We've all questioned whether sponsoring an event is a good use of time and resources. The measured feedback may not be as straightforward as the statistics gained from an online advertising campaign, but sponsoring an event in your industry can be just as targeted. We sat down with Gavin Marks, Principal at Decode Digital Marketing, and discussed why Decode chooses to sponsor the AMA Houston Crystals Awards every year.

Why is Decode Digital sponsoring Crystals?

It’s important to us to give back to the local community and that includes supporting professional organizations that share many of our same goals and values. We can’t always make it to all the events we want to because of our hectic schedules so this is a great way for us to provide support and show our appreciation for the organization.

How many years have you sponsored Crystals?

This is our 3rd year in a row.

What distinguishes the Crystals from other marketing award shows?

We like how there are a lot of digital categories to choose from. Other award shows seem to be a little behind in this area. The awards are also based on the campaign’s measurable results which is also surprisingly a little different than some of the other shows.

Which categories are you competing in this year and what do you think your biggest challenge will be?

The biggest challenge, as it is every year, is the increased competition. The overall quality of work has really been elevated the few years. It’s been really cool to see Houston progress, but it has definitely made it harder to stand out and win. We like the challenge, though. It keeps us motivated.

Talk about your Social Media Sponsorship for this year—what is that?

This year we went with the Social Media Sponsorship – which was a new and unique offering. At each AMA event this year leading up to the show in May, you’ll see attendees professing what they’ll be doing #FromNowOn on dry erase boards. Pictures are then being posted on AMA Houston’s and participants’ social media channels and will rotate on the selfie wall at the event. We get our logo on the boards which will be seen by a lot people in-person and online.

How has Crystals helped you connect with your audience?

It’s led to a handful of new clients and connected us with great local talent. Many clients and employees use the AMA as a resource to narrow down agencies so it’s a great place to have a presence.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Crystals?

I’m really looking forward to the event. Each year, it just gets bigger and better. There’s always something new and cool to experience. Not to mention the good craft beer selection.

You’ve won a few Crystals as well— How many years have you submitted an entry?

It’s hard to believe but this year’s show will be Decode Digital’s fifth. We submitted our first handful of entries in 2014. We really had a lot of fun with it so we went a little bigger in 2015. It pretty much has steamrolled from there. We were all-in in 2016 and 2017. We plan to submit even more work in 2018. It’s a great experience for everyone on our side.

What categories?

By now, we’ve pretty much submitted work under every digital category that’s available. But there’s always new categories added every year which is cool to see. All the categories are unique but we really like the overarching ones – for best overall digital campaign for example.

How many Crystals have you won?

Since 2014, Decode Digital has won 23 crystal awards thanks to a lot of people’s hard work and dedication.

What is your motivation for submitting an entry every year?

Although the process is time consuming, we see a lot of benefits in it. It’s really one of the few times we stop collectively to review all the great work we’ve produced over the previous year. From design to media, everyone touched most of these campaigns but they might not have seen the whole effort or the results they contributed to it. We try to have fun with the process. We also use the event itself to celebrate everyone’s efforts and the industry as a whole. We always invite the entire agency and turn it into a party.

It has also become an effective way to brand Decode Digital. We know for a fact we’ve received leads from participating in the event. It has helped lift brand awareness too.

Finish this sentence: From now on________.

I will be a better listener.

 Be a Sponsor

Decode Digital Marketing is an award-winning digital marketing agency in Houston. Decode Digital approaches client objectives with a unique perspective that allows them to create comprehensive strategies and surpass goals. They produce custom work and their full-service digital agency houses a wide range of services to give each client a personalized digital plan. AMA Houston appreciates their contribution to our organization and their sponsoring of this year’s Crystals Awards.

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