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Award categories

The Awards categories reflect strategic marketing objectives that are common to all organisations. Your submissions will be judged against the marketing achievements of all types of business – rather than just those of direct competitors in your industry sector.

Entrants should provide independent and robust data that supports the claims made. The judges will give more weight to quantitative data and comparable trend data over time. Key measures which should ideally be included are sales, profit, market share and customer attitudes.

Connecting with Customers

Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2017

Judges will be looking for the best use of research or database development to provide information on consumer behaviour that has resulted in measurable improvements in brand performance.

This may include research for new product development. The judges will evaluate:

  • Rigour of the research process
  • Discovery of genuine insights
  • Creative application of the research
  • Change to consumer attitudes
  • Improved brand performance, or a successful new brand launch

Number of entries 2017: 15
Winner: Maltesers

BUILDING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2017

Judges will be looking for evidence of an improved relationship with customers which has led to a significant commercial benefit. This may be demonstrated by increased customer retention levels, increased revenue per customer, improved customer satisfaction levels, or all of these. This may have been achieved as a result of new products, services, pricing or communications. The judges will evaluate:

  • Understanding of customer life time value
  • Customer insight
  • Original thinking to increase customer revenues
  • Improved value for customers
  • Customer loyalty
  • Return on marketing expenditure

Number of entries 2017: 5
Winner: Fitness First

Judge’s Comment – Aedamar Howlett, Marketing Director, GB & I, Coca-Cola

‘This entry showed long-term customer value, how that was built and what was the plan and the results. The way all this was put together was a real joy to read because it was submitted exactly against the criteria. ‘

Communicating Effectively

MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2015 – 31 Dec 2017

Judges will be looking for the proven effect that marketing communications have had on the improved performance of a brand. The judges will evaluate:

  • Communication strategy
  • Creativity
  • Media planning
  • Communications effect, isolated from other influencing factors
  • Return on marketing expenditure

Number of entries 2017: 31
Winner: Maltesers

Judge’s Comment – Matthew Barwell, Chief Marketing Officer, Britvic

‘I think the Malteser’s case study really epitomised being successful by being brave. It took the issue of disability and did it in an utterly bold and brave manner – dramatizing real personal issues of friends together, sharing stories.’

SELLING ON A SHOESTRING

Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2015 – 31 Dec 2017

Judges will be looking for the proven effect on the success of a brand with a total brand marketing budget of less than £1m. The budget may have been spent through any communication channel. The judges will evaluate:

  • The scale of the task
  • Creativity of the marketing plan
  • Originality of approach
  • Sales results
  • Return on expenditure

Number of entries 2017: 8
Winner: Hammerson gift cards

Judge’s Comment – Kristof Fahy, Chief Customer Officer, Ladbrokes Coral

‘This paper was about doing smart commercial work. They were really clear about the points they were making and provided hard commercial results.’

BRANDED CONTENT
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2015 – 31 Dec 2017

Judges will be looking for the effective use of content wholly paid for by a brand, which has appeared in any medium, for the purposes of building brand awareness and generating sales.

Branded content, which is also known as content marketing, can encompass branded magazines, digital magazines and editorial features on websites; advertiser-funded programming, creative product placement on TV and other media, viral and social editorial content. The judges will evaluate:

  • Consumer engagement
  • The appropriateness of the media channels chosen for the target audience
  • Creativity of the content
  • Evidence of commercial success
  • Return on marketing expenditure

Number of entries 2017: 24
Winner: Ribena

Judge’s Comment – Keith Moor, Chief Marketing Officer, Santander

‘The sugary drinks category is a tough place to be at the moment, but Ribena wanted to bring the joy back to consuming their drink and sway it from the debate about sugar. They took this out into a public space which was a very brave thing to do.’

BRAND ACTIVATION
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2017

The judges will be looking for a brand which can demonstrate how it has achieved outstanding results through the integration of all available communication means, such as sponsorship, events, PR, advertising and promotions, in a single creative theme. The judges will evaluate:

  • The project objectives
  • Creativity across all brand activities
  • Evidence of effectiveness
  • Commercial success

Number of entries 2017: 17
Winner: ITV, The National Lottery, British Olympic Association, UK Sport

BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS-MARKETING
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2015 – 31 Dec 2017

The judges will be looking for business to business marketing stories which demonstrate:

  • Originality of approach
  • Evidence of commercial success
  • Return on marketing expenditure

Number of entries 2017: 17
Winner: Advanced

Judge’s Comment – Ian Cranna, VP Marketing & Category (EMEA), Starbucks

‘This entry demonstrated very clear commercial success and ROI which was what we were looking for.’

