OPINION1 September 2010

The ingenuity engine

Opinion

The Research Magazine Awards judges are preparing to huddle, deliberate and decide. By the time you read this we will have ploughedthrough this year’s bumper amount of entries in the hunt for the most accomplished agencies and clients across five categories.

The Research Magazine Awards judges are preparing to huddle, deliberate and decide. By the time you read this we will have ploughed through this year’s bumper amount of entries in the hunt for the most accomplished agencies and clients across five categories.

The awards exist to reward commercial muscle and creative agility. Over a short amount of time the awards have established themselves as every research professional’s must-have accessory. Winners have benefited from improved staff morale, won new business and received healthy amounts of press attention. Anyway, there’s not much point in trying to convince you to enter, because if you haven’t entered by now you’re too late.

Even before the judging begins the entries we receive always flag up interesting issues. This year’s crop was no different. A new category was launched, Best Innovation, and it garnered entries that were as impressive as they were numerous. It is clearly the case that innovation is still being nurtured within the research business. It’s also interesting to note that many companies that entered the innovation category also entered the Best Agency category, where strong financial performance is a key measure. It would appear that invention and a healthy bottom line are entirely comfortable bedfellows.

The sheer scope of creative thinking in the innovation category is a real cause for celebration. There are technological, methodological and organisational innovations that look set to leave a fair number of chewed pencils after the judging day.

Another new category attracted a strong entry this year, The Best In-House Team. It gives a long overdue nod to the clientsiders who have generated or used research to profitable effect within their business. We have a very strong field to choose from. Once again, innovation is at the heart of most of the entries received in this category.

It would seem that the need to refresh research is a high priority for agencies and clients alike. And that’s a good thing. Far from retrenching during a recession, the industry appears to have invested in itself.

The awards judges have a real headache-inducing day ahead of them. There will be disagreements and punches will be thrown. Well, perhaps there’ll just be disagreements. One thing is certain, as chair of the judges, I would much rather have to choose from a group of companies that were being daring and indulging in a certain amount of innovation risk than a quivering mass of firms who were keeping their heads firmly beneath the parapet. Look out for the shortlist next month.

UPDATE: The shortlist is now online here.

@RESEARCH LIVE

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