In my first blog in this series, we walked through what the DMA Awards are and why they should matter to you. Now it’s time to peel back some layers of the onion and provide our guidance on curating a winning entry.
Regardless of the category, entries should be focused upon three pillars: strategy, creativity, and results. Here are some key things to keep in mind when crafting each step in your journey.
Put yourselves in the shoes of both competitors and award judges. Does your entry inspire your peers to say, “Wow, wish we’d thought of that!”?
Lead with a brief but punchy elevator pitch. Build the foundation for your strategic story by working backwards from the outcome, illustrating the stepping stones guiding you to your objective.
No matter how “out there” an idea is, it needs a plan to succeed. Strategic decisions are underpinned by data, so take the judges on the same journey you traveled… Why did you make certain decisions and what impact did they have on the campaign’s ultimate success?
Throughout your tale, remember to stay objective and concise, but don’t assume the reader knows what you are talking about. Be thorough and make them feel what you felt, good or bad. This story should be relatable regardless of background.
Marketing is a creative venture, a splash of colour for all, capturing the attention of many. Creativity’s purpose is so much more than making an artistic impression. It’s a framing mechanism for a message.
The crisis of relevance is a problem for all marketers in all circumstances, including the DMA Awards. Provide context behind your entry; why did your creative decisions resonate with your audience in your industry? Also, where does your creativity fit within the technological landscape? Are you ahead of your competition or pioneering another route entirely?
Make sure to relate your campaign’s creative ingenuity within context to competitors, and don’t leave out any of the emotional experience you had while bringing this campaign to life. You’re painting a picture here!
At this stage, we’ve talked the talk, now you prove you walked the walk! Detail the culmination of all your hard work: the results. Like anything in marketing, the objective here is to stand out from the crowd.
A campaign’s results should speak to its success. This is where you prove all your hard work on strategic brainstorms and creative briefs paid off. Keep your results simple and succinct, focusing on one or two key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to only the nominated campaign.
The KPIs displayed should be notable and set the benchmark for all others to strive toward, so much so that they should surpass last year’s winning entries and give credence to the overall story told in the prior two sections.
While this wraps up my advice, you can read more in the DMA Awards Entry Guide.
Fortune befriends the bold
Now, go and pick your best work from 2020 and allow the DMA Awards the opportunity to shine a light on your success. Use the DMA’s sample entry form to begin sketching out your own little piece of excellence. Good luck!