This article was originally published on reverb, Drake Cooper’s reflections on advertising, creativity, and trends. Read more.

Measuring Advertising Achievements: A Recap of the 2017 Rockie Awards

There are certain conversations that are unavoidable at annual events. You’ve heard it before. The classic “I can’t believe it’s been a year already!” Well, it happened again. We all showed up at the Rockies and realized “Woah. It’s already May.”

Everything Has Metrics

Success is nothing if you can’t prove measurements. Whether it’s a science, a study, or anything else in life, you can’t show effectiveness without some sort of metric or standard. It is almost a universal understanding. Without proof, theories are refuted and claims are denied. In marketing and advertising, with the exception of brand work, most measurements are pretty straightforward. The outreach side of the equation likes to measure things like CTR, impressions, or CPC. For more brand-focused campaigns, we often run polls and surveys to find qualitative and quantitative measurements. Whether we are measuring something more abstract such as sentiment, or something as concrete as a media spend, measurement is absolutely key to showing results.

Measure Your Agency Culture

So what do you do if you want to measure the effectiveness of your entire organization? What metrics accurately represent the industry you’re in? There are some that are easier than others. Productivity can be accurately understood. Some days we simply complete more work than others. The ebbs and flows of organizational performance can be seen and measured. We know when our work has exceeded our own expectations, and we know when it needs more time to be completed. But what about the more qualitative elements? How do we measure culture? How do we measure the overall convictions of the agency? Community building and mindfulness? It can quickly become a more difficult task. Many organizations, including us, will set company, team, or individual goals. Obviously these are a great practice and an effective way to reflect and grow.

Award Shows Are A Key Metric Of Agency Culture

We have seven values at Drake Cooper: ambition, please and thank you, the truth, invention, breaking trail, debate, and client results. Notice how only one of the seven is a marketing performance measurement. As much as we value results, we know that great work will be a product of a healthy, unified, and challenged team. It’s important for us to remember what we stand for and who we are.  Award shows are one way to make sure we are living up to our values.  A healthy, productive, passionate team should create work that is worth being awarded by their peers.   

There are hundreds of agencies around the world that can tell you precisely how many awards they have won and what projects they are results of.  To some agencies, the award shows are how they define their worth, their success, and their value to the industry. We have never been that way. We frequently remind ourselves that we exist to help our clients achieve their goals and build their brands, and that we are a fortunate partner of these clients.

When we win an award, that’s a perfect time to reflect and remember the ambition and imagination that brought that work to life. Awards aren’t always about click-through rates and impressions (some are). They are about the heart and vision of the team and the creativity they brought to the table to solve the problem.

We received a total of 30 awards this year (4 Golds, 18 Silvers, 8 Citations). We are extremely proud of our team and the lengths they have gone to find success for our clients and for our work. We are an organization of ambitious and unique individuals all on the same quest for creativity.

Congratulations to all of the agencies who submitted and participated this year.  

We’ll see you again.