Marketers: Where are your "one sheeters"?

06 May



Last week I had the pleasure of attending Social Media Week in New York; it was my first time at this conference, and I loved every moment.

Of all the speakers and personalities at the event, one of the most impressive was Alia Kemet, Director of Creative & Digital Strategy at McCormick & Company. Her presence lit up the stage, her campaign was fascinating and super successful -- more on that in a bit -- and as a former in-house marketer, I found myself nodding profusely at many of her quotes. Here’s a good one (on how to get your projects approved by management):

[Simple, grit]. "There isn’t a single success that I have had in my career that didn’t involve a ‘no’ at first.”

Frank's RedHot Wins Superbowl Social 

Her award-winning campaign on behalf of Frank’s RedHot, a McCormick brand, dominated Twitter during Super Bowl LIII despite the fact that the brand aired no TV ads. The theme - “Put that sh*t on everything” - included a cayenne pepper emoji, sweepstakes for Twitter users, and a war room of marketers standing by to create bespoke knock-off Twitter videos based upon Superbowl ads running in real time.

Picture Frank’s RedHot on Doritos, mixed into a beer and splashed on the seats of a sports car. That’s right, on everything. According to Adweek, the campaign earned 3.5 million impressions, massive use of its hashtag and saw followers increase by almost 10%.

As blown away as I was by this campaign and the presentation, it was a throwaway remark that Alia made about one of her management strategies that interested me the most. Her entire team was in the audience of the event; you could tell how much they respected her, and she clearly had the confidence of the McCormick leadership. What was her secret? “One-Sheeters.”

Secret Sauce 

“One-Sheeters” are one-page write-ups of her team's successes -- the work that was done, how they did it and the result they achieved. Big successes as well as tiny; every success she can get her hands on.

Alia has baked creating one-sheeters into her operations. Her team knows to write them every time they have a story to tell, and she credits these documents with helping her build credibility, momentum, and secure the confidence of her leadership so that when she approaches her bosses with new ideas, they are more likely to listen.

It got me thinking about the central role that reporting plays in marketing, whether you are an in-house marketer or in an agency. Creative brains tend to get wrapped up in results like impressions, leads generated, shares and so on, but if we are not communicating these wins to leadership in the context of how they moved the needle for the business, then the wins are invisible, and we are - for all intents and purposes - invisible.

Always make time for reporting. Encourage your team to talk up their wins no matter how small; small wins build up and lead to bigger and bigger ones over time. Show them you are on fire; make a mission of creating one-sheeters.

And to borrow from Frank’s RedHot, "Do that sheet for everything.”

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