In February we, along with our client Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, had bestowed upon us a very prestigious award. It’s the most prestigious a marketer can get in the state of Georgia. To win it, we had to beat Georgia-based marketing heavyweights like Chick-fil-A, Delta Airlines, Arby’s, and The Home Depot.
The award was MAX Award (Marketing Award for Excellence), presented by the Department of Marketing at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. It recognizes innovation, marketing support and marketplace success. We won the Grand Prize recognition from among seven finalists for our work on Georgia-Pacific Gypsum’s DensElement Barrier System:
We’re sharing this not to brag about our award (though we are quite proud of it). We’re sharing this because we think it demonstrates what can happen when you have a collaborative effort between an agency and multiple departments within a client organization. It shows what can happen when product, marketing and sales are aligned.
Celebrating the Agency-Client Relationship
Agencies love awards, and we’re no exception. We suppose it’s because so many among our ranks secretly wish they were screenwriters or film directors, winning Oscars or Golden Globes.
To feed this need for shiny trophies, there are a ton of awards in the marketing industry, recognizing creativity, PR, video, interactive and even strategy. They are contested at the local, regional and national level.
These awards are nice. They represent agencies’ capabilities, they put feathers in the caps of creative, hardworking people, and they look great in the lobby and conference room.
But what do they do for the clients?
Some awards, and the MAX Award is one of them, recognize not just the agency, or the work, or an ad. They encompass a complete journey. They tell a story of collaboration. They celebrate the agency-client relationship.
In our case, it started with our client, Georgia-Pacific, developing an innovative product. Countless hours of work by engineers, product managers, plant managers, production workers and more went into developing a product that met an unfilled need and delivered on a consumer promise.
Then, it came to GP’s marketing department, and by extension, us, to create a compelling message and creative approach. It had to reach the right customers, inform them, persuade them, inspire them.
Most importantly, it had to offer a seamless customer buying experience, which is where GP’s sales department came in. They collaborated with us to ensure the message would offer that seamless customer experience, then they executed that message in the field.
We’re simplifying for the sake of brevity, but the point is that everyone worked together, doing what they did best, to accomplish a common goal. If any aspect of the project would have been off-target, it would not have worked.
A Great Journey
Naturally, we are happy to be associated with such a fine group of people who collaborated so well. For us, the MAX Award tells the story of a great journey, and we’re so proud to have been a part of it.
Awards for individual achievements are great, and we have several of those, too. In fact, this same campaign won “Best in Class” in Architectural Record’s Excellence in Advertising competition. We’re proud of this one, too, because the winners were selected by a jury of architects… the very influencers the campaign was designed to, well, influence.
But the relationship we have with our clients is honestly the best part of our business. And to be recognized for a group effort in pursuit of a difficult goal is very special indeed.