Recognising excellence: Crafting a stand-out Awards entry

It’s time to start putting together your entries for the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards. With an expanded programme and brand new categories, what exactly are the judges looking for this year? Michael Friedberg, 2022 Convenor of Judges, tells you everything you need to know to shine.

What’s new with the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards this year?

These awards exist to Keep Marketing Moving Forward, as we recognise excellence within our industry. The evolved 2022 awards programme follows an extensive consultation period with marketing professionals and thought leaders who have helped develop the new categories and streamlined entry process. Key advancements include:

  • Previous Sector and Excellence categories merge to become Marketing Excellence Awards with updated award descriptions and entry requirements for the 18 awards;
  • New category of Short-Term Marketing Initiatives introduced with eight tactical awards, and Best Overall Short-Term Marketing Initiative award, and;
  • Individual Awards expanded to four with the introduction of a new award recognising the Marketing Team of the Year.

What’s the difference between the Marketing Excellence and Short-Term Initiative Awards?

The Marketing Excellence Awards recognise excellence in specific disciplines across different sectors that demonstrate how effective marketing strategy has led to measurable results for a business or brand.

And while well thought out marketing strategies that support the business are key – so are those shorter-term initiatives that, while more tactical in nature, still must move the business forward. In this way, the Short-Term Marketing Initiatives recognise innovative and agile marketing initiatives that have identified short-term opportunities/challenges that have delivered tangible results within a 12 month or less period.

Michael Friedberg.

Can you give an example of a Short-Term Initiative and how it would apply to the Awards?

So, let’s remember – the intent of these awards is to look for success in more tactical programmes. This is about activities that were planned and executed, to address a challenge or take advantage of an opportunity identified by the marketing team. Here’s a simple, but strong B2B example (remember though there are eight very different types of examples reflected in the awards you can enter in this category):

  1. Your sales team have just won a deal against a competitor you have not won against before
  2. It was a great win, and you think there could be something more, that this could be an indicator of an emerging opportunity
  3. You do some market research and assess the size of the potential market share gain, determining it’s worth pursing
  4. You also determine, with sales, that due to some changes in market dynamics your product can be clearly differentiated against the competitor, but you know they will catch up, so you need to be quick
  5. You outline a clear marketing and tactic plan with objectives and KPIs, assign a budget and get the programme in market
  6. During execution you asses that paid digital is not working so you reduce the spend in favour of social marketing in order to engage new buyers, who are using the competitor’s product.
  7. The initiative was very successful, and you delivered the agreed number of new clients, new pipeline and new revenue
  8. Bonus: You have now added a competitive take-out strategy and programme to support your business goal of growing your market share.

Is marketing strategy still a key focus of the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards?

Yes, yes, yes. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail as the quote goes. So, strategy is key. These awards continue to be focused on marketing strategy and execution, that delivers demonstrable business outcomes.

What makes for an excellent entry, what advice do you have for those entering?

Like anything, having a good handle on the story you are telling is important. Read the entry criteria, now read them again, look at the weightings, and make sure your answers are really clear and provide a good level of detail. I’d start by jotting down key points for each question to make sure you capture all the relevant details and points. Then start crafting and cutting out bits that don’t help in telling the story.

For each question there will be hero points – if there are too many other points these can get lost/diluted. In some cases, this will mean providing additional information to back-up the claims of your entry. Present this additional information in a clear and easily digestible way, specifically tailored to the needs of the awards entry – for instance, don’t include an entire spreadsheet if the key information could be presented in a simple table.

Get a few people to read the entry and give feedback:

  • Someone new to it: Ask them if they can follow the story, and if it make sense? Get someone to check grammar and spelling
  • People involved in the work: Ask if there is anything that has been missed or could be better explained? 

I’ll admit, there is real skill in completing entry forms, but it’s really obvious when an agency has written a beautifully crafted entry that lacks detail and sometimes soul. The flipside is an entry that has spelling and grammar mistakes. Regardless, a well thought out and well-crafted entry stands out.

What are the judges looking for in a winning entry?

Judges are humans, right? When you are sitting there reading upwards of 50 awards, those that are well written, easy to understand and have the right level of detail will stand out. The judges are looking for thorough answers that don’t leave much to the imagination. The secret of a great awards entry is to tell a story in the way people expect: A beginning, middle and end, with some interesting detail along the way. Leave writing any sort of executive summary until later.

It’s a rigorous judging process, so when there are not enough facts or details then it becomes hard to judge. Lastly, results are key. We are looking for business outcomes where possible. Make sure you don’t let a well thought out entry down due to a lack of clarity, detail, or facts in being able to tell how effective the entry was in delivering on the planned objectives.

Good luck! Here’s to each and every marketer out there – what we do does make a difference, so let’s spread the word and highlight the value marketing brings to any business.

Watch the video

Interested in entering the 2022 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards? Get more details on the categories and other FAQs, before you enter.

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About Bernadette Basagre

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles, The Register and Idealog. To get in touch with her, email [email protected].

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