Hymans Robertson

Agency: CreateFuture

The Win

“Be Bold. Be Brave”.

You’ve got to get excited when these are the first words on a brief.

We heard from Hymans Robertson on our first week in business, asking us to meet the following week to pitch a campaign to raise awareness and sales of Guided Outcomes aka GO. (GO is Hymans’ innovative software and service approach to helping large companies better support their employee’s retirement planning).

Taking the client at their word, we prepared a very short response which went something like:

  • We don’t know the answer to the brief
  • We think we have a great way to find the answer with you
  • You’re going to have to do as much work as we do
  • We can’t promise it will work, but we can promise it will be fun.

They let us know at the end of the day that we had won, and we went back the following morning to kick things off.

CreateFuture aren’t for everyone. From the minute they pitched it felt different. Sure, they had researched us. But more importantly they did what so many agencies forget: they pitched their ‘why’. It was exciting to hear why they do what they do and it resonated with me.

Dave McGovern, Head of Marketing,Hymans Robertson (Former)

The Sprint

Hymans completely signed up for our proposed approach: to break the back of the challenge with an intense, 5-day Design Sprint.

We didn’t see the value in going through a  lengthy discovery, then taking the problem away to scratch our chins, waste time & money polishing three routes (only one of which would be picked) and slaving away on a ‘ta da’ concept presentation.

Instead, in the space of a week, we would learn directly from clients and experts, critically explore and agree the underlying problem to solve, co-create a wealth of ideas, democratically decide on the preferred route forward, develop a prototype of the campaign and put that in front of real clients for testing on the Friday. No biggie.

We hit our first hurdle: we needed a space to work in that we could completely own all week. As with most companies, meeting room space was in short supply and high-demand.

“What about the 8th floor? You know, the empty one?”, piped up the client.

That’ll do. And if anyone asks we can just say we’re planning a bank heist.

Getting Busy With It

Armed with healthy snacks and kept on track by Jessica and her trusty time timer, we kicked off the Sprint on Monday:

“The beauty of a Sprint is that you stay focused on one task for the week. The time-boxed stages force decisiveness and each stage flows into the next.”

Nathan Fulwood, Strategy Director, CreateFuture

After mapping the current sales process from the seller and the buyer’s side, we knew where in the process and through which channels we felt we could make the most impact.

On Tuesday we shared inspiration, including a video featuring a talking jelly baby voiced by Jonny Vegas. Lesson: inspiration can come from anywhere.

That afternoon we got sketching ideas.

“One of the humbling aspects of running a Sprint is the point when the ideas go up on the wall. Every idea has equal merit, whether it’s from the Creative Director, the Marketing Manager or the ‘I’m not creative’ Sales Manager. As usual we were blown away by the quality, diversity and relevance of the ideas.”

Dave Ward, Creative Director, CreateFuture.

The selection of the preferred ideas is done through a democratic dot-voting exercise, albeit one that gives the client’s decision maker a slightly greater share of voice.

When the dust cleared and the dots were counted, there was one clear winner. However, it meant that, on Wednesday & Thursday, we storyboard, script, shoot and edit a film to test if it was the right one. Oh, and create dummy adverts to promote it along with a landing page to close the journey. As we say: no biggie.

Best get to work.

On Friday, we tested the prototype journey with five senior HR, Pensions and Benefits professionals. The campaign tested well, but also surfaced a number of issues, all of which were easily fixable.

Thanks to the Sprint process, in just a week we not only had an end-to-end campaign co-created and signed off by the client, but we had a high degree of confidence that it would hit home with our audience.

Make It Real

“The biggest factors influencing your final pension amount are not the investment strategy or who manages your fund. It’s how much you pay in monthly, and how soon you start contributing. Employees without adequate pension provision are a potential problem for your business – it makes commercial sense to help your employees retire at a time that’s right for them.”

Paul Waters, Head of Guided Outcomes, Hymans Robertson

Our video sought to highlight these key points, and present GO from Hymans as a potential solution. Our prototype quality iPhone 6 footage just wasn’t going to cut it, so we called in BraveSpark to help.

To support the video, we created an email campaign, Twitter & LinkedIn adverts and editorial content for specialist HR publications. As the audience was so tightly defined, we also planned a campaign to identify prospects and directly connect and engage with them on LinkedIn.

The campaign went live 4 weeks after the creative approach was signed off. Here’s the central piece.

Video views were converted to landing page visits which quickly resulted face-to-face meetings for the Hymans’ Sales team.

Also, to our great pleasure, the Sprint approach has been adopted internally, with the Marketing team running their own mini-Sprints to support campaign and event planning.

“I really hope it came across that we’ve all been really pleased with the campaign and more importantly have found working with you guys a dream! We can’t thank you guys enough for your effort, input & creativity”

Julie Hammerton, Marketing Director, Hymans Robertson.