Having relaunched the award in 2020 in conjunction with the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa (DMASA) which hosts the Assegai Awards, the aim of the IAS Agency Credentials Award is to recognise innovation in agencies’ credentials stack – written credentials document as well as the agency culture reel.
Johanna McDowell, CEO of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS) and Scopen partner, says that for the first time since the Award’s inception, a forum is to take place in June designed to assist agencies with how to enter the IAS Credentials Award, with Ethan September of the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa in attendance.
“Bearing in mind that the judges of the IAS Agency Credentials Award are predominantly marketers, agencies will get robust and useable feedback from a number of key marketing leaders. Standout credentials are likely to leave an indelible imprint on the minds of these marketers for possible future work opportunities,” says McDowell.
“Understanding what leading marketers look for and how they evaluate credentials is the platform from which agencies can build their offerings and reputations as the rapidly-changing market looks for solutions.”
Another innovation this year is a virtual judging session with the IAS and the marketers who will be adjudicating the IAS Credentials Award. It’s an opportunity to ensure all judges are aligned in their preferences, providing discussion around the winner that indicates industry consensus rather than individual preferences. “Basically, a ‘from-the-horse’s-mouth session,” notes McDowell, “designed to ensure maximum agency impact on today’s marketers.”
From the start in 2016, a credentials award was a natural fit within the categories of the DMASA Assegai Awards, and the IAS Credentials Award brought a vital feature to the Assegai’s bid to benchmark the South African direct marketing industry and highlight best-in-class examples, while encouraging all industry players to work towards achieving distinction in their credentials.
“The ultimate goal of awards is to keep raising the bar for the whole industry,” says McDowell. “With both the Assegai Awards and the IAS Agency Credentials Award sounding the call for entries before 31 August 2023, I believe that taking the opportunity for agencies to get their credentials perfectly aligned with what marketers want should make this year’s awards easier on the agencies and tougher on the judges.”