Award Categories

Program mechanics

This category is designed to reflect campaigns using a variety of different channels or media, in an omnichannel or integrated framework, for a clearly specified objective. Submissions must explain the mix of channels utilized for the campaign, how the brand and/or agency ensured the various techniques complemented one another and worked together, and demonstrate how success or effectiveness was measured against objectives.

The use of events (of any format) to achieve specific marketing objectives is the focus of this category. This could encompass physical or ‘real-world’ events of any reasonable type, including exhibitions, conferences, launch parties/events, seminars, roundtables, awards ceremonies, etc., or digital events such as webinars, etc. These events could be created custom for the specific purpose, or the brand could be leveraging an existing event, including one organized by a third party (e.g. an exhibition or conference). Submissions could focus on a single event or a series of events incorporated into a single strategy and aimed at achieving a common objective. Submissions must explain how communications at any relevant stage contributed to the overall objectives, including pre-event, during the event and post-event, using any relevant channel (e.g. offline or online).

Submissions must focus on the creative work used to deliver a message or messages, regardless of media or channel. Entrants must explain how the creative solution to the campaign was developed, and how it was applied to different media or marketing channels, and potentially developed to encompass different sub-messages or elements of the campaign, including both text and image-based executions. An explanation of the creative process employed by the agency or inhouse team to develop the campaign would be helpful for the judges.

This category encompasses the entire range of content activities employed by brands, including (but not exclusively) email newsletters, whitepapers, video, social media and blogs, either separately or as part of an integrated approach. Submissions must explain how a content strategy was developed and delivered, how it was tailored to the specific audience, and how ROI and effectiveness was calculated.

This category recognises the best use of paid, third party media by an agency or an in-house marketing team for brand building, demand/lead generation or otherwise. All media channels (on and offline) are accepted in this category. Submissions should demonstrate why media was used for a given campaign, how the targets were set, what the outcomes were, and how success was measured. Judges will want to understand how the media bought or partnered with was selected, and how its use fitted into a wider program and leveraged other mechanics or channels. Where appropriate, submissions must demonstrate how the program sought to innovate or push the boundaries of the format.

This category relates to marketing activities that use social media prominently (within a wider context) or exclusively as the sole channel or medium, to achieve various objectives. If social is the sole channel, the submission must explain why no other channels were believed to be necessary. If social is a prominent channel within a wider mix, the submission must explain how use of social fitted into the broader context. The choice of social media platforms, techniques and technologies must also be explained, together with metrics and the means by which success was measured. If the program used influencer marketing techniques, it should explain how influencers were selected and deployed, and the value that they delivered for the campaign.

This category recognises how digital experience was used to deliver marketing success - either in combination with other on or offline channels, or in isolution. Submissions should detail exactly which technologies or techniques were used, and how these were deployed to build a great experience for the audience. Submissions should also demonstrate the purpose of this digial experience, as well as the results it drove. Digital experience could be delivered by any individual or combination of digital channels, including websites, apps, SaaS martech platforms, AR/VR devices, wearables, etc.

Brand marketing programs

This category reflects use of thought leadership positioning to achieve a specified objective – either in terms of brand positioning, or as a means of more directly driving revenue, potentially featuring as part of a content marketing strategy. Submissions must explain why thought leadership was selected as the best or most appropriate means to achieve that particular objective, which may require a description of the environment the brand or product/service is operating in (or seeking to operate in). Communication techniques and channels used must be specified clearly, together (where relevant) with individuals or spokespeople used and media or intermediaries leveraged.

This category is designed to reflect marketing programs focused around achieving a key purpose-based, and/or social responsibility, objective(s). The origins of the brand’s purpose or its relationship with social responsibility cause must be outlined within the submission, as well as (critically) how the campaign in question was designed to further and achieve these. As ever, measurement is critical, but in this context submissions must explain what was achieved by this specific campaign within or around timeframe specified, rather than outline the achievements of a potentially longer term brand alignment. Metrics used must relate back to meaningful business objectives.

This category could be appropriate for brand relaunch/refresh activity, repositioning or general brand awareness work, with a focus on customers/prospects only, or employees only, or a combination of the two. If the campaign was designed to communicate a change in the branding or positioning, the submission must explain why this change was undertaken and what the activity was designed to achieve. If the campaign was focused around general brand awareness, the submission must explain why it was felt necessary. Measurement techniques must be explained in detail, together with an explanation of pre- and post-campaign brand awareness/strength. Finally, submissions must demonstrate how internal and external audiences were engaged by this campaign, as appropriate.

Growth marketing programs

Activity designed to generate demand is the focus of this category, including both inbound and outbound techniques, from new business and existing customers. Submissions must explain how the multiple strategies/channels were consolidated into a single harmonious programme, and the technologies and techniques deployed to move leads from cold to warm. Insights on conversion rates must be provided, as well as information on revenue attribution, where available.

