Thursday, 24 November 2011

A Visit to Smart

Hello everyone!

The Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School aims to have a balance of academic and industry knowledge to cover all aspects of marketing, in-house or agency based. At the beginning of semester two, we were given the chance to attend a re-enactment of a creative pitch Smart did for Appletiser.

Smart is a full service creative agency with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland and Auckland and key clients include Coca-Cola, DrinkWise, Specsavers, Horticulture Australia, Betstar and the NSW, Victorian, Queensland and Federal Governments. Smart acquired The Foundry in 2010 and aims to become Australia’s biggest independent agency. This seems to be a growing trend and preferred business model in the marketing industry as seen in many case studies we came across in the Master of Marketing course.

An article about Smart on Mumbrella, Smart CEO Ben Lilley comments on this business model stating: "This marks Smart’s fourth acquisition in as many years (including Kindred in Sydney and Turner Sands and Logan Meo Walters in Queensland). We have now refined a mergers and acquisitions model that is proving very successful for our own business, our clients and the businesses we have acquired. This model is proving hugely effective in allowing the talent in each agency we acquire to realise the equity value in their companies, while allowing them to work on in an independent creative offering.”

The event was held at their cosy Sydney office near central station around 6pm. They provided light snacks and refreshments upon arrival, and the whole creative team was nice enough to stay back to attend the presentation.

We were greeted by the creative director Daniel Gregory - who is a part of the panel on Gruen Transfer (please read my piece on Gruen if you haven’t done so), and client services director Nicole Gardner.
in the concept being presented.

Daniel Gregory on the Gruen Transfer

Youtube link:

We were then introduced to the team and presented with the campaign as they would to the client, using graphics, animations and other visual tools to help us understand the concept. The presentation was casual and interactive, and we were also given a brief history of the agency and what they do to set the scene.

Question time was allowed at the end of the presentation and all the team members jumped in to answer questions related to their area of expertise. The presentation really highlights the importance of teamwork; everyone must thoroughly understand and believe.

The visit was not purely for entertainment purposes. We’re required to watch the presentation carefully, taking notes and asking questions to prepare for two assignments later. The first is an individual assignment which asks us to write a review for the pitch including a score card rating system by AANA. This assignment is analytical bases and focus on attention to detail.

The second assignment is a group assignment aimed to develop a marketing strategy to launch a brand new product in a specific category (which I will write about later). This assignment is more creative and strategic based, covering areas of product design, campaign design and marketing research to come up with the most suitable campaign for the product which appeals to the target market.

In the Master of Marketing program and evident in those two assignments, we are required to think ahead and review the presentation provided by Smart from both the client perspective and the agency perspective. This pitching presentation also sets the bar for the quality of work required at a professional level, which is useful whichever side you decide to work for in the future. These assignments are just one of the ways The Master of Marketing at The University of Sydney combines theory with industry knowledge and experience.

This marks the end of this blog post, hope you enjoyed reading it.

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