Mobilising the Organisation

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014– 31 Dec 2017

The judges will be looking for the creative use of research and communications to build employee motivation, which has led to improved business performance. They will evaluate:

  • Employee research
  • Successful internal communication of corporate values
  • Evidence of improved employee motivation
  • Improved brand or service provision for customers

Number of entries 2017: 4
Winner: Johnson & Johnson

BUILDING MARKETING CAPABILITIES
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2017

The judges will be looking for stories from organisations which can demonstrate the effect of their investment in improving the marketing performance of individuals, teams and the company as a whole. The judges will evaluate:

  • Understanding of marketing development needs
  • Improved marketing team performance
  • Development of capabilities of the marketing team
  • Improved brand or service provision

Number of entries 2017: 5
Winner: Direct Line Group

HEROIC FAILURE
This is a new award for 2018.
Eligibility: 1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2017

The Marketing Society is committed to a brave agenda that encourages marketers to try new things and get outside their comfort zone. “Fail fast, fail often” is a much-quoted modern business mantra, and in a fast-changing world we all need to test and learn.  We would love to hear your story of how you have learned from a heroic failure. Tell us about the challenge you faced and your analysis of why it went wrong…and most important the resilience you showed in learning from this and moving on. Perhaps you have even turned it into a subsequent success?

The judges will be looking for:

  • The challenge you faced
  • A candid description of how you failed
  • Your analysis of the reasons for failure
  • What you learned
  • How you have applied this to subsequent marketing activity
  • Success so far from this learning

Making a Difference

PARTNERING FOR GOOD
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2017

The judges will be looking for examples of a partnership between a business and a charity or cause which has delivered tangible and mutual benefits to both parties. The judges will be looking for evidence of how this campaign has performed overall, and how it is integrated with broader marketing objectives. The judges will evaluate:

  • Brand fit with charity partner or cause
  • Staff ‘buy-in’
  • Value delivered to both partners

Number of entries 2017: 15
Winner: Maltesers and Scope (Cause Related Marketing category 2017)

NOT-FOR-PROFIT-MARKETING 
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2017

Entry to this category is free.

The Marketors’ Trust – the charitable arm of the Worshipful Company of Marketors – is kindly supporting this category in 2018 and has generously agreed to pay the entry cost of all submissions. The Trust’s objectives include encouraging higher standards in charity marketing and the sharing of best practice in the sector.

The winning entry team will also be offered a place for one nominated executive on the Marketing Society’s exclusive “Ones to Watch Programme” in 2019.

The judges will be looking for examples of marketing campaigns from a charity, a not- for-profit cause or a public sector organisation which has delivered a tangible and lasting effect.

The judges will evaluate:

  • The scale of the challenge
  • Value delivered to the cause or organisation
  • Changes of public perception
  • Return on marketing expenditure

Number of entries 2017: 8
Winner: #JoinTheHerd

Judge’s comment- Mark Given, Marketing Director Sainsbury’s

“With almost no budget, this team set themselves an audacious goal of galvanising every stakeholder who cared about the cause of saving the African elephants from extinction, and within 9 months a UN resolution to close the ivory trade worldwide was agreed” 

PURPOSE DRIVEN BRANDS 
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2017

The judges will be looking for examples of brands where the introduction of a clearly defined purpose has brought benefits to the consumer, society and the brand.  The judges will evaluate:

  • The clarity and originality of the defined purpose
  • How the service or product has improved as a result
  • The extent of engagement with the purpose by staff throughout the company
  • The extent to which the purpose translates into a compelling win for consumers
  • Societal benefits
  • Commercial benefits

Number of entries 2017: 10
Winner: Channel 4

Building Powerful Brands

NEW BRAND
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2017

The judges will be looking for evidence of commercial success from the creation of a new product or service from an existing brand owner, or from a newly emerging business. The judges will evaluate:

  • Customer insight
  • The creativity of the new product or service
  • The creation of clear brand values
  • The delivery of value for customers
  • Effective use of marketing resources
  • Evidence of commercial success

Number of entries 2017: 5
Winner: iD Mobile

Judge’s Comment – Ruth Rowan, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Dimension Data

‘iD Mobile had clearly identified that they were going to be playing in a very crowded market place with some very big brands so the way they were going to be successful was to be very clear on the segment that they were going to target.’

