We flip the script from our ‘Agency Per­cep­tions’ re­search to find out what agency heads think about some of New Zealand’s big­gest brands.

New Zealand Marketing - - Contents -


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.

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