We are a people business. A people agency. Our product is people. Promotional Staff, Event Staff, Conference Staff, Retail Staff, Brand Ambassadors. Our medium is conversations. The conversations our people/staff are having with consumers. Our clients are people, Account Managers within the Experiential Marketing, Event and Conference sectors.
We deliver marketing objectives through brilliant people. We solve client/campaign issues through brilliant people. As a service business, our true value is demonstrated in those times of need and that is when people’s commitment and problem solving skills are on full display. That’s when people come into their own. That’s when our brilliant people come into their own. Our Brand Ambassadors and our Client Service team.Let me give you my favourite example.
The Brand Ambassador who went way over-and-above the call of duty
A few years ago we were working with a valued agency partner to deliver an activation/experience in bars around Australia. 20 bars to be precise. The engagement piece was a game of skill. An over-sized piece of kit which required consumers to test their reactions in a thirty-second time-limit, think ‘Whack-a-Mole’ (if that helps!).
As always, lead times weren’t as long as they probably needed to be, as a result the skill games were sent out without any real testing. And this is where the problems started, the units would work intermittently, about 50% of the time, meaning that only 50% of the venues were given the full activation experience.
The activation was planned for 3 consecutive weeks, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.So every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night we were on the phone to our client, at the agency, doing our best to trouble-shoot issues. And every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, our client was on the phone with their client, the Brand Manager, who was obviously incredibly disappointed.
We were all doing everything we could to try and turn the campaign around. The production company were checking each kit, every day, to ensure that they were ready for that night, but we were still having problems.
The Brand Manager wanted make-good’s and sent a list of bars to the agency that needed to be delivered the full experience, at no cost. And on that list, a bar in the middle of Alice Springs.
We have no staff in Alice Springs. In the years before and the years after, we have never been asked to staff activations in Alice Springs, so we’ve never needed to recruit staff there. But, with everything that had happened on this particular campaign, we knew that we had no choice, we had to find a solution.
So we said yes. Now, we could only say yes because we have someone in our business who truly believes that she can staff any job, with exceptional staff, and she saw this as the perfect way to test her theory.
She set about recruiting in Alice Springs and, sure enough, she found someone, who, as promised, did an exceptional job. The staff member had never heard of Mash but went out and did an amazing job for us and our client. She exceeded her targets, completed her report immediately, sent lots of photos and got great feedback from the bar manager. In a very short space of time, with no network/contacts in Alice Springs we’d found someone who matched the brief, who was available, who was confident that she could do the job and who then went out and exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Obviously most of the credit should go to the Brand Ambassador, who did such a great job. But a big part of answering that particular challenge was our team member at Mash. She wanted the challenge, she didn’t settle for the first available person, she kept recruiting until she found someone she could trust and through the relationship she was able to create, over the phone, got someone in the middle of the country, who had never heard of Mash, to help us with our problem. For me, there is real magic in this. People, strangers, working together to help solve a problem.
Two days later, our client called to say they had another problem. The kit used in Alice Springs had not been collected by the courier, butit needed to be in Darwin for an activation, that night! They wanted to know if our newest Masher in Alice Springs could help. Was there any possibility that she could pick up the kit and fly it to Darwin, the flight left in three hours.
We called her at work, she put us on hold, relayed the problem to her boss and was so convincing that he brought into the problem, wanted to help and gave her the afternoon off.
She picked up the kit, got on a plane, paid the oversized luggage costs out of her own pocket (we reimbursed the expense of course), delivered the unit to our Mashers in Darwin, briefed them on the activation and stayed to support them through the shift. We put her in a hotel that night andflew her home the next day.
I know magic is not the right word. But there is something special about people wanting to help other people. I believe that our people have the potential to add incredible value, whether it be going the extra mile(s) for a brand or, delivering a truly memorable experience to customers. In these moments, I believe the potential of people, as a medium, is unrivalled. The magic then comes from finding these moments on every event, activation and conference.
Our job is to spot the opportunities and make the magic happen. That is why I love what we do.