Where is the value?
One of the most common complaints we hear is from companies who have seen many iterations of their website, but have never reaped any significant benefit from it. In the world of web awards, we haven’t seen many that take the time to measure real results for websites. Some awards give lip-service to “return-on-investment”, “brand impact”, or “market reach”, but fail to take real results very seriously.
In fact, it’s typically the advertising agency that submits the project for award consideration. The agency won’t enter the project unless it has a significant chance of winning because it costs money to enter and they can promote a winner. Some advertising agencies end up sponsoring the whole awards event and, surprising, they clean up on the big night.
Truth be told, the advertising agency is trying to win the award for their design work and not for the website results. Tom Fishburne makes the point crystal clear in this cartoon:
The problem here is that this is exactly how advertising agencies think. They really don’t have the client’s best interest in mind. Reaping any significant benefit for the client is far behind an agency’s need to show cool examples of their work to prospective clients. Sometimes even the client is more interested in winning awards than in delivering great results. The fact is both aspects are important. Creative design and innovative technology must go hand-in-hand in delivering results. Most advertising agencies don’t have the technology skills and user experience knowledge to deliver “diddly squat.”
Here’s an experiment you can do the next time you’re interviewing firms for your next big web project: just ask the firm what the formula for return-on-investment (ROI) is. Do you get a blank look or the right answer? Smart clients demand more!