We flip the script from our ‘Agency Perceptions’ research to find out what agency heads think about some of New Zealand’s biggest brands.
Perception is always imperfect. It’s influenced by our biases, our personal experiences and also by what we know. To quote from Theatlantic’s recent interview with Villanova psychologist Tom Toppino: “… perception is not the result of simply processing stimulus cues. It also importantly involves fitting prior knowledge to the current situation to create a meaningful interpretation.” This is why, when someone mentions the presence of an optical illusion in an image, we can’t unsee it. Once the information has been fed into our brains, it indefinitely changes the way a picture looks.
With this in mind, the individuals with the best-informed perceptions on marketers and their brands are those who work alongside them every day: their agency partners. In assembling the views of 40 creative and media agency executives, our aim was to follow up from our earlier Agency Perceptions issue and offer an informed collection of views from the other side.
We again worked closely with the talented team of creative data geeks at TRA to give readers a glimpse inside some of the brightest minds. And again, we’ve kept things anonymous to give the participants the opportunity to speak freely without the fear of a retributive horse head ending up in the agency minibar.
The point here is not to blindly criticise marketers and the work they put in on a daily basis. On the contrary, it’s about celebrating many of the positive marketing stories emerging across all the sectors of New Zealand commerce. Air New Zealand, Spark, Whittaker’s and Lewis Road Creamery are just some of the standout stories that emerged in this study.
Of course, not everything is positive. But, we hope the negative bits will serve as a form of self-reflection in the print form—an opportunity to question whether the criticisms are relevant in your organisation and what can be done to improve on the situation.
The importance of self-reflection shouldn’t be underestimated. Research quoted in Jennifer Porter’s Harvard Businessreview article, ‘Why you should make time for self-reflection’, found employees who spent 15 minutes a day reflecting about lessons learned during the day performed 23 percent better than those who didn’t.
The point here is that if you want to change a perception, you have to consider how you are perceived in the first place. Only then will you be able to introduce the information necessary to shift the way people see you.