Last week we were given the great news that we’d been shortlisted for an award at the upcoming Northern Digital Awards for our work with thortful.
For us, one of the best ways to publicly benchmark your success is through awards. Many agencies have awards, and for some this proliferation of ‘Award-Winning’ banners on agency websites can undermine the value of awards themselves, but at connective3 we feel they have an important role to play within agency marketing, particularly for us as a new agency.
To put it frankly, the biggest challenge you face as a new brand is that people don’t really know who you are, yet. Through marketing and PR you can of course build your brand recognition, but once the launch press buzz has died down, how do you maintain industry visibility? We feel that being a part of an industry-wide awards process affords us significant PR within our clients, peers and potential employees – all of which is extremely valuable. In the past on we have had leads come to us specifically with the intention of working with winner of ‘Best X’ award, so it really does work.
With so many ‘award-winning’ agencies out there, many hold the belief that ‘anything that’s entered gets shortlisted’ but in my experience this isn’t the case. The entry process is always stringent, and the judging is just as strict. I know several people who’ve judged awards, and whilst they all love being part of the judging process, their participation as a judge involves long days of debating and reviewing awards content, as they go through numerous entries in detail to decide the shortlists. Therefore, to have your campaign shortlisted and deemed successful by your industry peers is a real achievement.
You’ve made the shortlist, now what?
Once you’ve made it past the judges and onto that shortlist (well done if you have ever achieved this because it isn’t easy), it’s time to celebrate, and if your marketing budget can stretch to it, book some tickets for the awards night. There are two key reasons why you should attend. The first is to celebrate your campaign success with your clients. Win or lose having your clients along for the night with you is a great way to celebrate together and reap the rewards from your mutual efforts.
The second reason is that attending is a great way to reward the staff who’ve worked on the account. I’ve found that the prospect of delivering an award-winning campaign is a huge motivator for team members of all levels. They want to be able to talk about ‘their campaign’ and how well it did, and they deserve to be there on stage if their hard work is award winning in the end. So, when the time comes to hand out tickets, if you’re a director maybe think twice about keeping the tickets for the senior team alone.
What if you work in-house?
Whilst this blog post mainly looks at the benefits of awards from an agency perspective, the same benefits apply for in-house marketers entering awards as well. The Northern Digital Awards shortlist for this year’s event features several brands who have entered their own work and been shortlisted, including Skipton Building Society, Arriva Rail, Sykes Holiday Cottages and Luxury Flooring & Furnishings – well done guys! Whether you work for an agency or in-house at a brand, awards are a great way to showcase the work that you’ve delivered, and to receive industry recognition for this.
The next big awards ceremony lined up for us is the Northern Digital Awards, taking place in our hometown of Leeds 30th January, you can read the shortlist in full here.