Paul Cope, Managing Director, IPM
We love the COGS Awards here at the IPM. We’ve been running this particular Awards platform, alongside our creative campaign Awards programme – as well as countless other events and initiatives – for nine years. In fact, it’s one of the first names on the annual activity ‘team-sheet’, a key aspect of our commitment to our Service Agency members and beyond.
“Ah, but you would say that!” pipes up the inevitable cynic/‘expert’ from the back of the room, “You’ve probably got entry targets to hit, event tickets to sell. I imagine it’s a nice little earner, right?”. Hmm, wrong. Did I mention we’re a not-for-profit organisation? Our MO is to only ever do what is most useful for our members.
“You’ve got the ‘main’ Awards show… why on earth do you put yourselves through all that effort again just a few weeks later? For what?”
On the face of it, I admit, it might seem like an excessive use of the IPM’s precious resources. So, there must be a pretty good reason, right?
“How can you judge and reward disciplines like ‘promotional insurance’, ‘handling and fulfilment’, ‘staffing’, ‘incentives and rewards’, ‘prize sourcing’? In fact, why even bother trying?”
All perfectly legitimate questions… for those of you who don’t do this ‘type’ of work. However, for the IPM and our Service Agency contacts – both members and non-members based across the UK – our passionate conviction is that this work, and the immaculate delivery of it, has always been essential and measurable, and is more important to the promotional marketing and brand activation industry now in 2019 than it’s ever been.
You see, the IPM COGS Awards exists to recognise and reward all the incredible work that enables promotional marketing and brand activation campaigns to happen. Activation effectiveness to manifest. The things we do which make an actual difference to the end result. All the passion, graft and expertise without which most campaigns would fall at the first hurdle. All the hidden heroes, the engine rooms, the hard yards, the reason clients can sleep at night, the backbone of our industry…
You could say that the IPM COGS Awards is the industry’s foremost Celebration Of Great Service.
But slightly cheesy acronym aside for a moment, how many great ideas have you seen or been a part of that, when they were delivered, were either not quite as good as they could’ve been, or just downright disappointing? And what did all those examples have in common? I’ll wager that the most important and consistent contributor to campaign lameness was a lack of focus on the delivery aspects, the machinery. The ‘cogs’. Put a 1L Skoda engine in a Ferrari if you must, but don’t expect to break the Silverstone lap record. You may well be a super-talented barista with interesting facial hair and no socks, but if the coffee you’re using is sub-standard don’t expect your skinny mochaccino to be delicious. You get the idea.
The current reality is that in our confusing, post-truth, AI-dominated world, we crave authenticity and visceral excellence in all areas of our lives more than ever. A commitment to craft, something great to cling on to and share, and this is particularly true for brands. The campaign concept can be tremendous, but if the foundations and consumer interactions are flimsy you risk losing their trust forever. Ultimately, you can’t pull the wool over people’s eyes. They’re too smart, too connected. This is what the IPM COGS Awards identifies, rewards and celebrates, and this is why we’re convinced the IPM COGS is more important now in 2019 than it’s ever been. Service Agencies that win an IPM COGS Award are recognised throughout the industry as companies dedicated to the highest possible standards of service and delivery excellence. The stuff that really counts, in other words. And this means more work for IPM COGS Awards winners.
In 2019, the IPM launched a series of special interest Communities, designed to support our members and the work they do. It’s our biggest strategic play for a number of years, and will reinvent the way we deliver value and relevance to our members. Our Communities Of Gold Standards, in fact. Two-thirds of these IPM Communities are represented as entry category groups in the IPM COGS Awards 2019: ‘Promotional Marketing Services’, ‘Incentive, Prize & Loyalty’, ‘Experiential Effectiveness’ and ‘Tech & Innovation’.
Clearly, the COGS Awards is central to the IPM’s purpose. Indeed, it’s no exaggeration to say that the promotional marketing and brand activation industry owes its ongoing success to the values that the COGS holds dear.
Now do you see why we love it so much?
If you’re a Service Agency committed to delivering exceptional standards of service and delivery in the promotional marketing and brand activation industry, then it’s time you entered the IPM COGS Awards and find out what a win can do for your business.
Entries are now open and close at 6pm on Friday 26th July. All the information you need to enter can be found here, and it’s easier than ever to enter.
The Awards team can help with any questions, contact us on 020 3848 0444 or at Awards@theipm.org.uk