ADIA CEO Sarah Campbell On How To Become An Award-Winning Research Agency

ADIA CEO Sarah Campbell On How To Become An Award-Winning Research Agency

Great ideas are priceless but without the right research to steer the ideas, they can end up missing the mark and costing a lot of money.

For Sarah Campbell, CEO of the Australian Data and Insights Association (ADIA), ensuring that Australian businesses have the right research, data and insight is not only important but a way of life. It’s a side of the industry that doesn’t often get the love it fully deserves — but that’s slowly changing.

Ahead of this year’s B&T Awards, we sat down with Campbell to talk about what can turn a great research agency into an award-winning one and what tune will get her — and everyone else! — on the dance floor come awards night.

We’re delighted to have ADIA returning as a sponsor for the B&T Awards. What is it about the B&T Awards specifically that inspires you to lend your support year after year?

This is ADIA’s seventh year as a sponsor, and we are delighted to be back. Our members are an essential part of the advertising, marketing and communications industry, and it’s great to see them recognised as such. It’s also pleasing as entries for our category continue to grow. Since ADIA began working with B&T, the number of entries has increased by a staggering 200 per cent, which means more and more agencies are seeing the benefit in participating.

Sarah Campbell, ADIA CEO

This level of growth demonstrates the value of a like-minded, mutually beneficial partnership that delivers the chance to celebrate the outstanding work conducted by ADIA member companies and the wider industry. It also shows that our industry leaders recognise the commercial and intrinsic value of promoting their agency, nurturing and acknowledging their team and their work.

But let’s face it, it’s also a fabulous night out with friends and colleagues and lots of clients.

ADIA is sponsoring the Research Agency category. What would make an entry stand out to you as a worthy winner?

If last year’s impressive field of finalists is anything to go by, I know there are plenty of potential winners out there and I can’t wait to see who the judges pick. I’m just pleased I’m not the one having to make the very tough decision!

To be a worthy winner, an agency must take exceptional pride in its work, be innovative and demonstrate strong growth. But it must also meet industry best practice standards and compliance, have a long list of high-profile long-term clients and nurture high-performing teams, including supporting graduates entering the industry. Showing continual engagement and support for ADIA and the industry would be ideal!

Fiftyfive5 (a long-term ADIA member organisation recently acquired by Accenture Song), for example, has taken out the award and demonstrated its ability to deliver against all of those criteria for the past two years.

Why is it important for the industry to acknowledge and celebrate the work that’s being done in the realms of data, insights and research?

Research and insights are the engine room of the commercial business and government decision-making process. Whether it’s helping a telco better understand its customers’ experience or supporting government departments to understand community attitudes to critical social issues, research and insight are essential to providing Australians with an opportunity to have their say and then apply the findings. Without accurate, evidence-based research and insights, very few problems can be solved or strategies set in place.

Furthermore, recognising the value of what good research brings to the table is crucial to industry growth and sustainability. From a strategic point of view, you could say it’s part of ADIA’s job to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of ADIA members and the broader industry.

The theme of this year’s B&T Awards is “Embrace the Extra-Ordinary”. What extraordinary developments have you seen from your ADIA members over the past year?

Our members embrace the extra-ordinary every year. ADIA member organisations work across a wide range of important issues for the top 200 ASX companies, NGOs and all levels of government. Across areas as varied as health, education, infrastructure, services, security and social enterprise – our members provide Australians with a voice on issues and programs that matter.

Our members achieve this by supporting their industry association, going above and beyond minimal privacy legislation and adhering to best practice quality standards. When considering the number and level of high-profile privacy breaches last year, the fact that our member organisations expend greater resources to ensure the highest level of quality and risk mitigation for the public and their clients is extra-ordinary in every sense of the word.

And then there’s the increasing influence of AI, which is truly extra-ordinary. Everyone is focusing on the huge opportunities and risks it can provide. Watch this space…

Finally, what song should kick off the dancing and get everyone cutting a rug on the big night?

It could be any song from Taylor Swift, I think! There’s an extra-ordinary performer with some incredible numbers to back it.

Or, what about Waltzing Matilda to celebrate the incredible success of our fabulous Matildas who have changed how the world views women’s sport? (More soccer field than the dance floor, perhaps?)

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