Joanna Crookall, the CEO of Ramsey Crookall and sponsor of the People’s Choice Award for upcoming creative competition, talks about the importance of building relationships and what motivated her to get involved in the Awards.

Ramsey Crookall has seen a few trends come and go over the years but we’ve thrived because we place a great deal of importance on building lasting relationships, something that seems to have become marketing’s worst kept secret over the last 5 years! The internet is an immensely powerful tool because it allows businesses and customers to communicate in a way that we have never been able to before. It isn’t just a case of us telling potential clients about how great our offering  is, it’s a case of us telling our story, engaging with people, and starting a conversation that hopefully lasts long past the initial trade.

Humans have been telling stories since we could paint on cave walls and Jennifer Aaker, a marketing professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business who concluded: “Research shows our brains are not hard-wired to understand logic or retain facts for very long. Our brains are wired to understand and retain stories. A story is a journey that moves the listener, and when the listener goes on that journey they feel different and the result is persuasion and sometimes action.” Our top tips for the awards, and for marketing in general, are:

  • Know your audience. If you aren’t talking to the right people, they won’t be interested in what you’re saying.
  • Understand the emotion your product invokes. Whether its safety, fear or passion you need to know the emotional response you want to achieve before you can go about achieving it.
  • Be honest. People can and will google check false claims on their smart phones in a heartbeat and your brand will not quickly recover from a dishonest reputation.
  • Understand your customer’s values. These give you far more insight than sweeping categorisations because they help you to understand the social fabric of a person as they relate to their family or community. If you really want to understand your audience you need to know more than who is making the decision you need to know why and that means understanding their values.
  • Use some supporting evidence! Emotion is what sets you apart, but it won’t convince someone to buy a product that is obviously worse. Support the stories you tell with rational arguments and you will have engaged with your audience emotionally and intellectually.

The Ashgrove Creative Awards are a way for young people with a unique talent to make ‘first contact’ with the world of work. We want these creatively driven, innovate people to realise the value that their talent has commercially and the importance of focusing that talent. This doesn’t mean ‘selling out’ but it does mean that their art should have purpose, it should appeal to people, it should start a conversation and it should inspire. Not an easy task. The People’s Choice Award is about awarding the creatives that have the power to engage with their audience, those who can make them care enough to hit the like button, it’s that reaction that starts an exchange, that starts a conversation.

We’re proud to be sponsoring the Creative Awards and hope to see some great brand stories being told by the Island’s creative talent.