash Your Creative Monster’.
So on Thursday night, Boris put on his bowtie and set-off to Dublin to compete against some of the biggest names in the industry. Still a shy little creature at heart, he invited some of us to come along with him.
Approaching the border, Boris was in great form and actually treated us to an impromptu version of Gangnam Style ‘The Monster Mash Up’ version. “Whoop Up Gangnam Style Grrrrrr….”
As we crossed the border from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland, we were delighted to see that An Post had sent us an escort. A lovely big green lorry just for us! How thoughtful and polite.
But Boris was in a hurry. He hadn’t eaten all day so we couldn’t wait and had to dash on ahead of our escort.
Wave as you go past Boris and be a polite little Creative Monster to the nice man in the An Post lorry.
Finally we reached the Mansion House and settled in the evening. Perhaps it was the nerves or maybe just because he was thirsty, but Boris emptied his glass and most of those around him. Boris had a secondary Mission – to get fuzzy on the fizzy!
Then came the moment of truth. We were up against three of the biggest and best known agencies in the country. We all pretended it didn’t matter and that it was the privilege of being shortlisted in the first that mattered. But deep down inside we all knew the ugly truth. It was all about the winning. Our hearts began to beat faster; unconsciously we all moved a little closer to the edge of the seat. The bronze was awarded. The silver was awarded to the agency we had pegged as being the cert. And then… “The winner is…. …The Mission Unleash Your Creative Monster!”
We didn’t even see Boris go he was that fast. He was the first on stage bowling over anyone that got in his way and collected the award on behalf of The Mission and Creative Monsters all over the world. Good one Boris!
And here we see a well deserved Gold Winning Creative Monster standing outside The Mansion House about to be Unleashed onto the Streets of Dublin for the night.
Oh and we also promise to spend the €5,000 we won as part of the Award in helping hundreds more Creative Monsters like Boris find their way into good businesses all over the world.