Marketing awards are not simply about recognition and rewarding achievements. They are, in themselves, a marketing tool.
As a means of raising awareness and putting a business firmly in the spotlight, awards provide important promotional opportunities. But, as Jonathan Guy of Aqueous Digital points out, you must play an active role in ensuring this effectiveness.
“In a competitive environment, what differentiates you is what will help you win customers and tip the balance in your favour when they’re deciding who to go with,” he remarks.
“An award can be a recognition of a strong, individual marketing ethos, and of your creativity and innovation”
Your Reasons for Entering
Aqueous Digital won in the Marketing Excellence category of the Halton Business Awards, earlier this year, and Jonathan explains why they entered.
“We knew that we’d achieved a lot in building our business,” he says, “and we wanted to get the message across, about how effective our services are, and our depth of knowledge and understanding about marketing.”
“If you’re putting yourself forward for an award, you need to be clear in your own mind what you’re setting out to achieve,” Jonathan advises, “rather than simply hoping for the best.”
These objectives might be to access new markets, or increase sales, or to make more people aware about what it is you can offer, and what you can do for them.
“Awards can build credibility and generate tremendous loyalty but you want to know that these are your aims before choosing to enter”
Jonathan also emphasises that, as part of a marketing strategy, you should also consider the odds on winning if you enter.
“You can raise your profile just by being in the running,” Jonathan observes, “and this may generate a fair bit of promotional activity on its own, but if you’re going to commit to the submission criteria in the first place, it should be because you think you have a good chance of winning.”
Extending Your Reach
Winning an award can extend your marketing reach, and can leave a bold legacy of success upon which to build.
So, marketers should not view entering marketing awards as a vanity project, but rather as something that can work as a dedicated marketing activity, that pays repeated rewards.
“If you build your business successfully, you can gain recognition, which in turn helps to market your own services, and on the back of this you can win more work, further building your reputation,” Jonathan concludes.