BRAND EXTENSION
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2017

The judges will be looking for the successful extension of an existing brand into new markets or market segments, to the long term commercial benefit of the original brand and its owner.
The judges will evaluate:

  • Customer insight
  • Incremental sales
  • Extent of cannibalisation with existing brand
  • Effective use of marketing resources
  • Evidence of commercial success

Number of entries 2017: 5
Winner: O2

Judge’s Comment – Ruth Rowan, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Dimension Data

O2 found a great way of repurposing all the mobile phones and handsets that we get tired of and they did this by elevating their core brand and not cannibalising the relationships they already had with their existing customers.’

BRAND REVITALISATION
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2017

The judges will be looking for evidence of marketing activity that has successfully challenged public perceptions of a product or service which has been in the doldrums and achieved a significant turnaround in its fortunes.  The judges will evaluate:

  • The scale of the problem
  • Research and creative problem-solving
  • Improved customer perceptions
  • Rising sales/market share trends
  • Effective use of marketing resources
  • Evidence of commercial success

Number of entries 2017: 12
Winner: Tesco

GLOBAL BRAND MARKETING
Eligibility dates: 1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2017

The judges will be looking for examples of effective international brand marketing across at least three countries or regions (these do not have to include the UK). The judges will evaluate:

  • Insight into common market needs
  • Applied learning from one market to another
  • Evidence of consistent success across markets

Number of entries 2017: 6
Winner: Knorr

LONG-TERM-MARKETING-EXCELLENCE
Eligibility dates: A minimum of 3 years up to 31 December 2017

This award recognises marketing excellence over a sustained period of no less than three years.
The award will go to the company or brand that best demonstrates how a superior marketing strategy, consistently applied, has driven business improvement over time.

Number of entries 2017: 11
Winner: The National Art Pass

Leading Individuals

YOUNG MARKETING LEADER OF THE YEAR (free entry)
Entrants must be 30 or under on 31 December 2017, and demonstrate that they have the potential to become an outstanding marketing leader. Shortlisted candidates will be required to make a presentation to the judging panel in London, in April 2018. The winner will receive a free place (value £9K) on the Society’s Marketing Leaders Programme, run in association with Brand Learning, in 2019.

Entrants should submit:

  • A short CV
  • Evidence that they have personally made a significant contribution to a key marketing initiative in their company
  • A recommendation from their current marketing director

Winner 2017: Bo Jakubenko, Global Marketing Manager, Treasury Wine Estates. Watch her tips for young marketers.

MARKETING LEADER OF THE YEAR

This category cannot be entered directly. Candidates will be nominated by members of The Marketing Society. The Marketing Society Marketing Leader of the Year is then chosen by a combination of votes and an expert panel of senior practitioners.

The Marketing Leader of the Year will have led the marketing of a brand which has clearly excelled in performance in the last 12 months and would be acknowledged by the whole marketing profession to demonstrate marketing excellence.

The individual will be an inspirational figure for all other current marketers, and be capable of representing marketing to the wider business community.

In 2017, following a keenly contested popular vote in which over 2300 votes were cast, an expert panel met to consider both the voting and the professional record over the past 12 months of the leading candidates.

The winner was Barnaby Dawe, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Just Eat. Watch his reaction from the night.

Being the Best of the Best

BEST ENTRY FROM OUTSIDE THE UK
The judges will make a special award to the best entry from outside the UK, which may be entered into any category.

Winner 2017: HCL Technologies, India

FINANCE DIRECTORS’ PRIZE
This category cannot be entered directly. The judges will recommend a short list of papers to be assessed by a panel of finance directors, who will choose the winning paper they think best demonstrates effective use of marketing expenditure.

Winner 2017: John Lewis

BRAVEST BRAND

This category cannot be entered directly. Having reviewed all the entries, the judges will award a special prize to the brand they consider has been bravest.

In line with the Society’s “brave” agenda, we are looking for brands which have taken risks and succeeded against the odds.

This may be a challenger brand – a “David” that has taken on “Goliath” or a Goliath that has been dramatically reinvented.

This brand may have created or encouraged positive social change as well as pursuing its commercial objectives.

This brand will certainly have moved outside its comfort zone.

The winner of this award will go forward for a new global “Bravest Brand” award being developed with our Marketing Society global hubs.

Winner 2017: ITV, The National Lottery, British Olympic Association, UK Sport (Leading-Edge Thinking category 2017)

GRAND PRIX

This category cannot be entered directly. Having reviewed all the category winners, the judges will award the Grand Prix to the paper which best demonstrates marketing excellence to the UK business community in 2018.

Winner 2017: #JoinTheHerd

2018 entries open

Deadline to submit, 9 Feb 2018.