We write lots of marketing plans for lots of businesses in all types of industries and almost always recommend that entering and winning awards should be part of their marketing strategy.
Awards differentiate you from your competitors, give you credibility and position your business as being best in your field. Yes it takes time and yes you are putting yourself out there to be judged, however the rewards can have enormous pay offs.
How do we know? From first hand experience.
This year Marketing Angels topped 3 categories at the NSW 2013 Australian Marketing Institute Awards thanks to the outstanding work of consultant Katrina Flynn on her client Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria. The awards were for:
- Best Business to Business Marketing Communications
- Best Business to Consumer Marketing Communications
- Best New Brand, Product or Service Launch
We then went on to win the National Award for Best Business to Business Marketing Communications.
Since winning the awards we:
- Have used the Award logos across our communications
- Included details of the award in client proposals and pitches bringing us new business
- Generated news articles in two high profile newspapers
- Been invited to be featured as a case study in a national marketing publication
It also shows our clients that we walk the talk and reinforces to our clients that they’ve chosen the right Agency.
Make winning awards part of your marketing strategy. It can be time consuming, but it will all be worth it in the end.
Research on the most relevant awards to enter. Include budget, time and resources in your marketing plan. You can focus on regional, industry-specific, national or even international awards. Some credible awards in Australia that are relevant for smaller businesses include the BRW Fast 100 Awards, the Telstra Business Awards, the Small Business Champion Awards, and the SmartCompany Smart 50 Awards.
Tips for maximizing your chances of winning:
1. Start early so you can allocate enough time. A good entry can take time to prepare.
2. If possible, enter in multiple categories to up your chances of winning.
3. Ensure your entry has a combination of strong results and high standards.
4. Get professional help. 75% of winning entries come from a client-agency team.
5. Learn from the past winners.Take note of how they put their entries together, the details they included, and the kind of campaign and results that win.
Tips on making the most out of your award(s):
1. Place it prominently in your e-mail signature, company web site, brochures, proposals, and even in your packaging.
2. Send a press release to relevant publications and make sure to include photos.
3. Update your social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Highlight it in your Google Adwords copy.
4. Let your customers know through newsletters and other customer communications. Encourage them to spread the news.
In business, apathy is often your biggest competitor. So don’t be indifferent about awards. Set aside time and resources to enter awards and enjoy the competitive advantage as a result.