How to impress marketing award judges: lessons from Stevie Award winners circle
May 23, 2017
 

When Metis recently took home a Bronze Stevie Award, it seemed like a great opportunity to share tips about what it takes to win over a panel of judges– and why every company looking to boost visibility should think about an awards program. Our bronze award win was for communications or PR campaign of the year in the marketing – business-to-business category on behalf of Avention, a provider of data for business insights, which was recently acquired by Dun & Bradstreet.

When Avention wanted to dominate the increasingly crowded account-based marketing (ABM) landscape, Metis helped the company clarify its market positioning, build awareness of its ABM capabilities, grow the CEO’s profile among industry influencers and highlight third-party validation for Avention’s position as the most effective provider of data and account insights. A rolling thunder of media coverage, supported by content and social media programs, led to Avention’s ABM coronation – and was the basis for the Stevie Award honor. 

Here are four bits of feedback we got from the Stevie Awards judges that every marketer should keep in mind when putting together an awards program.

“Great campaign approach”

ABM is a challenging space. It’s crowded, and as one of the judges noted in a written evaluation, B2B data is sometimes considered “a harder industry to sell.” Overcoming challenges requires a multi-pronged campaign that influences the influencers from multiple angles. When you’ve built an integrated communications program, tout it in your award applications. Highlight not only the number of readers your press hits potentially reached and the traffic they drove to your website, for example, but also what you did to amplify messages via content marketing, how your social media performed and more.

“Great influencer-based strategy”

A strong spokesperson is one advantage that made Avention different from other ABM companies, in addition to its offerings. CEO Steve Pogorzelski was included in conversations among ABM influencers across media, social media, podcasts, webinars and events. Make your CEO the go-to expert for all press interviews, contributed articles, social media engagements and other channels through which you reach influencers. It will earn you a spot in trending media topics, while also earning the respect of awards judges evaluating your efforts related to thought leadership, media visibility and more. 

“A strong multimedia visibility program”

On the way to capturing the largest share of voice in the ABM market for Avention, Metis helped the company build visibility with multiple types of content and outreach – and we made sure to highlight that in the awards entry. From blog swapping to interactive quizzes in top-tier publications to content syndication in leading industry groups and partnerships with influencers, wrap in all the efforts your team is pursuing on its way to driving leads, attracting investors or getting acquired.

“Results were stellar!”

You need to tell a good story in your award applications to win over judges, but for every panel facing a long list of award applications, final decisions come down to results – as they should. Make sure you’re highlighting the qualitative and the quantitative. What were your original goals? By what percentage did you exceed them? Did you launch your CEO to the top 6 percent of his peer group on social media? Tout that stat, and include some screenshots of the tweets that got him there. What were some of the best headlines and quotes from your press coverage? Screenshot those, as well, and package them with the analytics that make the narrative concrete. 

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