This category reflects excellence in account-based marketing of any variety or scale – i.e. strategic, lite or programmatic. Submissions must explain the nature of the business challenge or opportunity, the dynamics or nature of the audience, and why ABM was determined as the most appropriate approach. As well as explaining how campaign creative was developed and deployed, together with any use of customer insight and any marketing technology used, it is critical that the submission explains how sales were involved, engaged and aligned to ensure success of the initiative.

This category reflects any initiative focused on providing the sales organization with information tools and content that it needs to help salespeople sell more effectively, throughout the buyer process. Submissions must outline the specific sales challenge that the enablement initiative was designed to address, and how the activities developed addressed this. Metrics included must demonstrate how this initiative directly contributed towards improved sales performance, as well as the extent to which salespeople themselves were engaged by the program, and utilized the materials or resources created within their activities.

This category recognizes programs that have achieved excellence in terms of financial ROI. Measurement information and ROI will be key judging criteria for this category, as will client testimonials. Detailed results and budgetary information will be required – if this information is confidential, please remember to state this clearly in the submission.

Audiences and objectives

Marketing activity targeted at decision-makers in large or enterprise-level organizations (500-plus individuals) is the focus of this category. This could include campaigns targeted at individual decision makers or account groups comprising various individuals. In either instance, the submission must outline any use of insight tools or services to enable targeting and/or personalization of marketing messages and communications. In terms of the communications materials themselves, the submission should explain how the campaign was designed to be reached by these time-poor and hard-to-reach individuals, who are often protected by a gate-keeper.

This category is focused around marketing to the SMB audience (companies typically under 500 people in size), in any sector, irrespective of objective, techniques or channels. Submissions must demonstrate how the audience was identified (in terms of customer insight or data sources used) and explain how media or channels were selected and optimised to maximise impact for this potentially volume audience.

Marketing both to and through resellers, distributors or other intermediaries in any sector is the focus of this category. Submissions must explain the dynamics and characteristics of the specific channel audience involved, how activity nurtured the relationship between vendor/ supplier and the channel partner, and how the objectives of both parties were met.

This category recognises instances where marketing has transcended or broken out from its traditional role or remit, embracing new ideas, challenging conventions or exploring new frontiers. By definition, this category can embrace a broad spectrum of activities, programs or initiatives, operating at either strategic or tactical levels – or both. For example, amongst other things, this could include developing a completely new marketing and/or business strategy; engaging a new market or audience; or utilising a completely new way customer engagement; deployment or development of new martech; a new way of using third party media; etc. Submissions must explain the why a completely new approach was necessary; how the ultimate solution was devised or arrived at; what was learned and how unexpected problems were resolved; and what results were achieved and how that compared to targets or expectations.

Teams and practitioners

This category recognizes the excellent delivery or management of marketing activity by an exceptional, in-house marketer, in the early or middle part of their career. It recognizes how this individual has gone above and beyond expectations in ensuring their campaign(s) was/were effective for their brand and resonant for their audience. Submissions should demonstrate the individual's excellence at all stages of campaign planning, delivery and management, and how they both fought and embraced unexpected opportunities.

The focus of this category is to recognize the group of B2B marketers that has pulled together to meet its objectives and challenges for the year, and which truly demonstrates that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Marketing teams of any size or configuration are eligible, from a minimum of three individuals working within a marketing function, all the way up to the blue-chip corporates with large inhouse teams. Virtual teams, including freelancers and agency staffers may be included, although the submission will have to demonstrate how individuals genuinely acted as a cohesive unit. Submissions must include details of the following: list individual team members (including roles, key skills and responsibilities); key objectives faced for the year and how these were achieved; other challenges faced along the way; examples of co-operation and team work; testimonials from team leaders or marketing directors. Please note that this category is only open to inhouse or client-side marketing teams.

This category recognizes excellent delivery or management of marketing activity or programs by inhouse marketers, and how one individual has gone over and above expectations in ensuring their campaign(s) was/were effective for their brand and resonant for their audience. Submissions should demonstrate the individual’s excellence at all stages of campaign planning, delivery and management, and how they both fought and embraced unexpected opportunities.

This category recognizes PR or communications agencies that have excelled for their clients and in commercial terms over the past two years, providing any combination of a potentially broad range of services - this could include conventional media relations, investor relations, thought leadership, social media management or content marketing, amongst others. As well as demonstrating sound commercial management and both excellent staff engagement, the winning agencies will need to demonstrate how they have stood out in a crowded market and both challenged and met their clients objectives.

This category recognizes the B2B marketing agency that demonstrated a consistently excellent approach to all aspects of business, specifically during the qualifying period. Submissions must include information on client wins, achieving client objectives, client satisfaction/ loyalty, staff satisfaction/loyalty and profitability. Other achievements, such as expansion and development of new areas of expertise, will also be considered. Submissions must also state whether the agency operates only from a US HQ, or whether it has registered offices in other geographical locations, At least three client testimonials must be included.

Grand Prix

The shortlist for this category is comprised of the standout winners from the campaign categories above.